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BBC Breakfast travel reports - unhelpful?

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northwichcat

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This morning BBC North West kept repeating that services are suspended on the Altrincham to Chester line due to overrunning engineering work. They didn't report that Network Rail services said the line should be reopen by 08:15. They repeated the same message on the 08:30 bulletin by which time the 08:17 Manchester to Chester had departed Manchester, the 07:34 Chester to Stockport had got as far as Northwich (so was very late) and the 08:04 Chester to Manchester was at Greenbank.

Aren't travel reports effectively useless if BBC didn't bother to update them?
 
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PeterC

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BBC can only up-date them if they are told that things have changed.
I don't know about advice of traffic reports but having worked on the music side of the media you get:

1. The people who don't understand schedules and advise you too late, even when they have known for ages.
2. The people who don't (bother to) understand your coverage and send you the wrong stuff
3. The ones who think that you employ Harry Potter and divine their details by magic
4. A minority who send the right stuff to the right place at the right time.
 

CosherB

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This morning BBC North West kept repeating that services are suspended on the Altrincham to Chester line due to overrunning engineering work. They didn't report that Network Rail services said the line should be reopen by 08:15. They repeated the same message on the 08:30 bulletin by which time the 08:17 Manchester to Chester had departed Manchester, the 07:34 Chester to Stockport had got as far as Northwich (so was very late) and the 08:04 Chester to Manchester was at Greenbank.

Aren't travel reports effectively useless if BBC didn't bother to update them?

Perhaps you should volunteer your services to the BBC at Salford Quays?
 

northwichcat

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BBC can only up-date them if they are told that things have changed.

Northern Rail had on their website and Twitter feed at 6am that the line was scheduled to reopen at 8:15am. Were the BBC only going to report that if someone from Northern or Network Rail phoned up the BBC confirming the line had reopened?

While not rail related BBC North West were contacted about GHA Coaches going in to administration meaning many bus services in Cheshire were not operating but they chose not to report it. ITV Granada Reports gave it a brief mention but decided as the operator were based in Wrexham a detailed report on the evening news wasn't required.
 
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3141

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Suggest you make a complaint to http://www.bbc.co.uk/complaints/complain-online/

Much of the information broadcast about rail it broadcasts is frequently out-of-date or completely inaccurate.

And not only about rail!

But I think a major cause of the rail news inadequacies is that the focus of these programmes is not on providing up-to-date practical information that listeners or viewers might need. It's about whatever "issues" the editorial staff want to push at the time, or incorporating reports that staff have put together and want to be broadcast. They'll also be looking at what competitors are doing and thinking about viewing/listening rates. To get an effective service about the travelling situation you'd probably need a dedicated programme whose staff see the provision of that sort of information as their greatest priority.
 

Llanigraham

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Northern Rail had on their website and Twitter feed at 6am that the line was scheduled to reopen at 8:15am. Were the BBC only going to report that if someone from Northern or Network Rail phoned up the BBC confirming the line had reopened?
And?
You make the presumption that the BBC follow a Twitter feed, which I very much doubt. From my experience they will only report what they are told, so until Northern or NR said it was open they would continue with the previous report.

While not rail related BBC North West were contacted about GHA Coaches going in to administration meaning many bus services in Cheshire were not operating but they chose not to report it. ITV Granada Reports gave it a brief mention but decided as the operator were based in Wrexham a detailed report on the evening news wasn't required.
That is a News item, not anything to do with Traffic Reports, so is not relevant, and appears to be nothing more than an excuse to moan about the BBC.
 

northwichcat

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And?
You make the presumption that the BBC follow a Twitter feed, which I very much doubt. From my experience they will only report what they are told, so until Northern or NR said it was open they would continue with the previous report.

So are you a so called BBC local journalist? If so can you confirm that you don't look for news and you wait to be told of news, hence making you a media administrator not a journalist? If not you're making presumptions which may not be true and I cited more than one place the information was available so you're wrong to say I'm making the presumption they follow a certain Twitter feed. Also guess what I've just checked one of the North West bulletin presenter's Twitter feed and they do follow Northern on Twitter!

That is a News item, not anything to do with Traffic Reports, so is not relevant, and appears to be nothing more than an excuse to moan about the BBC.

Buses not running is a travel item. The bus company going in to administration is a news item.
 
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RAPC

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BBC get reports of disruption direct from the local TOCs in the area and work to whatever they are told until either the information has lapsed, or new information has been provided.

You would indeed think that other sources could be cross-referenced too, but as these can often be out of sync, they normally stick to the official updates, rightly or wrongly.

Likely to either be Northern submitting an open ended notice first thing, or an update not being updated for broadcast.
 
