Rugby Rail Users Group

The Voice Of Rugby Rail Users

Manifesto

1. RRUG values & aims

This document sets out the values and aims of the Rugby Rail Users Group (RRUG). It defines the success criteria for the group. As no group existed before 2004, improving upon the pre-2004 service pattern whilst benefiting from the reduced journey times for which passengers have waited (and suffered) so long can perhaps be seen as a proxy for a successful outcome.

Progress in achieving the objectives in the “manifesto” should be measured and recorded every six months (at each timetable change) to monitor the improvement, or otherwise, of conditions. Changes can be as a result of action by RRUG, or other factors – the group does not necessarily have to achieve its objectives itself.

It is further intended that this document may be used as a yardstick against which conditions can be assessed at any time.

2. Train Service pattern

Specification of the desired Rugby train service

N.B. times shown are those of calls at Rugby station – for practical purposes, a tolerance of ±10 minutes on the specified time will be acceptable.

2.1. Train Service - London

To/From London:
• morning peak: fast train every 30 minutes 0600-0700
• morning peak: fast train every 15 minutes 0700-0800
• morning peak: fast train every 30 minutes 0800-0900
• evening peak: fast train every 30 minutes 1630-1830
• daytime 0900-1700: fast train each way every hour
• evening 1700-0100: fast train each way every hour
• semi-fast trains every hour to/from London via Northampton, Milton Keynes & Watford (for Heathrow/Gatwick – see section 2.5 below) direct – twice an hour during daytime
• Saturday service of fast and semi-fast trains – both at least every hour all day 0700-2300 in both directions
• Sunday service at least every hour all day 0800-2200 in both directions

Fast train meaning 55 minutes or less one way time. Semi-fast means 1h40m or less each way (via Northampton).

Specifically, no gaps of more than one hour in either direction between 0600-2300.

2.2. Train Service - Birmingham

To/From Birmingham (Birmingham Airport, Coventry:
• morning peak: fast train every 30 minutes 0630-0830
• early train to Birmingham/Birmingham Airport departing Rugby before 0600
• half-hourly service each way during daytime 0830-1700
• hourly or better service each way during evening 1830-2300
• evening peak: fast train every 30 minutes 1700-1830
• Saturday service at least every hour all day 0700-2300 in both directions, half-hourly in the daytime
• Sunday service at least every hour all day 0900-2300 in both directions

Specifically, the proposed additional hourly London-Birmingham Pendolino service to call at Rugby.

Fast train meaning 35 minutes or less one way time Rugby-Birmingham. With the exception of early morning & late evening services, all trains should call only at the principal stations Coventry, Birmingham International and Birmingham New Street.

Connections to/from Oxford/South Coast at Coventry should be available throughout the day – connections of less than 30 minutes at least every hour.

2.3. Train Service – Crewe/the North

To/From Crewe/the North:
• Hourly or better service each way all day 0700-2200 in both directions
• Saturday service at least every hour all day 0700-2200 in both directions
• Sunday service at least every hour all day 0900-2200 in both directions
• Direct daytime service to Manchester at least once in both directions
• Direct peak service to Manchester in both directions

Fast trains meaning less than 55 minutes one way Rugby-Crewe.

The morning peak meaning 0730-0930, the evening peak 1700-1900.

2.4. Train Service – Trent Valley connections & other destinations

The train service to Crewe and the North should provide Rugby with good, reliable connections to stations not served by direct trains. These should include:

• Via Tamworth to the Northeast – at least two connections of less than 25 minutes to/from Derby and the Northeast in the morning and evening peaks
• Via Nuneaton to Leicester – at least two connections of less than 25 minutes to/from Leicester in the morning and evening peaks
• Good connections to/from Rugby via Tamworth, Nuneaton and Stafford in off-peak hours.

The morning peak meaning 0730-0930, the evening peak 1700-1900.

2.5. Train Service – East Croydon / Gatwick

• There should a good, reliable connection at Watford Junction between trains to/from Rugby and the service to/from Gatwick. A connection of less than 25 minutes at least every 2 hours (preferably every hour) in the daytime.
• RRUG supports the reintroduction of a direct service between Rugby, East Croydon and Gatwick.

