Great Western Coffee Shop

Journey by Journey => London to South Wales => Topic started by: basset44 on February 05, 2019, 02:26:39 pm



Title: GWR boss out of touch with its problems, says Labour MP
Post by: basset44 on February 05, 2019, 02:26:39 pm
Hi All,

A rail company boss is "out of touch" with some of the problems faced by his firm, a Welsh Labour MP has claimed.

Stephen Doughty said Great Western Railway managing director Mark Hopwood had been "unwilling" to "get a grip on a litany of failures" in recent years.

Train cancellations have more than doubled for some weekend and bank holiday services between Wales and England, figures have shown.

GWR said its performance improved by more than 10% in the past six months.
◾World Cup rail staffing excuse criticised
◾'Critical' rail shortage is seven trains

Cardiff South and Penarth MP Mr Doughty led a Westminster Hall debate on the company's performance on Tuesday in which MPs criticised delays, overcrowding and ticket costs.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-politics-47132948

Basset


Title: Re: GWR boss out of touch with its problems, says Labour MP
Post by: TaplowGreen on February 05, 2019, 05:39:36 pm
Hi All,

A rail company boss is "out of touch" with some of the problems faced by his firm, a Welsh Labour MP has claimed.

Stephen Doughty said Great Western Railway managing director Mark Hopwood had been "unwilling" to "get a grip on a litany of failures" in recent years.

Train cancellations have more than doubled for some weekend and bank holiday services between Wales and England, figures have shown.

GWR said its performance improved by more than 10% in the past six months.
◾World Cup rail staffing excuse criticised
◾'Critical' rail shortage is seven trains

Cardiff South and Penarth MP Mr Doughty led a Westminster Hall debate on the company's performance on Tuesday in which MPs criticised delays, overcrowding and ticket costs.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-politics-47132948

Basset


A very fair assessment of the invisible man.


Title: Re: GWR boss out of touch with its problems, says Labour MP
Post by: IndustryInsider on February 05, 2019, 06:01:08 pm
Indeed, though with things currently improving in most areas, perhaps the debate has come six months too late to force much action?


Title: Re: GWR boss out of touch with its problems, says Labour MP
Post by: phile on February 05, 2019, 06:21:58 pm
Already a thread here:-

http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/coffeeshop/index.php?board=26.0


Title: Re: GWR boss out of touch with its problems, says Labour MP
Post by: bignosemac on February 05, 2019, 06:51:25 pm
Same old parroted platitudes from Mark Hopwood's human shield, Dan Panes, across the media today.

Including using that old BR chestnut, "We're getting there." ::)


Title: Re: GWR boss out of touch with its problems, says Labour MP
Post by: MarkHopwood on February 14, 2019, 09:14:52 pm
A human shield? Never thought of Dan that way!


Title: Re: GWR boss out of touch with its problems, says Labour MP
Post by: Timmer on February 14, 2019, 09:25:02 pm
A very warm welcome to the forum Mark. Good to have you aboard.


Title: Re: GWR boss out of touch with its problems, says Labour MP
Post by: bradshaw on February 14, 2019, 10:17:05 pm
This thread appeared on Twitter after the MPs comments. It is worth reading.

https://twitter.com/noeldolphin/status/1093925907146915841?s=21


Title: Re: GWR boss out of touch with its problems, says Labour MP
Post by: LiskeardRich on February 14, 2019, 10:33:31 pm
The majority of factors I understand to be external. DfT and NR imposed issues. Not sure which magic tricks he meant to pull out the hat?


Title: Re: GWR boss out of touch with its problems, says Labour MP
Post by: TonyK on February 15, 2019, 02:36:48 pm
A warm welcome from me too, MarkHopwood!


Title: Re: GWR boss out of touch with its problems, says Labour MP
Post by: YouKnowNothing on February 15, 2019, 03:41:28 pm
Count the number of times the head of Scots Rail has come out and publicly apologised for the issues that they are facing under the same circumstances. Then compare that to the number of times Mr Hopwood has done the same thing.