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Clip

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So are you a so called BBC local journalist? If so can you confirm that you don't look for news and you wait to be told of news, hence making you a media administrator not a journalist? If not you're making presumptions which may not be true and I cited more than one place the information was available so you're wrong to say I'm making the presumption they follow a certain Twitter feed. Also guess what I've just checked one of the North West bulletin presenter's Twitter feed and they do follow Northern on Twitter!



Buses not running is a travel item. The bus company going in to administration is a news item.

You seem to be under the impression that the morning news rooms are stuffed with people to assist whereas from watching the london its just the one the presenter controls the cameras and everything and even though they get the feed direct from TfL for the tubes it can still be wrong. Even the other day she went to the traffic cameras because of the usual delays on the woolwich flyover and had been all morning but had cleared by the 0830 report so it looked daft when she cliucked on it.
 

Llanigraham

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So are you a so called BBC local journalist? If so can you confirm that you don't look for news and you wait to be told of news, hence making you a media administrator not a journalist? If not you're making presumptions which may not be true and I cited more than one place the information was available so you're wrong to say I'm making the presumption they follow a certain Twitter feed. Also guess what I've just checked one of the North West bulletin presenter's Twitter feed and they do follow Northern on Twitter!



Buses not running is a travel item. The bus company going in to administration is a news item.

If you look under my Forum name you will see I am not a BBC journalist!
I note that others on here confirm what I have said.

I suggest that instead of complaining on here you follow the correct procedure and complain to the BBC.
 

bicbasher

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This is the first time I've seen anyone rely on a BBC regional news tv bulletin for travel news.

Down in London, we get a generic script where they read from the TfL status page. BBC local radio is much better though, with dedicated travel reporters.
 

Starmill

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Surely it's preferable for outlets like BBC News on TV not to bother with travel updates than for them to do them but badly.
 

Requeststop

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I find that the train travel advisories on the BBC local webpages to be totally useless, with useless information, even if it were correct!

For Instance:

St Erth: Cross Country:

No Service on Cross Country between St Erth and Penzance due to lineside fire. Tickets being accepted on Great Western Railway Services.

Great Western Railway: Replacement Services:

Replacement bus service running on Great Western Railway between St Erth and St Ives (Cornwall), and between St Erth and Penzance due to lineside fire. Tickets being accepted on First Kernow bus services.

All well and good but there is nothing to also inform everyone that there are no services west of Truro and what to do? Nothing for passengers travelling from Plymouth, Bristol, and all the way up to Manchester or even (God Help Them) from Glasgow and Dundee and from Paddington, what is happening from Truro onwards what to do.

As my school reports might have said, Could do better.
 

Clip

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Nothing for passengers travelling from Plymouth, Bristol, and all the way up to Manchester or even (God Help Them) from Glasgow and Dundee and from Paddington, what is happening from Truro onwards what to do.

As my school reports might have said, Could do better.

Well im not sure how many people that sort of information would be usefull for do you?
 

kieron

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While not rail related BBC North West were contacted about GHA Coaches going in to administration meaning many bus services in Cheshire were not operating but they chose not to report it. ITV Granada Reports gave it a brief mention but decided as the operator were based in Wrexham a detailed report on the evening news wasn't required.
Do you know if the Midlands versions made any more of it? The BBC have radio stations based in Shropshire and Staffordshire, so they had a bit more chance of noticing how it affected people.
 

philjo

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This is the first time I've seen anyone rely on a BBC regional news tv bulletin for travel news.

Down in London, we get a generic script where they read from the TfL status page. BBC local radio is much better though, with dedicated travel reporters.
My Dad tends to use the rail information provided on page 432 on the BBC red button - (previously used Ceefax which had more detailed info). some of the info on there usually contradicts itself!
He does not have a computer or mobile so any online sources are not an option for him.
Though i tend to check online if I know that he is going anywhere.
 

Andyh82

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It annoys me on the radio travel news when they say something like

"A broken down train at Garforth is currently causing delays on Northern Rail between Leeds and Selby, it's also effecting Transpennine Express between Leeds and Scarborough and Leeds and Newcastle and also Crosscountry between Leeds and Edinburgh"

Overly complicated when it's basically one route effected not five.


On a separate note, Slightly annoying was how far too many reports about the VTEC strike were illustrated with footage of a Pendolino, one report also featured a Voyager which may have been an archive Virgin Crosscountry one.
 
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CosherB

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It annoys me on the radio travel news when they say something like

"A broken down train at Garforth is currently causing delays on Northern Rail between Leeds and Selby, it's also effecting Transpennine Express between Leeds and Scarborough and Leeds and Newcastle and also Crosscountry between Leeds and Edinburgh"

Overly complicated when it's basically one route effected not five.


Slightly annoying was how far too many reports about the VTEC strike were illustrated with footage of a Pendolino, one report also featured a Voyager which may have been an archive Virgin Crosscountry one.

