Ticket Barriers Closed

How can the transport industry improve communications when strikes happen?

We asked our digital community if they were aware of strike action taking place on the transport network earlier this month.

The good news was that an overwhelming majority were – 93%. The majority of those who were aware found out through news media (online, radio, tv).

Others stated they found out about the strikes from station announcements, posters and email updates from transport providers.

This shows how important news consumption still is for Londoners. It also suggests transport providers should continue to make sure they own information around travel advice and to get it right.

Unfortunately, 13% of rail passengers said the quality of information around strikes from train companies has got worse this year (2022).

A common theme for those who responded was that they wanted earlier and clearer travel information where possible. Others said they don’t want to be told not to travel when that’s not an option.

A London TravelWatch spokesperson said: 

‘There is a real danger that people become desensitised to news about train strikes and they zone out just at the mention of them. After so many months of strikes, posters at stations start to seem like they’re part of the furniture and people stop noticing them. Can we try something different?

‘Train companies especially need to up their game to make sure the quality of information people are getting is fit for purpose. Being told not to travel is of little use to someone that needs to get to work or keep an important medical appointment.’

What else did our community say?

“I sometimes think the industry assumes we all have multiple apps and social media to keep ourselves updated.”

“I would like to see all the info on one website rather than having to search all individual companies and routes.”

“Don’t advise people to not travel, some people need to travel.”

“Tell us what trains are running and don’t say ‘Not to travel.’ There are quite a few services running and we need to be told where and when.”

“The Elizabeth Line seems to be neither train nor tube but strikes affect the line because of shared signalling with national rail. More information on that would be great.”

“Ensure that shops selling Oyster cards have information about strikes on display & ticket machines have information on screen.”

“Provide a single shared source for information about strikes, instead of separate webpages for each company. This could help people in planning alternative travel arrangements.”

“Telling people not to travel when trains are operating though to limited hours only damages the industry. People should be encouraged to travel for train income purposes though made aware of reduced hours.”

We have shared this information with the transport industry (train operators and TfL) and will request that these views are factored into future planning and communications when strike action is taking place.

If you would like to make sure your voice is heard for all things London transport, sign up to our digital community now.