Train Graphic
Great Western Passengers' Forum Great Western Coffee Shop - [home] and [about]
Read about the forum [here].
Register and contribute [here] - it's free.
A compromise may be better than your initial idea - [here]
 27/04/2019 - TransWilts AGM
27/04/2019 - Melksham to Swanage trip
28/04/2019 - Melksham to Seaton trip
02/05/2019 - WWRUG - Trowbridge
15/05/2019 - Community Rail in the City
18/05/2019 - RailFuture AGM, Cardiff
Random Image
Train Running @GWR Twitter Acronyms/Abbreviations Station Comparator Rail news GWR co. site Site Style 1 2 3 4 Chat on off
Next departures • Bristol Temple MeadsBath SpaChippenhamSwindonDidcot ParkwayReadingLondon PaddingtonMelksham
Exeter St DavidsTauntonWestburyTrowbridgeBristol ParkwayCardiff CentralOxfordCheltenham SpaBirmingham New Street
April 21, 2019, 02:18:20 pm *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Forgotten your username or password? - get a reminder
Most liked recent subjects
[141] Great Western Main Line electrification - ongoing discussion
[121] IETs into passenger service from 16 Oct 2017 and subsequent pe...
[76] "Nationalise to end chaos" - Diane Abbot MP (Sunday ...
[47] Easter Quiz
[37] Where was Red Squirrel?
[24] Sickness and Season tickets
News: A forum for passengers ... with input from rail professionals welcomed too
 
   Home   Help Search Calendar Login Register  
Pages: [1]
  Print  
Author Topic: Ten big questions  (Read 294 times)
grahame
Administrator
Hero Member
*****
Posts: 24656



View Profile WWW Email
« on: April 14, 2019, 11:29:59 am »

Ten big questions - looking forward on rail and journey-including-rail travel in the UK

How do you update the fare system (and other elements of rail) so that it's all fair and understandable?
How do you do about setting up franchising / train operation management for the future?
How do you get trains and buses to connect and persuade people to use the connections?
How do you set up a system of revenue protection that is tough on those who try to avoid paying, yet does not frighten off the nervous nor penalise those who make a genuin mistake?
How do you specify upgrades and new facilities so that they're routinely planned and delivered at an acceptable cost, on time, on budget, and performing as required?
How do you plan and provide for medium and long term provision when your masters are on a 4 or 5 year "popularity" test through elections?
How do you get Jo Public involved in telling you what he would like in future provision for his children, and in such form that the inputs are practical and balanced?
How do you balance safety, access for all, equality of provision and environmental and wider issues against cost?
How do you avoid getting utterly depressed when you see how many difficult and big questions there are?

Oh - just nine there. I've come in under budget. What would YOU add??
Logged

Coffee Shop Admin, Member of Melksham Rail User Group, on the board of TravelWatch SouthWest and some more things besides
Lee
Global Moderator
Hero Member
*****
Posts: 6484

He who laughs last hasn't got all the facts.


View Profile WWW
« Reply #1 on: April 14, 2019, 01:02:00 pm »

With the upcoming major GWR timetable changes, GWR invited respected passenger/community representatives such as grahame and RichardB to look over the proposed draft timetables and point out potential issues and suggest improvements. However, it seemed to me that this process was a purely consultative one, with GWR, Network Rail etc perfectly at liberty to ignore such inputs if they so chose.

Now, if you had a system where respected passenger/community representatives such as grahame and RichardB had to actually approve the timetables for a major change before they could be implemented, then I suspect that you would end up with timetables that were genuinely more reflective of and responsive to passenger requirements, whilst still being operationally robust.
Logged

Currently muddling along the Guingamp-Carhaix line

http://twitter.com/research_gwchat
grahame
Administrator
Hero Member
*****
Posts: 24656



View Profile WWW Email
« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2019, 06:42:07 am »

With the upcoming major GWR timetable changes, GWR invited respected passenger/community representatives such as grahame and RichardB to look over the proposed draft timetables and point out potential issues and suggest improvements. However, it seemed to me that this process was a purely consultative one, with GWR, Network Rail etc perfectly at liberty to ignore such inputs if they so chose.

Now, if you had a system where respected passenger/community representatives such as grahame and RichardB had to actually approve the timetables for a major change before they could be implemented, then I suspect that you would end up with timetables that were genuinely more reflective of and responsive to passenger requirements, whilst still being operationally robust.

Flattered, Lee, thank you.  I do agree that the timetable planning system can leave a lot to be desired.

* You have the primary requirement to meet the franchise requirements which (arguably) has been set by the government in response to the will of parliament which itself as been chosen by the people - including those of us you've named.

* You have the requirement on a commercial operator / company to run their business for profit, which tends to work along the lines of more passengers - but then having the fares set to maximise firebox receipts, and to prioritise business profitable journeys over socially and wider economically advantageous ones

* You have robustness requirements which at times discourage risks for fear of penalties incurred exceeding extra profit

* You have a complex system which (perhaps) too few skilled staff are struggling to run and interact with right across the UK, leading to the thought that "it meets spec" is the more what you get than "it's the very best that could be done".   The complexity is cyclic - the SLC is designed (and has complication added) to help propel it towards that best, but often leaves loopholes of weirdness.

