Transport User Voice – November 2019 – You and your train company

29 October 2019

Updates on the West Coast and Southwestern

West Coast Partnership

The Transport Focus board invited First Trenitalia to present its proposals for the new franchise at a members meeting this month.

With operations set to commence in December, plans are now at an advanced stage.

We heard how feedback from passengers and stakeholders has influenced the decision-making process and how engagement will remain a key feature of the new organisation.

Over coming years passengers will see the train fleet renewed or refurbished, better Wi-Fi provision and enhancements at stations. Plans for the future operation of HS2 will also be developed.

Southwestern railway: meet the manager

Transport Focus recently helped South Western Railway (SWR) with a new format of ‘meet the manager’ it was trialling at Waterloo station.

The aim was to provide an environment where passengers could feel listened to and have a productive conversation with a senior manager. SWR felt Transport Focus’s involvement would add important impartiality to the process.

Transport Focus invited passengers to request a 15-minute appointment with the managing director and his senior team with meetings taking place at Carluccio’s restaurant.

Both passengers and staff were pleased with how the session went. Passengers said that, although many of the issues raised could not be resolved in a 15 minute session, they found the meeting useful.

It is clear that the same productive conversations would not have been possible with the traditional format of ‘meet the manager’, held on the station concourse, where passengers just walk up and raise issues or ask questions.

This innovative approach by South Western Railway is to be applauded and Transport Focus will be supporting the next one. Other train operators would definitely benefit from trying this format.

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