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Author Topic: Theale station during Kennet line outages  (Read 1076 times)
BerkshireBugsy
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« on: July 16, 2018, 12:55:40 pm »

During the line closures through Thatcham I have been driving to Theale and catching the train there. An added bonus that because the services are starting from there you can normally be guaranteed a seat. But I digress.

There are lots of helpful staff there - don't get me wrong - but there doesn't seem to be anybody with overall responsibility which I don't think helps matters. Some passengers were confused by the service arrangements this morning and when they excoriated staff  they got replies such as "I don't know I'm just here to <insert job function here>"

As a relatively frequent passenger I tend to know where I am going but not sure how clear things are for the more ad-hoc travellers.

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RA
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« Reply #1 on: July 16, 2018, 01:19:23 pm »

During the line closures through Thatcham I have been driving to Theale and catching the train there. An added bonus that because the services are starting from there you can normally be guaranteed a seat. But I digress.

There are lots of helpful staff there - don't get me wrong - but there doesn't seem to be anybody with overall responsibility which I don't think helps matters. Some passengers were confused by the service arrangements this morning and when they excoriated staff  they got replies such as "I don't know I'm just here to <insert job function here>"

As a relatively frequent passenger I tend to know where I am going but not sure how clear things are for the more ad-hoc travellers.



It seems to be the case that with these blockades, Network Rail are paying for additional agency staff to be at stations affected by the blockade. Trowbridge and Westbury have at least three additional agency people at each station to supervise one bus every couple of hours! Although wearing GWR uniform, they are agency staff with (understandably) a limited amount of operational knowledge.
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grahame
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« Reply #2 on: July 16, 2018, 01:42:56 pm »

It seems to be the case that with these blockades, Network Rail are paying for additional agency staff to be at stations affected by the blockade. Trowbridge and Westbury have at least three additional agency people at each station to supervise one bus every couple of hours! Although wearing GWR uniform, they are agency staff with (understandably) a limited amount of operational knowledge.

I have been astonished at the level at Trowbridge - perhaps I caught them on a protracted shift change, as I counted six of them.  Yes, for one bus every couple of hours.

Personally, I feel they would be more useful if split between the stations they're at and Melksham, which is normally unstaffed, but where there is no alternative timetable on display.  The normal 18 trains a day are cut to a reduced schedule of 7 (some at different times to when there are normally trains), plus 9 bus calls (yes, less services in total), and the seven trains have proven to be very unreliable indeed - cancellations even from that reduced schedule on most days.   Having a member of staff there, even with limited knowledge but knowing who to phone up and how to find out what's going on, help with alternative plans, and re-assure would be a far better investment than clumping staff where there are GWR staff anyway.
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