Rail chiefs 'weren't ready' for big freeze

Rail bosses have finally confessed something any commuter would already know... they were "not quite ready" for last year's big freeze.

Rail bosses admit they 'weren't ready' for the big freeze
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At a Transport Select Committee hearing yesterday, operations and customer services director for Network Rail, Robin Gisby admitted that the company had "got into a pickle" when the bad weather hit, despite weeks of warnings from the Met Office.

He also suggested that attempting to run a full timetable during the heavy snow rather than a temporary one was a "mistake".

"We made a number of mistakes in the first week. We learnt from this quite rapidly."

But consumer groups have slammed executives for not alerting travellers to problems with services as it emerged that thousands were sold tickets for trains that would never run.

Chris Scoggins, chief executive of National Rail Enquiries, pointed out that passengers were warned of potential changes to timetable but admitted that "it was possible that you could buy tickets for trains that were not going to run.

"We need to carry on working with Network Rail to ensure changes to timetables can be passed through to passengers more quickly."

That will be of little comfort to commuters, many of whom faced long waits in the cold, not to mention those who were stuck on trains overnight.

Ashwin Kumar, director of watchdog Passenger Focus, told the Daily Express: "When bad weather means services are likely to be altered, a passenger should be able to go to bed knowing what will be running the next day.

"It cannot be right that train companies are taking money for services that they knew wouldn't be running."

What do you think? Should Britain's rail companies do more to update passengers on timetables during bad weather? Leave a comment in the box below...