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Author Topic: Get your voice heard in Parliament: debate on GWR performance  (Read 3099 times)
grahame
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« Reply #15 on: February 03, 2019, 08:01:20 pm »

When I was in employment in the 70's as part of my training I had to attend a course entitled 'Putting The Customer First' and in my training it was impressed that a successful IT professional ALWAYS involved the end user of the IT systems being evolved.

Totally agree - and I suspect that many/most at GWR do too.

Question.  WHO is the customer?   Is it the organisation that awards the franchise / the direct award ?  Is it the other organisations to whom the sell other elements of the product - service enhancements, advertising, parking and food outlet contracts?  Is it the business class / first traveller who pays £299.00 for a day return trip to London, occupying a seat for a total of perhaps 3 hours, or a local traveller who spends £18.50 for a day trip to Weymouth spending longer on a shorter (so higher staff rated) train?

On a cost-of-sale model are the important customers are the ones earlier in the list, with the ones later in the list may only be justified because they're required by the first customer in the list?
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Birdie100
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« Reply #16 on: February 03, 2019, 08:50:30 pm »

As a regular commuter to London from Maidenhead I’d echo many of the comments above. 95pc of the time we get a good service from GWR. But the occasions when things go wrong are memorable because all too often the communication of the issues can let us down.

However - things do seem to be improving. Since January, I would note the improvement to the branch line connections by introducing a deliberate delay of  a couple of minutes - meaning I can change round to Furze Platt much more frequently.

Strategically though, GWR could make the ticketing system more digitised. I take the example of renewing my season ticket in December. I’m still using a paper ticket daily - no sign (promised since the Olympics!) of an oyster style digital card. My paper ticket wears out at least 3-4 times a year. Perhaps the e-card will come with Crossrail?? Anyway, due to the service challenges last year, I was entitled to two days refund and 10pc discount. I tried firstly Checking online - but such discounts can’t be applied there. I tried calling GWR but customer services couldn’t help.  So,  in order to obtain that cash refund, I had to go to Maidenhead and fill in a number of paper forms. I cannot understand why in 2019 those discounts couldn’t be given online, or over the phone, or failing all that at the Furze Platt ticket office!
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DavidT
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« Reply #17 on: February 04, 2019, 10:09:28 am »

I think a sense of GWR's performance can be found by having a look at the cancellation and amendments log for 2018 and 2019 to be found on the London to the Cotswold section of this forum. It doesn't make happy reading.
http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/coffeeshop/index.php?board=14.0
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Bassman1830
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« Reply #18 on: February 04, 2019, 11:30:08 am »


I have been a regular user of the GWR Bridgend  to London Paddington service for about 18 months. I travel on a Wednesday morning and return on Thursday evenings. This is for work. From Sept 18 to end of Nov 18 all of my journeys except  2 or 3 were delayed from 10 or 15 minutes to well over an hour. Apologies but I didn’t keep records. There were some cancellations on my return journeys. Compensation was prompt on the major delays. I feel that  compensation should start at delays of 30 minutes instead of 60 minutes. I believe other rail companies offer this.

From January to present there have been no delays however last Wed there was a 10 minute delay because of trespassers on the line in West London...not GWR’s fault. So there seems to have been an improvement for my service. However every Wednesday morning I am stressed about the prospects of being late for work.

Another issue is  buying tickets. GWR seem to change the release date for the availability of Advance Singles. In November 2018 I was able to book advance singles well into May of this year although GWR state that Advance Tickets only go on sale 12 weeks in advance. When I spoke to a GWR salesperson on the phone just now he said Advance tickets could go on sale even earlier. Most confusing. And passengers could end up paying more if Adavnce Singles sell out before the 12 week realsease date. The salesperson said that it is up to Network Rail when a rail company can release certain types of tickets for sale. In the past ticket sales people on the phone didn’t know if Advance Singles had sold out or even been released for specific dates I was enquiring about. That’s not a comment on the telephone sales people. They are only going on information that GWR gives or doesn’t give them it seems.

Perhaps it would be easier for customers if GWR  released Advanced Singles 4 or 6 weeks in advance and stuck to that. When I lived in Manchester Virgin seemed to have a similar time frame. I did weekly commutes from Manchester to London and don’t remember any confusion surrounding ticket release dates when booking in advance.

Seat reservations seem to be non existent  on my return journeys. It is a requirement to reserve a seat when booking online which I am happy to do. However on my Thursday evening services there is always an announcement saying that seat reservations are not being observed. My 20:15 PAD is very busy every Thursday evening and some weeks there  many passengers standing crammed in the central aisle and by the doors.

When my Advance Singles are available my online booking experience is ok although sometimes the site is very slow.


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grahame
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« Reply #19 on: February 04, 2019, 12:11:52 pm »

Welcome to the forum, both HouseOfCommons and Bassman1830.   As they say on the TV shows "lines are now closed" and I look forward to hearing of correlated data, and of the debate tomorrow.

