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1  All across the Great Western territory / Meet the Manager / Re: Meet the Managing Director - 17:00 on 5 Nov 2019 on: November 05, 2019, 06:14:10 pm
Thank you very much for your questions through the Forum and the opportunity to reply to your comments.  I hope you found it useful and look forward to repeating this session again in the near future if you wish. 

Mark
2  All across the Great Western territory / Meet the Manager / Re: Finally, an invitation! (Qn.8 5/11/2019) on: November 05, 2019, 06:07:18 pm
I am sure we will be represented
3  All across the Great Western territory / Meet the Manager / Re: Meet the Managing Director - 17:00 on 5 Nov 2019 on: November 05, 2019, 06:06:36 pm
RogerW - many thanks
4  All across the Great Western territory / Meet the Manager / Re: Mis-ticketing (Qn.6 5/11/2019) on: November 05, 2019, 06:05:56 pm
A booked train only ticket will come with a seat reservation usually so a passenger with such a ticket should have a seat. If we had a particular issue such as a reduction in capacity I would expect us to allow tickets on a subsequent service.
5  All across the Great Western territory / Meet the Manager / Re: Timetable changes affecting availability of off peak fares (Qn.5 5/11/2019) on: November 05, 2019, 06:04:05 pm
The examples I had in mind with both was North Cotswolds and Berks & Hants.

I will take your points away and look at TransWilts again with fares to Southampton.
6  All across the Great Western territory / Meet the Manager / Re: Finally, an invitation! (Qn.8 5/11/2019) on: November 05, 2019, 06:01:07 pm
I am grateful for the invitation. It’s a bit early for my diary to be confirmed but I will explore whether I can join your AGM and, if not, I will ensure GWR is represented.
7  All across the Great Western territory / Meet the Manager / Re: After the timetable change - what next? (Qn.2 5/11/2019) on: November 05, 2019, 05:58:12 pm
Indeed but since revenue is driven by passengers it also reflects the fact we have chosen to stop the trains at Didcot which will benefit the greatest number of passengers and where the size of potential passengers is greatest.

Ultimately, a timetable is a compromise and sometimes we take decisions with the most overall benefit but I know better than anyone we can’t please everyone all the time.

The role of freight trains brings another dimension to the discussion and Network Rail has an obligation to ensure our timetable is developed on a way that still ensures there is capacity for freight.

On balance I think we have the best answer in the circumstances but I recognise the issue with Didcot to South Wales.
8  All across the Great Western territory / Meet the Manager / Re: Sexual harassment on public transport (Qn.7 5/11/2019) on: November 05, 2019, 05:56:12 pm
We are working on a Safe Guarding on Rail initiative which will provide information to all colleagues regarding all types of vulnerability.
9  All across the Great Western territory / Meet the Manager / Re: Timetable changes affecting availability of off peak fares (Qn.5 5/11/2019) on: November 05, 2019, 05:47:50 pm
I’ve noted your points Richard. I think the challenge with part time season tickets is that a season ticket holder is being given a discount for buying in bulk but if you aren’t travelling regularly it’s harder to do that. Smart ticketing offers some answers here and we will continue to explore how we can innovate in this area.
10  All across the Great Western territory / Meet the Manager / Re: Mis-ticketing (Qn.6 5/11/2019) on: November 05, 2019, 05:47:47 pm
a) Of course not. Where we can, we set up our self service machines to offer the cheapest fares available at that time of day and we “hide” peak fares from view when it would be wrong for a customer to purchase one.

b) If a customer takes their tickets to the Ticket Office, our colleagues will be able to advise them and adopt the refund claim for processing, should a refund be appropriate.

c) We are surveyed throughout the year by Rail Delivery group to make sure we offer the cheapest available fares to our customers. Last year we scored 100%, with no failures.


* The Ticket Vending Machine - Depending our which type of machine it is, the “quick selection” screens are set up to switch from Peak fares to off-peak fares at the right time of day. These screens are limited as to capacity and if customers are unsure, they can search all fares or (Where available) ask at the ticket office.

* Rail Staff who are unfamiliar with the vagaries of off peak and insist on selling the passenger a peak ticket instead - All colleagues that sell tickets go through a Retail training course that covers the use of the machine as well.  If you can provide a more specific example to prove the colleague was indeed “unfamiliar”, we will be happy to investigate further.

* Asking Customer services for a refund - Customer Services often refer customers back to the point of purchase for the refund to be paid but we should be returning the tickets if Customer Services cannot pay it out.
11  All across the Great Western territory / Meet the Manager / Re: Bus/Train integration (Qn.4 5/11/2019) on: November 05, 2019, 05:44:11 pm
That sounds a fair point on Taunton and access from the down side. I am going to review with my team but what you say makes sense to me.
12  All across the Great Western territory / Meet the Manager / Re: Availability of staff and trains (Qn.1 5/11/2019) on: November 05, 2019, 05:42:09 pm
I recognise the sentiments about cancellations on TransWilts. Message received and understood and I shall ensure we focus on this very clearly.
13  All across the Great Western territory / Meet the Manager / Re: Speed to London v. Network Reliability (Qn.3 5/11/2019 ) on: November 05, 2019, 05:40:23 pm
Network Rail are working very closely with us to ensure we deliver the timetable from an operational perspective. If regulating decisions arise at Airport Junction the performance of the new rolling stock helps us get back to line speed much quicker but, ultimately, we need to take the right decision at the time to minimise delay and, I hope, we will.

Of course, the key aim is to try and avoid issues arising which knock trains out of path in the first place and that is receiving considerable focus in both businesses.
14  All across the Great Western territory / Meet the Manager / Re: Timetable changes affecting availability of off peak fares (Qn.5 5/11/2019) on: November 05, 2019, 05:38:10 pm
We have carefully looked at the timetable and in line with Rail Delivery Group’s (RDG) fares simplification programme we have taken the opportunity to try and standardise the offering within certain areas of the network.  This has included certain parts of the network where there are historical easements dating back to times when other TOCs operated.  I am quite clear, for example, that a train heading to London at 0800 in the morning is not off peak. I appreciate change is not always welcome but we need to have ticket restrictions that are fair and easy to understand.

Those easements were removed to create a simple fares structure across these parts of the network.  In addition, we have also increased the quotas for cheaper advance tickets where possible on the services that are affected.  While we appreciate this will be a significant change for customers, we are working to address some of the concerns raised. 

Both examples given are receiving additional capacity with a more frequent service at certain parts of the day.  Where the new trains have been put in it means we have been able to create a structured restriction period where we go from Peak to Off Peak to Super Off Peak.  Amendments have been made where it is possible i.e. in the evening peak returning from London bearing in mind capacity and formation of rolling stock planned to operate the service.
15  All across the Great Western territory / Meet the Manager / Re: After the timetable change - what next? (Qn.2 5/11/2019) on: November 05, 2019, 05:35:51 pm
You are right that the loss of direct Didcot to South Wales services was a relatively late decision but it has had wider industry support as it was part of a plan which helps creates two freight paths an hour between Didcot and Swindon.

Perhaps more importantly the revenue flows between Bristol/Bath and Didcot (Oxford) are much greater than South Wales and your summary omitted to mention that we are going to a half hourly service at Didcot Parkway all day on that route.

It is our hope the half hourly fast Bristol trains will operate from May 2020.
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