3. Environment

3.1. Station

1. Rugby station should be staffed at all times that passenger trains are running.
2. Rugby station should be clean and passengers should feel safe using the station at all times.
3. Station lighting should be in good working order, including in the station approaches.
4. The waiting rooms should be clean, and heated in winter.
5. The station toilets should be open and clean and in working order at all times that the station is open.
6. Rugby station buffet should be open for the same hours as the ticket office.
7. Information posters should be up to date and accurate.
8. Information screens and clocks should be working and clean/legible.
9. Train announcements should be clear and timely.
10. It should be clear where passengers should wait and board trains, either from announcements or by signage.
11. Rugby station ticket office should be open at least between:
• Monday-Saturday 0600-2000
• Sunday 0800-2000

3.2. Station car parks & access

1. There should be sufficient parking capacity provided for users of the station and easy access to/from buses, bicycles and other means of transport.
2. Car parks should be clean, secure and with working CCTV surveillance.
3. Car park ticket machines should be in working order.
4. It should be possible to buy car park tickets at the station without having to return to the car park to display the ticket. This is a long-established principle and applies both to season tickets and to day tickets.
5. Pedestrian access to the station from both north and south should be maintained and easy to negotiate.
6. The taxi rank should be clean, lit and signposted. As part of the overall transport service, there should be taxis available within a short time of all train arrivals.

3.3. Trains

1. In view of the journey times Rugby-London and Rugby-Birmingham, no passengers should have to stand on these services. Trains should have sufficient seats. The only possible exception is Rugby-Coventry and vice versa in the high peak hour.

4. Measuring progress

4.1. Financial statistics

RRUG will record the following metrics for each timetable period (i.e. every six months). The data collected will be used to provide an objective, quantified record of change. The information will also highlight above- or below-average rates of change.

1. Return peak ticket price to London (1st & Std class)
2. Return off-peak ticket price to London
3. Return cheapest ticket price to London
4. Return peak ticket price to Birmingham
5. Return off-peak ticket price to Birmingham
6. Return cheapest ticket price to Birmingham
7. Season ticket void days & reductions – for London, Birmingham & Coventry
8. Price of a small cup of tea in the Rugby station buffet
9. Car parking charge for one day in station car park
10. Car parking charge for one day in RBC car parks near station

These will be published to the RRUG website.

4.2. Passenger problems

RRUG will publish the top five problems for each timetable period (i.e. every six months) giving a commentary on new problems that have emerged and on problems that have been solved or have disappeared.

The problem list should indicate the degree to which RRUG has been instrumental in any improvements (or otherwise) in the situation.

4.3. Member surveys

RRUG will undertake periodic surveys of the RRUG membership, in order to obtain up to date information on passenger problems, and to give further representation to the views of the members.

5. Major developments & the future

5.1. Rugby Station

RRUG supports the rebuilding of Rugby station, to the plan issued in late 2004, with completion by December 2008. This is subject to the following provisos:

1. that the timetable after rebuilding meets the requirements in section two of this document.
2. that there is full communication of the schedule of works to passengers.
3. that RRUG is fully informed and consulted before and during the rebuilding.
4. that peak hour weekday trains to/from Rugby are maintained at all times during the rebuilding.
5. that pedestrian access to Rugby town centre and the north side of Rugby is maintained during the rebuilding and is improved as a result of the rebuilding.
6. that car parking provision is maintained during the rebuilding.
7. RRUG supports the retention of north and south-facing bay platforms at Rugby station in the station remodelling, in order to retain the possibilities for new terminating services.

5.2. Track & infrastructure

1. RRUG supports the upgrade of the track to allow the 140mph design speed of the Pendolino trains to be achieved.
2. RRUG supports the upgrade of the Rugby-Birmingham route from two to four tracks in order to improve the speed and reliability of the service.
3. Rugby (East) Parkway Station - RRUG reserves judgement on the issue of the proposed new station between Rugby and Long Buckby. If this proposal is taken forward, then RRUG expects to be consulted.
4. RRUG supports the building of a new high speed railway line to the North, as this would (at least) allow better services on the existing lines from Rugby.
5. RRUG reserves judgement on the reopening of the Great Central route for freight. Should this proposal be taken forward, RRUG would expect to be consulted.

5.3. Trains

1. RRUG supports the extension of the Pendolino trains to 10 cars.
2. RRUG urges the rectification of problems with the Pendolino trains, particularly the toilets.
3. Midland “RER” Express Network – RRUG supports the concept of the Midland RER, and urges the extension of the plan to include Rugby (and, indeed, Northampton).