New plans to compensate rail passengers who are delayed by as little as 15 minutes will mean hiring professionals who can make much needed upgrades to the rail network must become a priority, according to One Way.
An analysis by the specialist rail and construction recruiter found that significant upgrades must be made quickly, otherwise the current state of the existing network would mean that rail providers could end up paying huge amounts in compensation to customers.
However, much of this impact could be lessened by deploying the right people to upgrade the weakest areas of the network. The Department for Transport has revealed, for example, that its new scheme will initially be launched on Govia Thameslink, before being expanded onto all other networks.
Paul Payne, managing director and co-founder of One Way, comments: “This is obviously great news for passengers who have been regularly affected by delays to their journeys because of out of date systems and resources on our rail networks. However, while the plans are honourable and should benefit consumers in the long run, our analysis has shown that they aren’t particularly realistic and the current rate of delays could ultimately end up costing rail providers millions of pounds in compensation. To avoid this, priority must be placed on hiring greater numbers of professionals to work on our tracks and facilities.
“Currently, there’s nowhere near enough people employed in the sector to meet the demand prompted by the need for upgrades. The rail industry in this country is going to change enormously over the coming years and while we’re relatively well stocked with professionals with more traditional skill sets, we lack the technological expertise that will be required in the future.
“It’s our hope that the announcement of these plans will mean that properly robust hiring strategies are put in place to ensure that our rail networks can receive the upgrades they will desperately require in the future. I think we all agree that money needs to be spent. But it needs to be spent on the right things. And in this case, that means people.”