Before commenting on trends shown, I'm going to let the data requests do their own analysis and comment if they wish ... but I will say that I'm noticing some trends and their timing is very useful in terms of informing / reminding the Coffee Shop team of what really effects people.   We have our own meeting coming up on Saturday in Westbury (still open for registration - looks like a group of just under two dozen of us making the journey) and the current grass root feeling will be so helpful in working out how we can best interface with industry partners.
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HouseOfCommons
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« Reply #20 on: February 04, 2019, 12:29:25 pm »

Hi all,

Thank you for all of your comments. Please note that anything added from now will not feed into the briefing that will be sent to Stephen Doughty MP. A link to watch the debate will be posted on this thread tomorrow.
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HouseOfCommons
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« Reply #21 on: February 05, 2019, 09:34:17 am »

From Stephen Doughty MP: “Dear Great Western Passengers' Forum community, I’d like to thank you all for the time and effort you’ve taken to submit these thoughtful and interesting responses. Lots of you have drawn attention to some important issues with the GWR network, and have shared experiences which have helped shape my understanding in the build up to tomorrow’s debate.

Many of these reflect my own concerns and those of my constituents, and I will do my best to represent them in the time available for the debate. Thank you again for sharing your thoughts and experiences on this topic."

You can watch the debate here: https://parliamentlive.tv/event/index/57c4f5de-cbe4-4ff6-a133-c08ccfecac78?in=09:29:58
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bignosemac
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« Reply #22 on: February 05, 2019, 07:48:44 pm »

Stephen Doughty MP thanked this forum for its input in his introduction to the debate.

This forum is now immortalised in Hansard!

https://hansard.parliament.uk/Commons/2019-02-05/debates/8267314A-3AC8-4303-A2E0-4C381A989A33/GWRAndNetworkPerformance
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grahame
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« Reply #23 on: February 05, 2019, 08:12:40 pm »

From Stephen Doughty (quoting from Hansard)

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There is also another series of issues to do with communication and confusion among the different parts of this convoluted system, between which a blame game has developed. GWR will blame Network Rail and the Department for Transport; Hitachi will blame the Department and GWR; Network Rail will say, “It’s not us, guv, it’s the GWR franchise owners and the Department for Transport.” That is simply not good enough

Yep ... our "smoke and mirrors" recognised
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bignosemac
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« Reply #24 on: February 05, 2019, 09:06:04 pm »

Also from Stephen Doughty MP:

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I am sorry to say that the managing director of GWR, Mark Hopwood appears out of touch in relation to some of the problems, and unwilling or unable to get a grip on the litany of failure over the past few years.

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johnneyw
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« Reply #25 on: February 05, 2019, 09:11:06 pm »

Agreed and a resolvable criticism resolved, perhaps, by a more open approach by a person who takes on a job fully aware of the public exposure that goes with the pay packet.
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« Reply #26 on: February 05, 2019, 09:19:45 pm »

Also from Stephen Doughty MP:

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I am sorry to say that the managing director of GWR, Mark Hopwood appears out of touch in relation to some of the problems, and unwilling or unable to get a grip on the litany of failure over the past few years.



Had this debate been had 6-9 months ago then I think his position could well have been under serious threat. Why wasn’t it?  

As it is I would suspect citing recent improvements and being able to lay part of the responsibility onto NR/Hitachi (I’m sure he’d love to lay into the DfT as well, but won’t risk incurring their wrath), will see him through.  

2018 will go down as a very poor year for GWR though.
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TaplowGreen
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« Reply #27 on: February 05, 2019, 10:24:01 pm »

Also from Stephen Doughty MP:

Quote
I am sorry to say that the managing director of GWR, Mark Hopwood appears out of touch in relation to some of the problems, and unwilling or unable to get a grip on the litany of failure over the past few years.



Had this debate been had 6-9 months ago then I think his position could well have been under serious threat. Why wasn’t it?  

As it is I would suspect citing recent improvements and being able to lay part of the responsibility onto NR/Hitachi (I’m sure he’d love to lay into the DfT as well, but won’t risk incurring their wrath), will see him through.  

2018 will go down as a very poor year for GWR though.

Poor year? Wash your mouth out! You're talking about the winners of Rail Business of the year don't you know!

How could a man who led his team to such glory possibly be under threat. His people adore him! (As should we all) 😉
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IndustryInsider
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« Reply #28 on: February 05, 2019, 11:51:54 pm »

Which of course was for 2017s efforts.  Wink

Plenty of nominations for the 2019 ceremony involving GWR mind you, including one for your favourite Famous Five campaign.  I wonder how many they’ll sweep up this time?  We’ll find out in just over two weeks.

Rail Business Of The Year seems curiously absent as a category this time around.
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TaplowGreen
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« Reply #29 on: February 06, 2019, 06:52:33 am »



Plenty of nominations for the 2019 ceremony involving GWR mind you, including one for your favourite Famous Five campaign.  I wonder how many they’ll sweep up this time?  We’ll find out in just over two weeks.

Rail Business Of The Year seems curiously absent as a category this time around.

Ooooh, do tell! Have you got a list of all the nominations? I could do with a laugh this morning!

Is it a public vote, or only open to TOC Directors?  Cheesy
« Last Edit: February 06, 2019, 07:09:41 am by TaplowGreen » Logged
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