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Author Topic: So you want public transport timetables changed?  (Read 173 times)
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« on: September 02, 2020, 12:45:36 pm »

There is a lot of information in there and a lot of work undertaken to draw it in from a number of sources.  A useful reference particularly if you are in Melksham but some of the topics also have a wider appeal.

Thank you Bob - quoting from "there" below for more general information.

So you want public transport timetables changed?  

Firstly you have to convince everyone it's a good idea, that it's a free from risk as possible, that no-one is going to loose out, that it's sustainable, that it works through pinch points, that it fits with future strategies, and that it costs next to nothing. And, yes, I mean everyone

Secondly you have to convince people to put the time and effort into planning the changes and taking ownership of them and a pride in them and see them through.  Lots of good ideas are lost in the wilderness of "not invented here" and the jungle of "no-one gets fired for maintaining the status quo" before looking for a way to cross the "Ooz gonna pay4 it" river.

And when you have acheived both of those, thirdly, you have to negotiate the changes through the industry's systems

From (page 4) of the MRUG Newsletter for September 2020 ... from the public, they should know - well - a month or two ahead

Notice period for changes

The rail industry has been required to give 12 weeks notice of timetable changes and changes for planned engineering in recent years. Sometimes it's failed to do so and only notified changes 6 to 8 weeks ahead. Recently, those notice periods have not been applied and at time the timetable for the one week has only been published during the previous week, with weekend schedules just a few days out.

The bus industry requires up to 72 days notice of timetable changes (though they are often made public only at 28 or 42 days). Once again, changes are happening on a far shorter timescale than "required" at present, but we have been moving to knowing a little further ahead than just a few days.

There is further data about how that is planned within the rail industry ((here)) on the Network Rail web site, showing that in practise the changes are supposed to be in the pipleline nearly a year and a half ahead.

Network Rail is responsible for coordinating and validating timetables for the national rail network. Each train and freight operating company develops the timetable they would like to run in their area, and Network Rail then coordinates all the different timetables to produce a single national rail timetable.

We update the timetable for the national rail network twice a year, once in May, once in December. This allows train and freight operating companies a regular opportunity to make changes to their services – run more or new services, change the timing of their services, and/or change their routes.

The national timetable needs to balance what can be many competing demands – the heavily used commuter services, slower stopping trains serving small communities, non‐stop fast trains running between major cities, as well as the requirements of businesses that rely on freight.

We have to manage the available space on the rail network so that it is used fairly and safely.

Developing the timetable is a very complex process that seeks to balance
the needs and ambitions of all operators. We have to consult many different organisations as we develop a new national timetable, and it takes 16 months.

How a timetable is developed

16 months in advance
Network Rail establishes what long‐term engineering work will need to take place as part of its ongoing Railway Upgrade Plan during the period of the new timetable.

14 months in advance
Train and freight operating companies give Network Rail advance notice of any significant changes they wish to make to their current timetable.

10 months in advance
Train and freight operating companies formally submit (‘bid’) their new timetable. For the next three months, Network Rail works on developing the new national timetable from all these bids, checking for conflicts between different operators, and ensuring that trains can be run safely.

6 months in advance
Network Rail provides the rail industry with a national ‘base’ timetable, enabling operators to start planning logistics, produce rotas and train staff.

4 months in advance
Operators can ‘bid’ for readjustments to their new timetable to take into account such things as known special events or weekend engineering work. Network Rail again works through the bids for each and every week to ensure there are no conflicts and trains can be run safely.

3 months in advance
The new timetable for each week is finalised and the railway industry formally publishes the timetable to passengers. Advance tickets go on sale.

Day of timetable change
The new timetable comes into operation.

During the period the timetable is operating
Network Rail works very closely with operators to accommodate changes to the timetable, such as increasing services ahead of a sporting event, allowing for emergency engineering works to take place, or manage severe weather.

It can be done ... but you need to have elements of madness to try.  I would not disagree that at times I have elements of madness.

Coffee Shop Admin, Vice Chair of Melksham Rail User Group, and on the board of TravelWatch SouthWest.
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