A One Man Army for Change.


In the year I’ve been keeping this blog, this entry represents a unique post in that it’s not actually about a journey. Don’t panic, normal service will be resumed shortly and you will continue to be able to share the minor and monumental cock-ups that make up the reality of my daily travels. But for this entry I want to share some news with you. This morning I received an e-mail that got me very excited. (Okay, truth be told it got my interest piqued, but cut me some slack for editorial embellishment.) It seems that they’ve finally moved the automatic button at Richmond Station. I set off as soon as I could to see for myself.

Let me recap.

About a year ago South West Trains began work across the network to run longer 10 car trains. As well as lengthening platforms this meant putting in new display screens and cameras so guards can see the front and rear of their trains and check for people doing stupid and unsafe things.

At Richmond this involved building a large cabinet just by the waiting room on platform one. This was perfectly placed in front of the button used to automatically open the door. Now you have a mechanism designed to help disabled and older people get into the warmth and comfort of the waiting area, which disabled and older people no longer have access to.

Neat huh?

I raised it with the Station Manager a couple of times, who made sympathetic noises but I was never hopeful of anything really changing.

Then last October I took a trip with one of the South West Trains managers responsible for disability and access, you can find the blog here

.  He was initially sceptical, but my incompetent and ineffectual fumbling quickly showed him the reality of the cock-up. A few taps on his tablet and relocating the button was on the to-do list.

The button is self contained so a drill, two screws and 20 minutes effort would see the job done. I was confident it would get sorted quickly.

I was wrong.

A picture of a door and automatic opener button.

The waiting room at Richmond station

I forgot about the glacial speed that large bureaucratic organisations move at. To be fair, R, the SWT Manager, was also frustrated, but he kept pushing and kept me informed.

.. and so we reach today and the arrival in my inbox of the momentous news that the button has been moved. I headed off to take a look and sure enough it’s true.

It’s only a little change, but it’s tangible and will make peoples lives just that little bit easier. You’ve got to take the wins where you can.

Thanks go to R for chasing this internally and making sure it got sorted.


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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One Response to A One Man Army for Change.

  1. Pingback: People Are A Problem | Never a Dull Journey

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