London’s transport-users’ watchdog warns government against rail service cuts

London’s transport-users’ watchdog warns government against rail service cuts

Two thirds of people who use train services in London say they would travel that way less often if timetable frequencies were reduced and almost the same proportion believe value for money should be improved, according to new research published official watchdog body London TravelWatch.

As the government outlines plans to reform railways nationally, the survey, which draws on polling, focus groups and vulnerable passengers with long-term health conditions, also found that only 37 per cent of people are satisfied with how train companies deal with delays and fewer than half were happy with the level of crowding in carriages.

A majority of those surveyed, who are users of trains in and around London, said they got most of their information about train service changes at stations rather than from train company websites or other online sources. Nearly one in four were dissatisfied with toilet facilities at stations and nearly in in five disabled people were very dissatisfied with connection with other forms of transport and step-free access  facilities.

London TravelWatch chief executive Emma Gibson said the findings would “give the government and train companies food for thought as we move closer to the Great British Railways model.” She summarised the public’s view as being that “generally rail services were OK,” but that this could “easily change if timetables are reduced further”.

She also stressed the value for money issue and that people “aren’t prepared to put up with crowding on their services as they might have done pre-pandemic”.

The creation of a new Great British Railways (GBR) organisation by means of a Transport Bill was announced in today’s Queen’s Speech in parliament.

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