Service policy

Railfuture’s priority for passenger travel is to increase the railway’s market share against other motorised transport modes, primarily the motor car. It is vital that the passenger experience is as good as it can possibly be for passengers to feel that fares and parking charges are good value.
Rail journeys must be fast and services must be frequent and operate from early morning to late night (stranded passengers are unlikely to return to the railway). There is a compromise between journey times and the number of stops. However, increasing line speed should be a priority rather than disadvantaging passengers in order to remain competitive with the car.
The trains must be comfortable to travel in; both trains and stations must be a pleasant and safe environment with adequate facilities:
  1. Visible station staff at all main stations and key interchanges for the duration of services. We will argue for a station presence where practical, on the TfL/London Overground model. Toilets to remain open the entire time that a station is staffed
  2. Sufficient ticket vending machines (TVMs) so that queuing time is less than five minutes. Fast and intelligent interfaces to reduce time lost navigating; multi-lingual displays to help people who lack English fluency to reduce the time spent at the TVM
  3. Cover from the rain for all passenger movement areas once inside the main station premises. Passengers should not get wet when transferring between trains or from buses and taxis
  4. Retail outlets open for as many hours as possible, enabled by multi-skilled staff
  5. Comprehensive recorded CCTV coverage on trains and all passenger areas at stations
  6. Capacity on trains so that passengers standing is the exception not the norm, with sensible use made of all available seats in the train (first class declassified/ discounted as appropriate). We will seek to influence new design and upgrade of rolling stock to improve the journey experience for all passengers.
  7. Capacity at stations to allow movement without unnecessary queuing (sufficient barriers, wide footbridges and platforms etc). There is little point speeding up services if it takes 10 minutes to leave the station because there are 1,000 people trying to do so.
  8. The railway must not be ‘off limits’ or an ordeal for people with limited mobility. We will argue for expansion of the ‘Access for All’ programme to cover more stations, with standards covering all disabilities, not just those visible.
  9. When stations are upgraded to cope with extra passengers, such as lengthening platforms to allow longer trains to call, facilities must be expanded to cope with more people waiting as the same time: increased waiting shelters/seating, more toilets etc.
  10. Adequate litter bins on trains and at stations (action to reduce terrorist incidents must not be excessive) with all staff (not just cleaners) being expected to keep facilities presentable
  11. Real-time train information should be available in all passenger areas - passengers should not have to walk back to the main building to find what has happened to their train. We will seek improved service information available to passengers, especially during disruption, and improved punctuality.
  12. Comprehensive up-to-date information about train services and station layout and facilities available on web-site to enable advance planning and reduce need to ask station staff
  13. All reasonable means taken to provide a rail service to avoid rail replacement buses; minimise length of journey on buses; ensure bus driver knows the route in advance; cope satisfactorily with passengers who have bicycles and large luggage.

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