Yes - it would be nice to rebalance elements and give the more technical regional elements some rebalanced input . We are headed for a 2020 where previous connections and service times are torn asunder in the central GWR area at the altar of retimed and increased high speed trains on limited infrastructure.  Some of those changes may be justified - chucking away low levels of current traffic for a new and potentially greater traffic. Example - replace the train (round trip) at about 12:00 from Westbury to Swindon with one at 05:18 (up only) is arguably ok in the longer term but will cause short term concern.  Failing to add an equal and opposite working back from Swindon at 22:30 and leaving an unbalanced service on the line (9 one way, 8 the other) is open to question ... but then that is specified by the Dft, which is directed by the government, which is elected by the likes of me and you - so I've had my say, haven't I?
Logged

Coffee Shop Admin, Member of Melksham Rail User Group, on the board of TravelWatch SouthWest and some more things besides
CyclingSid
Transport Scholar
Hero Member
******
Posts: 360


View Profile
« Reply #3 on: April 15, 2019, 04:37:50 pm »

Is there a need for consistency, an end to stop-start investment etc. Maintenance, as opposed to leaving things until they have to be replaced, I realise this is the nature of public funding; money for new flowers no money for cutting the grass. I see various bridges that appear to be held together by the rust.

Integration between different modes of transport. It appeared to happen in my youth. Was that because there was basically on train company and in each area one bus company. At least one of those run for the public good.
Logged
Lee
Global Moderator
Hero Member
*****
Posts: 6484

He who laughs last hasn't got all the facts.


View Profile WWW
« Reply #4 on: April 15, 2019, 06:44:03 pm »

Integration between different modes of transport. It appeared to happen in my youth. Was that because there was basically on train company and in each area one bus company. At least one of those run for the public good.

Here's how I remember it:


The list of ex-ministers should include Sir David Mitchell (1983 - 88, in two roles) at DfT.
He with SoS Nicholas Ridley (Civil Engineer) put through much of the 1980's electrification.

He should have his statue at KX IMHO, Tory or not.

OTC

Growing up as I did in Portsmouth on the South Coast in the 1980s, Ridley is probably the one that sticks in my mind too.

On the minus side:

Bus deregulation and the privatisation/selling off into many pieces of the National Bus Company was steered through on Ridley's watch. Apart from the obvious overnight change and upheaval I remember at the time, I am always mindful of two longer-term effects this policy has had.

1) Before bus deregulation, it was not made obvious to passengers exactly which bus services or journeys on a particular route were loss-making. Once bus deregulation took place though, timetables suddenly began to show the note "Operated under contract to X County Council", thus making the difference between commercial and subsidised journeys very clear.

This system worked ok in the early days when local authorities had the resources and bus subsidies based on social need were higher up the priority list, and actually worked in a largely positive way when successive Labour governments had ring-fenced transport grants to give out to fund such bus services with.

However, one of the first things that the incoming Conservative-led government did in 2010 was to remove the transport grants, and what funding remained available was no longer ring-fenced and often got diverted to other things that councils saw as a higher priority. This led immediately to a bonfire of evening and Sunday bus services, and as time has gone on has to led to a situation where central government has lit the fuse in the form of ever-reducing council funding, and then thrown the bomb over to passengers, bus companies and local authorities to play bus cuts pass the parcel with. This manifests itself in the kind of battles over disappearing bus services that we often document on this forum, and which central government has contrived to stand as far away as possible from despite creating the conditions for such disputes in the first place.

2) We often discuss on the forum how we can best integrate bus and rail ticketing. However, what people have forgotten over time is that prior to bus deregulation, it was the norm to have integrated bus and rail travelcards, certainly in the towns and cities on the south coast where I grew up. Overnight though, all the new bus companies seemingly brought out their standalone products, with hardly any negotiating the continuation of arrangements with rail. Ironically, a key reason not as much progress has been made as one would have liked in the interim is due to fear of the very competition laws that were allegedly there to improve things for passengers in the first place.

As I've said elsewhere, I feel that our Option 24/7 Bus Franchising concept offers a potential model for a way forward on this.
Logged

Currently muddling along the Guingamp-Carhaix line

http://twitter.com/research_gwchat
Do you have something you would like to add to this thread, or would you like to raise a new question at the Coffee Shop? Please [register] (it is free) if you have not done so before, or login (at the top of this page) if you already have an account - we would love to read what you have to say!

You can find out more about how this forum works [here] - that will link you to a copy of the forum agreement that you can read before you join, and tell you very much more about how we operate. We are an independent forum, provided and run by customers of Great Western Railway, for customers of Great Western Railway and we welcome railway professionals as members too, in either a personal or official capacity. Views expressed in posts are not necessarily the views of the operators of the forum.

As well as posting messages onto existing threads, and starting new subjects, members can communicate with each other through personal messages if they wish. And once members have made a certain number of posts, they will automatically be admitted to the "frequent posters club", where subjects not-for-public-domain are discussed; anything from the occasional rant to meetups we may be having ...

 
Pages: [1]
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.2 | SMF © 2006-2007, Simple Machines LLC Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
This forum is provided by a customer of Great Western Railway (formerly First Great Western), and the views expressed are those of the individual posters concerned. Visit www.gwr.com for the official Great Western Railway website. Please contact the administrators of this site if you feel that the content provided by one of our posters contravenes our posting rules (email link). Forum hosted by Well House Consultants