How to deal with public transport disruptions

4 July, 2018

Whether you are on your way to your first job interview or just trying to get to work on time, public transport disruptions can make even the simplest of journey’s problematic. Ongoing train strikes, coupled with trains breaking down due to the current heatwave is making train travel a very unreliable method of transport at the moment, however for many of us, it is our only option. Just last week, we had a candidate who was aiming to attend an interview at our head office; their first train was cancelled and the second was delayed. Unsurprisingly, they were late and through no fault of their own, but what impression does that give? To a less understanding company, that may have been make or break…

Marmion suggest following the tips below, in order to minimise any problems with getting to work or getting to that all-important interview (with plenty of time to spare!).

Firstly, always double check online the night before your day of travel to check for any updates. During the current train strikes, several rail companies have issued revised timetables detailing which trains will still be operating. This will allow you to plan ahead and book an earlier train if necessary. In addition to checking company websites, it is also a good idea to check travel company’s social media accounts. For example, the bus I often get to work has a twitter account on which they actively post updates about any disruptions to the usual service.

It may also be worth spending some time investigating other ways to get to work temporarily. Ask around the office to see if anybody who drives may be able to give you a lift or pick you up from somewhere. You could also look for alternative train lines or bus routes, even if this means driving and leaving your car somewhere or getting a lift to the alternative station. If it’s an interview you are trying to get to, it may be worth asking for a lift and if that’s not a possibility, you could always order a taxi; an expensive option but may be worth it to reduce any additional stress.

Regardless of whether you are going to work or trying to get to an interview, communication is key.

Letting the employer know about any possible disruptions as soon as possible will help them be more understanding towards the situation. For example, if you have an interview scheduled and you are getting a train whilst the train strike is ongoing mention this on the phone, ensure the interviewer that you will do everything you can to get there on time but there may be a possibility of the train strike affecting your journey. If you are on your way and encounter some issues, ring the contact you have for the company you are visiting and explain the issue. You may be late but at least you have shown initiative and thought to inform the employer of your delay.

The same advice applies for informing your boss if you are delayed getting into work. However, if this has the potential to be an ongoing issue then it might be best to have a proper discussion with your boss to establish where you stand with regards to work regulations on being repeatedly late through no fault of your own. Your employer should have a policy in place which deals with disruptions, outlines the steps you should take to try and get to work on time and the consequences of not adhering to this. This should reduce the scope for confusion and disagreement.

The majority of employers will be understanding to an extent but if it becomes a regular occurrence and you are late by a considerable amount it may become more of an issue. Try to plan ahead and if you can foresee any potential disruptions, try to take an alternative route. If this is not possible, ensure you let the employer know in as much time as possible; you never know they might be affected by the same issue!