A pledge made by the Department for Transport to remove unnecessary train announcements has been dismissed as a “PR stunt” that fails to address the real priorities of passengers.
The announcement on January 20 to get rid of ‘tannoy spam’, described by Secretary of State for Transport Grant Shapps as a “bonfire of banalities”, was met by widespread derision from those who felt the matter to be trivial compared with more pressing issues currently facing passengers.
Critics included Labour’s Shadow Transport Secretary Louise Haigh, who accused the Government of “falling silent” over increasing ticket prices and a growing cost-of-living crisis.
RMT General Secretary Mick Lynch added: “No one ever complained about receiving too much information about rail services. This is clearly nothing but a PR stunt by this collapsing Government.”
Several industry leaders also seemed puzzled that tackling nuisance announcements should have emerged as a priority area for DfT officials.
Independent rail consultant and former Strategic Rail Authority Operations MD Iryna Terlecky asked on social media: “Have you really got nothing better to do?”
And Rail Freight Group Director General Maggie Simpson OBE mused: “I wonder what would happen if they just turned all of them off?”
Disability campaigners also questioned the wisdom of creating quieter journeys if it risked placing hearing or visually impaired passengers at a disadvantage.
However, the move was welcomed by some passenger watchdogs and by the Rail Delivery Group.
To read the full story, see RAIL 950
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dave59 - 04/02/2022 18:48
Journeys in Europe dont have endless announcements. Shapps is right.
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Duncan Wilson - 09/02/2022 17:38
What a fool Shapps is. Yes, there're too many announcements, but they are a minor niggle, nothing more. This is being trotted out to distract the more gullible sections of society from the disastrous cuts to Northern Powerhouse Rail. I for one aren't buying it. Try finding something worthwhile to fight for, like electrification, raising of line speeds, installation of ETMS signalling, even replacing the awful seats on LNER's Azumas is more important to passengers. You take passengers in Hull, we'd happily put up with a bit of waffling for electrification, speed increases, journey time reductions, a station that doesn't look like Dracula's Lair where you're more likely to get attacked by a Heroine addict or gang member, or accosted by the local prostitutes touting for trade. Fix the big issues first before moving on to the niggles.
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