- Richmond – Willesden Jct – Euston – Return
Some days there is a wonderful irony to a journey, almost as though the Universe knows what you’re doing and decides to add it’s own little spin, and so it was today.
I set off into central London to attend a Transport for All meeting. I was to sit on the panel with various reps from TfL to discuss making public transport more accessible. I had a slide deck, lots to say and a handful of questions supplied by other TfA members.
I got on the train at Richmond easily enough, and listened as the Customer Service Assistant made the call in front of me to inform ‘Control’ that I was going to Willesden Jct and would need to be met with a ramp.
I offer no prizes for anyone guessing what happened next. Zip, nada, nothing, there was no ramp. I implemented the usual ’emergency action plan’ ie sent my PA to speak with the driver and ask him not to leave. Unusually, to his credit and against the rules, he left his cab and fetched the ramp, which clearly set some alarm bells ringing because staff then appeared from nowhere and took over.
The rest of the journey, and the return, went smoothly enough but again it goes to illistrate failures in the system and why guards are so important on trains.
I did of course write to London Overground to complain as I always do. It took two weeks to get a reply, but the reply did acknowledge the failure of the process and went on to say
“As this is not the first instance this has happened I have forwarded your correspondence along with the findings of my investigation to the Senior Controller Manager…” and “ A full investigation will take place and action will be taken when the problem has been identified..”
I hope it makes a difference.