Communication is key

14/5/14

Richmond – Willesden Junction – Euston – Est 40mins

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I have an arrangement with all the guys I know at stations across London. It’s takes a while to establish this arrangement because they’ve all been shouted or ranted at by some angry wheelchair user at one time or another. This unofficial arrangement is quite simple really. I don’t book assistance, ever. The way I live my life (by necessity) doesn’t allow for it. I simply turn up for a train and expect assistance with a ramp. There are however some ‘rules’. I turn up and allow them time to get things sorted. If I turn up close to departure time, say a minute or two to go, then they’ll get me on the train if they can. So far so good. But now the big rule. If I turn up close to departure time and they don’t manage to get me on the train, I won’t blame them. It’s not their fault. The result of this arrangement is that staff try much harder to get me on the train, knowing they wont get berated for failure.

Tonight I turned up late for the outward leg, but got on the train, even though I didn’t know the dispatcher. He was a star.

Coming back, I turned up early, but there was no assistance. So much for “Turn up & Go” on the Overground. Finally found the driver who called the dispatcher to get me on. Interestingly the driver told me I needed to book. I did point out the new policy, but I don’t think he believed me. Some education required methinks. Communicating these policy changes to staff providing the service is key to how the service is delivered. Well, isn’t it?

Passed this experience to @lndoverground twitter feed but heard nothing back.

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About Alan

I'm an Economist, Geek, Campaigner & wheelchair user who's been using all forms of public transport for 20+ years.
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