Wow, what sort of radio do you use that has pictures?! :p
 

Pete268

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In pre internet days, I used a small radio with earphones for entertainment 'on the move' whilst on the train from Northallerton to London.

I was quite alarmed when the travel announcer on BBC Radio York boldly said that the train I was travelling on (and which had just left York) had been cancelled!

Pete
 

47271

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BBC Radio Scotland has an annoying habit of giving up on any form of travel information at weekends. Not on a train this time, but we and half of Scotland got stuck in the snow on various roads one Sunday at the end of 2010. We had no mobile signal where we were but perfect FM. Radio Scotland were doing nothing but play old show tunes solidly for two hours.
 

me123

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I would agree that the breakfast travel reports are rather pointless nowadays. Most people probably check on their mobile phone/computer rather than waiting for a bulletin that (IIRC) appears just once an hour. Given the size of the regions covered (Scotland for example is a big area with many traffic problems), and the approximately 30 seconds they have to cover the travel, they quite simply aren't going to be able to cover everything. Certainly on the roads, some significant traffic problems seem to go unnoticed, or perhaps aren't mentioned because of time constraints. The reporting of the railways can be very variable - some information about emergency engineering is of course useful, but a lot of the time they'll randomly tell you about a train that's due to depart in five minutes being cancelled - I can't imagine that information is of use to very many people. Even when they do this, it doesn't reflect the whole network - again BBC Scotland may highlight delays in the Edinburgh Area, but could fail to mention similar delays in the Glasgow area.

If it's not comprehensive and not contemporaneous, then I'd suggest that they should scrap it and use the time to talk about local news instead. Particularly for the devolved nations - the devolved issues get very little airtime during the morning news bulletin.
 

mikemcniven

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Quite often the news is out of date, sometimes with Metrolink near me the service has resumed hours ago, and they still comment saying it's suspended or delayed.
 

Altrincham

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This morning BBC North West kept repeating that services are suspended on the Altrincham to Chester line due to overrunning engineering work. They didn't report that Network Rail services said the line should be reopen by 08:15. They repeated the same message on the 08:30 bulletin by which time the 08:17 Manchester to Chester had departed Manchester, the 07:34 Chester to Stockport had got as far as Northwich (so was very late) and the 08:04 Chester to Manchester was at Greenbank.

Aren't travel reports effectively useless if BBC didn't bother to update them?

When it comes to Metrolink, I find that as soon as the BBC North West Breakfast News bulletin mentions tram disruption it does actually prompt me to check Twitter to verify if there are still delays. Not everyone I know can (or knows how to) check the latest travel situation on Twitter, so there are many people who do rely on the TV Travel News.

Invariably, bulletins that mention delayed Metrolink services usually have sorted themselves out by the time I've got to the station (unless it's really adverse and there's still a 263 replacement at 0930).
 

enrag2000

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Distressing news on BBC North-East and Cumbria's Breakfast travel update this morning:

Northern Rail line closed between Carlisle and Appleby following landslip, replacement bus service in operation!
 
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30907

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Distressing news on BBC North-East and Cumbria's Breakfast travel update this morning:

Northern Rail line closed between Carlisle and Appleby following landslip, replacement bus service in operation!

To be fair, it is broadly true (the word "still" might have helped).
 

Envoy

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Yes, I have found the regional inserts into BBC Breakfast to be unreliable for travel information. For example, GWR were cancelling numerous trains on the Swansea to London route a little while ago. This was going to place the burden of shifting the ‘displaced’ passengers onto the ATW services across south Wales - which are of course short trains. Did they mention the GWR cancellations - Nah - well not until I phoned them up.

It seems to me that each UK TV region should have someone nominated by the TOC’s that operate in that region - to actually phone directly the newsroom for that region (BBC & ITV) and inform them as and when necessary of major problems on the railway.

It is the same with jams on the motorways. They may well report a jam within their region but if the trouble is just off ‘their patch’, they fail to report the matter. Therefore, more and more people set off on journeys to end up ‘trapped’ on the motorways.

I find that the best way to find out about jams on the roads is to load google maps - click the 3 bars at the top left and select TRAFFIC. Find your area and Bookmark it. Now you can just click it to see how the local traffic is moving but you can also click and drag entire routes across the country to check that all is well before setting out. Of course, that does not mean that you will not encounter trouble once on your journey but at least you know what the situation is before leaving. (Google get the info from the movement of mobile phones - so this its more reliable than relying on reports via various services).

I think that the BBC have a contract with this company to provide them with traffic info. In my opinion, they might just as well cancel the contract and use Google Maps for the traffic and use [http://www.realtimetrains.co.uk/search/advanced to provide rail info - by getting someone in the office to check major rail hubs to see how things are going. http://inrix.com
 
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