Train Graphic
Great Western Passengers' Forum [home] and [about]
November lockdown advice
Forum in and beyond Coronavirus
DfT Covid Travel Advice
Read about the forum [here].
Register [here] - it's free.
What do I gain from registering? [here]
 01/12/20 - Tuesday Club - ONLINE
04/12/20 - TWSW AGM - ONLINE
09/12/20 - Community Rail Network Awards
13/01/21 - Melksham RUG - ONLINE
Random Image
Train Running Polls Acronyms/Abbreviations Station Comparator Rail news GWR co. site Site Style 1 2 3 4
Next departures • Bristol Temple MeadsBath SpaChippenhamSwindonDidcot ParkwayReadingLondon PaddingtonMelksham
Exeter St DavidsTauntonWestburyTrowbridgeBristol ParkwayCardiff CentralOxfordCheltenham SpaBirmingham New Street
November 29, 2020, 02:10:31 am *
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
[127] Six new stations between Cardiff and Severn Tunnel - proposal
[80] Expansion of SWR services to Swindon and Okehampton?
[58] Bristol Zoo on the move
[52] Cholsey Station: J J Hutt coal wagon
[26] Crossrail - further delay
[25] Scotrail bans alcohol at all stations and trains
News: A forum for passengers ... with input from rail professionals welcomed too
   Home   Help Search Calendar Login Register  
Pages: [1]
Author Topic: Coronavirus: principles for amending transport timetables  (Read 422 times)
Hero Member
Posts: 31298

View Profile WWW Email
« on: March 20, 2020, 11:54:46 am »

From Transport Focus and mirrored on our site at

Coronavirus: principles for amending transport timetables

In the coming days/weeks it is likely that public transport timetables will be reduced, reflecting both lower demand and the availability of staff. This is a pragmatic and reasonable reaction provided that the remaining ‘product’ can still meet the core needs of consumers.

The following are some principles to take into account when revising timetables.

1. Network planning
• Coordination: where several companies serve the same market, efforts must be made to coordinate timetables rather than each being introduced in isolation.
• Consistency of approach: a situation where one operator may offer a standard Saturday level of service, another a Sunday level, and a third a modified weekday service is confusing to passengers.
• Relaxation of ticketing rules to give consumers a better choice of services. For example:
o relaxing operator-specific restrictions (the ability to use any operator’s service)
o relaxing time restrictions when services are withdrawn. For example, if the first off-peak service is withdrawn then allow passengers with off-peak tickets to board the previous one rather than having to wait for the next scheduled off-peak train.

2. Timetables
• Frequency: service frequency adopted must be sufficient to meet the demand but must also be regular enough to maintain reasonable access to essential services (for example healthcare, and supermarkets).
• Capacity/rolling stock (rail): the number of carriages provided should not just reflect levels of demand, it should also take into account the need for passengers to keep a safe distance from each other. This will likely mean a degree of over-provision.
• First/last/night services: while demand will inevitably be less at such times the needs of key workers must be factored in. Some people will still need to get to work/home outside of core hours. Existing first and last services should be maintained – a Sunday service frequency may be OK, but Sunday service start-up and close-down times may not be.
• Saturday and Sunday: service patterns must again recognise the needs of key workers and of providing access to socially necessary services.
• Stopping patterns: in most instances inserting additional stops to enhance overall connectivity should take priority over journey time/speed.
• Resilience: focus on providing a robust service that can be reliably provided given likely/potential staff sickness.

3. Connections
• While recognising that outgoing services cannot be held indefinitely for the arrival of the late incoming service, there should be a greater use of discretion by operators (with a necessary allowance made in regulatory/performance regimes). The decision whether to hold a connection must take into account the frequency of the service (for example if an hourly frequency, it is important to hold connections for longer).
• Rail connections should be held in the following circumstances:
o on branch lines where the outgoing train’s main purpose is to pick up
passengers from the main line. Running a service on time but empty is
of no use to passengers
o where it is a connection with the last service of the day.
• When services are to be withdrawn, or long-standing connections broken, efforts must be made to ensure ongoing connectivity for those places most affected.

4. Accessibility
• Any move to hub-and-spoke service patterns must ensure that the key interchange points selected are accessible.
• Revised timetables must indicate where disabled access is available.

5. Communication
• Where feasible, effort should be made to engage users and/or representative bodies. This could include asking agencies/representatives for evidence on which to base decisions, consultation on key changes, and creating mechanisms to review/react to any unintended consequences arising from the changes.
• All changes must be well publicised using a variety of channels.
• Consistency: every effort should be made to ensure that there is a ‘single
source of the truth’ on timetable information rather than different channels
giving different information on the same service.
• Push/publicise ‘live-running’ sources of data.
• Where a train is withdrawn from the timetable on which passengers have
already bought tickets, efforts should be made to get in touch with those passengers beforehand. Don’t let passengers turn up and then find out about the cancellation.

I have taken the unusual step of quoting in full as public information; pretty sure they won't be upset about me going beyond the normally accepted copyright limits ...

HUGE lot of sense in the above!

Coffee Shop Admin, Vice Chair of Melksham Rail User Group, and on the board of TravelWatch SouthWest.
Hero Member
Posts: 312

View Profile
« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2020, 12:16:54 pm »

Just 13 vehicles in Tilehurst Station car park this morning at 0915, and I suspect that a couple may have "over-nighters".

(I'd popped in to get a copy of Metro, of which there were understandably many copies.)
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]
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 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

Jump to top of pageJump to Forum Home Page