|Service failure looses more customers
I'm training a load of London folks this week; previous groups from the same company have come by train from London and we've picked them up at Melksham station. But this week, they've driven. Why's that?
"Our colleagues warned us that the service was unreliable" they said. We put that previous group on the 17:02, to connect with the 17:25 onward from Chippenham to London - about 30 people left Melksham on that train, a couple of minutes late. But then it got held up for a quarter of an hour at Thingley before joining the main line .... and our customers had no options to wait while their onward train was let through ahead.
The Wessex train crew on the 17:02 were very apologetic, very much trying to help people plan their onward journeys (I happened to be travelling too, going West from Chippenham), but there was just a bleak platform and no customer care staff to look after people at Chippenham on a draughty platorm and a crammed waiting room. In all honesty, I can't blame our customers but all it needs is a bit of joined up activity.
Should it be better when one company runs both services? Well - it should but I have my doubts; First have already said there can be no instant cure for some of the ills and problems and I do understand this. I do wonder, though, at their proud statement that eveyone will have smart new uniforms on April Fool's day and wonder if their priorities are quite right.
My priority would be to have a train service that ran, and connected rather than beautiful stations and well turned out staff ... with no trains from before 8 in the morning to after 6 at night.
Written 2006-03-22 00:55:27
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