Rail delay gripes ease

Tony Ford, chairman of the South Fylde Line Community Rail Partnership.

Tony Ford, chairman of the South Fylde Line Community Rail Partnership.

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RAIL passengers are fed up with a lack of communication from train operating companies about delayed and cancelled services, according to a new survey.

But commuters on the Fylde coast say that is not the case here.

A report from the Office of Rail Regulation showed only 37 per cent of customers thought delays were dealt with well during periods of disruption.

This compared with a satisfaction level of 70 per cent for the information received during normal journeys.

But Paul Nettleton, chairman of the Blackpool and Fylde Rail Users Association, said: “Generally Northern Rail do have information about delays and everything on their website.

“Not everyone can get on their website but at least it’s there.

“If you’re on one of the stations on the South Fylde coast line you get recorded messages too.

“You can get delays caused by different things. It could be rolling stock broken down, something wrong with the line or a problem with signalling.”

Tony Ford, chairman of the South Fylde Line Community Rail Partnership, added: “Any delays to train services on the line are relayed remotely through the PA system at each station so passengers are made aware of any problems or delays as soon as they can be.

“The poor weather over the last few weeks has inevitably contributed to delays though often the knock effect from on one route impacting on another can cause considerable disruption to traveller’s journeys.

But Mr Ford admits more could still be done.

He said: “With technology changing almost every day there is always going to be room for improvement and I would welcome any developments which improve passengers’ experience.

“Passengers using the South Fylde line hourly service can miss connections due to delays so improving station announcements and embracing new technology may help alleviate some of those problems.”