Misleading Information In Times Of Disruption

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duncanp

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On a journey from Shrewsbury to Birmingham yesterday I was caught up in a signal failure at Smethwick Galton Bridge, which eventually resulted in the train arriving at New Street 30 minutes late. <(

When I looked at the National Rail disruptions page, it said that customers travelling between Wolverhampton and Birmingham could use their tickets on the West Midlands Metro.

The problem with this was that the West Midlands Metro was (and still is until the end of service today) suspended between Wolverhampton and Wednesbury Parkway for to enable a bridge over the tramway in the Bilston area to be removed.

So the advertised alternative route was not available.

Has anyone else experienced this, where you are advised that ticket acceptance has been arranged on an alternative route, but that the alternative route is not available for whatever reason?
 
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Ianno87

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Presumably so, but it is somewhat misleading to advertise an alternative route which isn't available.

Well, it is available...in bus form. Not ideal, bit better than nothing! (Although would've been worth pointing out this involves a replacement bus)
 

JN114

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I mean the alternative is just to not advertise the ticket acceptance; and therefore they’d just be complaints that nothing was being done. Is that your preference?
 

AlterEgo

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I mean the alternative is just to not advertise the ticket acceptance; and therefore they’d just be complaints that nothing was being done. Is that your preference?
How is that the alternative? Why not mention there is ticket acceptance but that the service was suspended and buses were laid on? It’s not beyond the wit of man.
 

JN114

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How is that the alternative? Why not mention there is ticket acceptance but that the service was suspended and buses were laid on? It’s not beyond the wit of man.

But it is

1) beyond the wit of the systems the industry use (which only let you select operator that’s accepting alternatives, not free-text some convoluted conditional alternatives) - at least at the TOC level.

2) potentially confusing (ticket acceptance and replacement buses mentioned in the same breath - well which is it)

3) not necessarily actually known by the WMT or whomever staff who arranged the ticket acceptance

Objectively the original statement isn’t misleading. Tickets could indeed be used on Midland Metro services between services from Wolverhampton. Should that be offered as an alternative given their disruption? Probably not. Can the industry do more around messaging and systems to allow “truer” messages to be posted - yes, if costs allow as these systems are incredibly expensive.
 

Horizon22

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This happens from time to time, especially on a Sunday; it can be easy to forget (or at first not even be aware) that your classic alternative route has engineering works when there is service disruption. Normally its natural human error; in fact I've done it myself a couple of times before being able to correct it.

Sometimes when the alternative is so convoluted, its better to not actually advertise it. For instance there was one occasion where the GMWL was severly disrupted, but SWR had engineering works on their line to Reading which involved a very convoluted bus journey adding easily 2 hours to the journey time and 2 extra changes.
 

Failed Unit

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We get lots of example in Herts where we have acceptance on local buses between MML and ECML stations (specific routes named) but the bus companies (or more specifically the drivers) do not actually know about it.
 
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