I fully appreciate the circumstances that GWR are under from the engineering difficulties faced by NR and the strategic decisions made by the DFT. However, GWR's responsibility lies in its communications of the issues and mitigation of the issues. In those areas over the last few years, I believe it has been found wanting.


Title: Re: GWR boss out of touch with its problems, says Labour MP
Post by: Sixty3Closure on February 16, 2019, 11:48:58 pm
The majority of factors I understand to be external. DfT and NR imposed issues. Not sure which magic tricks he meant to pull out the hat?

I think most posters here accept that many issues are outside of FGW control but they don't do very well on the ones are.

The website, provision of information, incident management...


Title: Re: GWR boss out of touch with its problems, says Labour MP
Post by: TaplowGreen on February 17, 2019, 07:32:54 am
The majority of factors I understand to be external. DfT and NR imposed issues. Not sure which magic tricks he meant to pull out the hat?

I think most posters here accept that many issues are outside of FGW control but they don't do very well on the ones are.

The website, provision of information, incident management...

........customer service.....


Title: Re: GWR boss out of touch with its problems, says Labour MP
Post by: the void on February 17, 2019, 05:01:52 pm
When the latest Direct Award franchise extention was given, the conversation with the DfT went something along the lines of "Due to all the upgrades going on, your network is going to be pretty shitty for the next few years, as such we are not going to put the franchise out to tender. It's going to be a bit of a poison chalise and nobody will want it, so if you are willing to take all the flak for things being a bit shitty, and keep all that shit away from us then you can keep running the franchise for the next couple of years until we are in a position to re-let it. And we promise not to hold the shittyness against you went it comes to the next franchise compitition."

GWR are doing exactly what was asked of them by the DfT, so I would argue that it's actually Stephen Doughty who is out of touch for failing to comprehend the politics of the situatuion.


Title: Re: GWR boss out of touch with its problems, says Labour MP
Post by: SandTEngineer on February 17, 2019, 07:26:51 pm
Is it necessary to use full rude words on here to make your point?  A few stratigic *** would do it...... ::)


Title: Re: GWR boss out of touch with its problems, says Labour MP
Post by: Reginald25 on February 18, 2019, 10:02:23 am
My own view is that it is always more helpful, and has more impact, to make a statement in calm words and certainly not to use doubtfall words. It may seem funny but it detracts from the point being made.


Title: Re: GWR boss out of touch with its problems, says Labour MP
Post by: TonyK on February 18, 2019, 10:14:02 am
A Labour MP complaining about a leadership being out of touch with the organisation's problems is just asking for trouble. Glass houses and stones spring to mind.

As for GWR, yes, there have been many variations from the plan sprung upon them at short notice. The "pause" in the electrification programme with the consequent requirement for extra diesel engines in the 9-car trains,  turned the introduction of the IETs from a carefully planned roll-out to chaos. Then the introduction of the new timetable last year didn't go well, although GWR's troubles there were much less than other TOCs. We know that a railway is subject to the butterfly / hurricane effect as well as political interference, and maybe one day someone impartial will sit down and write an account of what went wrong, why, and because of whom. On past experience, though, I doubt that lessons would be learned fully.

In the meantime, there is one small change that I would like to see - the removal of the words "Thank you for your patience" in announcements and posters when things go bosoms skywards. I have some virtues, but patience isn't one of them.


Title: Re: GWR boss out of touch with its problems, says Labour MP
Post by: theabsentmindedprofessor on February 27, 2019, 11:17:55 pm
Count the number of times the head of Scots Rail has come out and publicly apologised for the issues that they are facing under the same circumstances. Then compare that to the number of times Mr Hopwood has done the same thing.

I fully appreciate the circumstances that GWR are under from the engineering difficulties faced by NR and the strategic decisions made by the DFT. However, GWR's responsibility lies in its communications of the issues and mitigation of the issues. In those areas over the last few years, I believe it has been found wanting.

