Matthew HughesFormer TNW Reporter
Matthew Hughes is a journalist from Liverpool, England. His interests include security, startups, food, and storytelling. Follow him on Twi Matthew Hughes is a journalist from Liverpool, England. His interests include security, startups, food, and storytelling. Follow him on Twitter.
The UK’s railway system is terrible. It’s expensive, slow, and services are frequently delayed or canceled. It’s one step above the humble horse-and-cart, but like… Barely. Just barely.
It’s always annoying to be stood in a dilapidated train station (most of them are glorified sheds, really) waiting for a train that’s delayed by twenty minutes. But that doesn’t show you the whole picture of how bass-ackwards the UK rail system is. Thankfully, there’s sorryfortheinconvenience.co.uk.
Seriously, is there a more British sounding website?
Sorryfortheinconvenience aggregates the groveling apologies posted by rail operators to their Twitter pages whenever there’s a delay or service disruption. So far there’s been an incredible 220,944 of these so far this year. And 61 of them were posted while I was writing this piece. Sorry, make that 64.
Overall, it gives an incredible insight into how badly each franchise is doing. Trouble-stricken Southern Rail has posted over 38,000 apologies in 2016. This equates to 111 each day.
Meanwhile, Transport for London (TFL), which operates the highly-popular Tube system has responded to less than 2,900 apologies this year, or 8 per day.
This suggests that either people are really happy with TFL’s service, or they’re just not that bothered about their social media presence. Based on my many experiences with TFL, I’m inclined to believe the former. They’re rather good.
You can check out how many people are complaining about the UK’s railways here. And if you feel the need to join the pile of malcontents screaming at their phone screens, you’ll find the Twitter handles for each rail franchise.
Get the TNW newsletter
Get the most important tech news in your inbox each week.