Train operators will have to make sure up-to-date information about disruption is published on their websites and social media, Blackpool North and Cleveleys MP Paul Maynard said.
The Transport minister said that very often there was ‘a fundamental disconnect’ between the information passengers got through social media and what was available at the station, with many turning up at stations only to find their train had been cancelled.
Their smartphone tells them that it’s good to go, the train is on time, they arrive at the station and find the train was cancelled hours ago
Mr Maynard added that he had pressed passenger watchdog Transport Focus to ensure all train operators put information about disruption out ‘on every channel at the same time’.
Speaking in an adjournment debate about rail services in Southend, the MP said the problem of poor information about disruption was ‘a frequent bugbear’ among rail users.
He added: “They may be having their breakfast at home and checking their mobile phone, their iPad, looking at the social media to check that their usual train is about to leave on time, that all is going according to plan.
“Their smartphone tells them that it’s good to go, the train is on time, they arrive at the station and find the train was cancelled hours ago. There is a fundamental disconnect, very often, between the social media information being put out and that which is actually available at stations.
“This is a matter that Transport Focus, the passenger watchdog, is looking at, and I’ve asked them to accelerate work on this to ensure that train companies make sure that when information is available, it is put out on every channel at the same time.”