So all the investment GWR has put in to its stakeholder relationships, including regular meetings, or offers of meetings with MPs, and local authorities, not to mention the public communications - especially around the planned disruption is evidence of being found wanting?

in my experience many MPs, and others have unknowingly some level of unconsious bias regarding the railway.  They have theories and views that no amount of information will sway them from.  Perhaps it goes with the territory of being an MP, general reluctance safe for a few notable exceptions, to accept a contrary view to the position you stand by


Title: Re: GWR boss out of touch with its problems, says Labour MP
Post by: grahame on February 27, 2019, 11:57:48 pm
So all the investment GWR has put in to its stakeholder relationships, including regular meetings, or offers of meetings with MPs, and local authorities, not to mention the public communications - especially around the planned disruption is evidence of being found wanting?

in my experience many MPs, and others have unknowingly some level of unconsious bias regarding the railway.  They have theories and views that no amount of information will sway them from.  Perhaps it goes with the territory of being an MP, general reluctance safe for a few notable exceptions, to accept a contrary view to the position you stand by

Perhaps the question to ask might be "what motivates the MP(s)".  For those in parties who support denationalisation, it rather sticks in their throats to congratulate a private company on doing something right - even if it's doing a superb job. For any MP who has a group of constituents poorly served, even if most are happy, what an excellent opportunity to win the poorly served votes, and the votes of those who never use the train but will see the good local press (s)he gets for working for and perhaps sorting out the group.


Title: Re: GWR boss out of touch with its problems, says Labour MP
Post by: TaplowGreen on February 28, 2019, 07:40:18 am
Count the number of times the head of Scots Rail has come out and publicly apologised for the issues that they are facing under the same circumstances. Then compare that to the number of times Mr Hopwood has done the same thing.

I fully appreciate the circumstances that GWR are under from the engineering difficulties faced by NR and the strategic decisions made by the DFT. However, GWR's responsibility lies in its communications of the issues and mitigation of the issues. In those areas over the last few years, I believe it has been found wanting.

So all the investment GWR has put in to its stakeholder relationships, including regular meetings, or offers of meetings with MPs, and local authorities, not to mention the public communications - especially around the planned disruption is evidence of being found wanting?



I appreciate that the bar was set pretty low before, but these activities are expected as part of BAU, it isn't "investment" it's just normal operational expenditure. Customer Service, which includes a large part of communication, is still pretty appalling, and the "Boss" seems hopelessly out of touch with this and his customers expectations, unless you/he feel that taking weeks/months to close down pretty straightforward correspondence is acceptable? (a scenario that has now been going on for well over 18 months)


Title: Re: GWR boss out of touch with its problems, says Labour MP
Post by: theabsentmindedprofessor on February 28, 2019, 08:27:13 pm
Count the number of times the head of Scots Rail has come out and publicly apologised for the issues that they are facing under the same circumstances. Then compare that to the number of times Mr Hopwood has done the same thing.

I fully appreciate the circumstances that GWR are under from the engineering difficulties faced by NR and the strategic decisions made by the DFT. However, GWR's responsibility lies in its communications of the issues and mitigation of the issues. In those areas over the last few years, I believe it has been found wanting.

So all the investment GWR has put in to its stakeholder relationships, including regular meetings, or offers of meetings with MPs, and local authorities, not to mention the public communications - especially around the planned disruption is evidence of being found wanting?



I appreciate that the bar was set pretty low before, but these activities are expected as part of BAU, it isn't "investment" it's just normal operational expenditure. Customer Service, which includes a large part of communication, is still pretty appalling, and the "Boss" seems hopelessly out of touch with this and his customers expectations, unless you/he feel that taking weeks/months to close down pretty straightforward correspondence is acceptable? (a scenario that has now been going on for well over 18 months)

Don't know about your particular experience, but in my experience GWR do invest, more than some other train operating companies, quite a bit in communications including offers to meet, regularly with MPs, such as Mr Doughty.  Throughout a long career in various bits of the transport industry, public, private, bus, rail, i've had the pleasure of sitting in many a meeting with MPs, and councillors and the level of understanding, and perhaps importantly willingness to understand is truly frightening.

Mr Doughty has form in not wanting to accept a contrary point of view.



He, and many conservative MPs are set a low bar when it com



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