FixMyTransport is raising all sorts of interesting issues as we progress towards making public transport even easier to understand for those who seek to improve it.
We really enjoy receiving feedback that challenges us, particularly when it concerns usability. One piece of feedback that has created an interesting area to look at have been the seventeen Network Rail Stations. Most of the 2,500 railway stations in the UK are owned by Network Rail and most of those are leased to a train operator who looks after most aspects of the station including customer service staff. The seventeen Network Rail stations are an anomaly, with Network Rail managing the station but most of the customer facing staff provided by the train operators. What this resulted in was Network Rail receiving complaints about staff they did not manage and unnecessary correspondence for users of FixMyTransport.
We were challenged to improve the situation through our feedback page and agreed that this was a gap that needed to be solved, so we set about finding who provided staff at Network Rail Stations.
It pondered a question though. Which staff members should we include? A driver or guard should be associated with a train service, so they were not strictly station based staff. Our discussions found that there were three different groups of staff that were based at stations and should be considered as part of our investigations. We understand there are other groups of people who could be encountered but they are usually subcontractors of the train operators or Network Rail.
Dispatchers – supervise the departure of trains
Booking Office Clerks – Sell tickets and provide information
First Class Waiting Rooms – Staff maintain a comfortable environment for First Class passengers.
We challenged our sources, using web forums and colleagues to find information about every Network Rail station. Some members of staff are not as obvious as others, particularly if they are placed in a corner of a busy railway station. We created a very comprehensive list of operator managed staff and have uploaded this to FixMyTransport. So if you have an issue with a member of staff at a Network Rail managed station, please don’t hesitate to use FixMyTransport; we have their details and your issue can be winging its way to the company responsible with just a few clicks.
Credit: Image by Nicksarebi, used with thanks under the Creative Commons licence.