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Author Topic: Frustration among user groups, and how to be an effective group - reprise  (Read 163 times)
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« on: February 22, 2021, 10:51:07 am »

One thing cropped up several times at Friday's TravelWatch SouthWest online session, notes at . You will also find it in many threads here, in comments in the local press, social media, and so on.  And that thing was ... Frustration amongst user groups - a feeling that things are kicked into the long grass all too often, things going through too complex a process and take too long even if they get done.

And at TravelWatch SouthWest, it lead to the question from the chair, of several local government and rail industry professionals: "What makes a good, effective community group that the rail industry and local government will best interface to?:

Two responses
A group that listens as well as campaigns. Taking a look at the longer term and working together
Agree with [above speaker] and looks at the facts / issues. Look very much at joined up solutions.

Over the weekend, I have been categorising old documents into our mirror ( and I came across my slides from a session I co-presented with fellow TravelWatch director Richard Gamble - available at and entitled Achieving Productive Alliances.  It's worth a scan / read through - still relevant - perhaps more so - in these current times.  My lick of paint from Friday at

So much comes down to trust, then co-operation, understanding, partnership, pragmatism and seeing the whole picture. And trust is key - hard  to establish, easy to break, and then impossible to restore quickly.

But trust is a two way thing and there is enormous cynicism, much of it sadly well founded in history, on the part of the community / user and campaign groups. I am not in this "top of thread" post going to come up with examples - but I could so easily do so as they spin around my head.
« Last Edit: February 22, 2021, 11:03:44 am by grahame » Logged

Coffee Shop Admin, Vice Chair of Melksham Rail User Group, and on the board of TravelWatch SouthWest.
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« Reply #1 on: February 22, 2021, 02:09:23 pm »

At the rosy-fingered dawn of history, a thousand shiploads of Achaeans turned up somewhere north of Izmir all united in a desire to teach the locals a lesson they'd never forget. According to legend, they then proceeded to spend the next ten years camped out on the Plain of Troy arguing among themselves and achieving next to nothing, while the Trojans looked on and shrugged. The whole enterprise might have been an epic failure but for a twist of fate whereby the Greeks started listening to their experts at just the point when the Trojans stopped listening to theirs.

To put it another way: united we stand, divided we fall. The most annoying people in the world are those that you nearly completely agree with; it's much easier to argue with them than to face the real enemies of apathy, cynicism and business-as-usual.
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« Reply #2 on: February 22, 2021, 02:39:54 pm »

Actually, the most annoying people in the world are those who you want and know you should unite with, but whose unwise words and actions rule this out.

Currently muddling along the Guingamp-Carhaix line
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