“Please help me persuade First Great Western Railway to fix the late running southbound trains from Oxford EVERY Morning” – Brian Cameron

Description

Brian Cameron

I have noticed recently a sharp decline performance of the above service. It is typically 5-6 minutes late on its arrival time at Didcot leaving me with a 50:50 chance of catching my connecting bus service from Didcot Parkway forecourt.

It begins its journey in Banbury and collects passengers at intermediate stations on route to Oxford. As a result, there are a large number of passengers getting off at Oxford, and an equally large number getting on (many with bikes). It is a three carriage turbo on this service. Perhaps a longer service (6 carriage) may result in a speedier passenger changover and prompt departure.

Problem History

  • 1 Brian Cameron reported the issue on FixMyTransport. close 11:18 18 Nov 2011
  • 2 Brian Cameron wrote to First Great Western Railway close 11:18 18 Nov 2011

    Here is the letter that Brian Cameron wrote.

    The 07:56 service from Oxford to Londodn Paddington is ALWAYS late

    I have noticed recently a sharp decline performance of the above service. It is typically 5-6 minutes late on its arrival time at Didcot leaving me with a 50:50 chance of catching my connecting bus service from Didcot Parkway forecourt.

    It begins its journey in Banbury and collects passengers at intermediate stations on route to Oxford. As a result, there are a large number of passengers getting off at Oxford, and an equally large number getting on (many with bikes). It is a three carriage turbo on this service. Perhaps a longer service (6 carriage) may result in a speedier passenger changover and prompt departure.

  • 3 First Group Response responded to Brian Cameron close 11:26 18 Nov 2011
    Thank you for contacting First Great Western. We confirm receipt of your e-mail and aim to forward a full response within 5 working days. If you have a more urgent issue that needs resolving please telephone on 08457 000125 where we will try to give a faster resolution.

    Please note that you will not be able to reply direct to this email, however if you wish to contact us further by email then please use the address below.

    [email address]
  • 4 FGW Customer Relations responded to Brian Cameron close 23:48 21 Nov 2011
    First Great Western
    Customer Services Team
    FREEPOST
    SWB40576
    Plymouth
    PL4 6ZZ

    Tel: 08457 000 125
    Fax: 08456 008 363
    [First Great Western Railway problem reporting email]

    www.firstgreatwestern.co.uk

    Ref: FGW 6294537

    Dear Sir or Madam
    At First Great Western we aim to offer the highest standards of customer service and we feel that it is important to reply to our customers directly rather than simply post a reply onto a website.

    We have no objection to you posting our reply onto the internet yourself and support the principle that others may well be keen to read our response. With this in mind, if you would like to send your correspondence to us again using our [email address] email address, we will be more than happy to investigate your concerns and respond to you in due course.

    I hope that you will understand why we would prefer to contact you directly and I look forward to hearing from you again soon.

    Yours sincerely

    Mark Webber
    Customer Relations Senior Officer

    *** Your feedback is really important to us so we would be very grateful for a couple of moments of your time to complete our customer satisfaction survey. If you would like to participate, please click on the link below. ***

    http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=1M...

    First Great Western Limited. Registered in England & Wales No. 05113733.
    Registered office: Milford House, 1 Milford Street, Swindon, Wiltshire, SN1 1HL.

    First Rail Holdings Limited. Registered in England No. 5154485. Registered office: 50 Eastbourne Terrace, Paddington, London W2 6LG.

    This message is confidential. It may not be disclosed to, or used by, anyone other than the addressee. If you receive this message in error, please advise us immediately.

    Internet email is not necessarily secure. First does not accept responsibility for changes to any email which occur after the email has been sent. Attachments to this email could contain software viruses which could damage your system. First have checked the attachments for viruses before sending, but you should virus-check them before opening.

    For more information on our range of services or to book your tickets online, please visit:- http://www.firstgroup.com
  • 5 Brian Cameron commented close 10:15 25 Nov 2011

    Response from First Great Western
    Customer Services Team
    FREEPOST
    SWB40576
    Plymouth
    PL4 6ZZ

    Tel: 08457 000 125
    Fax: 08456 008 363
    fgwfeedback@firstgroup.com

    www.firstgreatwestern.co.uk

    Ref: 6299698

    Dear Mr Cameron

    Thank you for your email of 22 November 2011. I am really sorry for the problems you had on your journey with us from Oxford to London Paddington. Our 07:56 service on the 22 November was disrupted due to a track problem and I apologise for the inconvenience this caused.

    Network Rail are ultimately responsible for the rail infrastructure and we are working closely with them to reduce this type of disruption. We know how very frustrating it is for our customers when they are delayed and we will continue to support Network Rail and their investment into new track, better signalling and more reliable equipment.

    I am sorry you are continuing to experience delays to your journeys from Oxford to London Paddington and I do understand how very frustrating this is. Whilst we have seen a measurable improvement in our performance, there are some services that have failed too often and I am sorry this has caused you inconvenience.

    Recently we have recorded our best ever performance figures. This is true of our High Speed, London Thames Valley and West services, but it does not mean that all services are reaching the high standards we expect.

    We are acutely aware that services between Oxford and London are not performing as well as others and we are working very hard with our Industry partners to improve reliability and punctuality. These services are very important to us and their performance is a priority. We recognise that repeated delays and cancellations are extremely frustrating and we are confident that we can successfully reduce them.

    Your feedback is valuable to us and I have recorded your comments for the attention of our Senior Managers. Although overall we have made some encouraging progress in terms of performance, we know we need to do more for Oxford services and I trust you will notice an improvement on your future journeys.

    I note your comments about the train being overcrowded on the same service. We realise how uncomfortable and inconvenient it can be to travel on crowded trains and I am sorry for the trouble you had to go through.

    Whilst adding additional carriages may seem like an obvious solution, rolling stock is a major challenge for most train operators as there is simply not enough stock available in the UK at the moment. You may also feel that a train operator should commit to the purchase and construction of extra stock; however this is not always possible if a company is not able to see a return on investment over a relatively short franchise period.

    Thank you again for writing.

    Yours sincerely

    Priya Surendran
    Customer Services Advisor

  • 6 Brian Cameron commented close 10:24 25 Nov 2011

    The response is a bit of a cut and paste job and does not really address the points was making in my original complaint.

    However, they do acknowledge the chronic problem with this particular route and appear to have landed some additional funding for extra rolling stock (see : http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-15841326 )

    I will continue to update regarding the ongoing punctuality issues from time to time.

  • 7 Myf Nixon commented close 10:26 25 Nov 2011

    Thanks for the update Brian. Yes, it definitely reads a cut-and-paste but as you say, there is some hope!

    For me the key sentence is "not able to see a return on investment over a relatively short franchise period" - this reveals a failing across the system.

    anorak
    admin
  • 8 Brian Cameron commented close 10:34 25 Nov 2011

    It just highlights the folly that was Rail Privatisation. It is a classic Catch 22 situation.

    No investment for fear of getting no return should the franchise come to an end, coupled with poor performance due to lack of investment thus increasing the chances of losing the franchise when it comes up for renewal.

    What sort of crazy business model is that?

  • 9 Myf Nixon commented close 13:39 25 Nov 2011

    Yup. :)

    anorak
    admin
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  • started 18 November 2011
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Train route between Didcot Parkway and Oxford operated by First Great Western Railway
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