FixMyTransport is now closed to new submissions. The site is available as an archive for you to browse, but you can no longer report problems. Find out more…

“Please help me persuade First Great Western Railway to keep the gate at Platform 2 open” – Kate Griffin

Description

Kate Griffin

In theory, train passengers travelling to Oxford should be able to leave the station at Platform 2, through the side gate. However, in practice this gate has been increasingly kept locked, obliging passengers to leave via Platform 1. This is reached via a footbridge, requiring the traveller to go up and down lots of stairs or use a slow and crowded lift.

That extra walk up and down the stairs (or trip in the lift) often means the difference between catching and missing my bus connection, and I know I'm not the only one in this position. Also, obliging all passengers to leave via Platform 1 can create a big crowd at the ticket barriers on that platform.

I think First Great Western are keeping the Platform 2 gate locked so that they don't have to pay a member of staff to stand there and check tickets. Well, it may be cheaper to force us all to go the long way round, but it's not acceptable. I'm asking FGW to reopen that gate and keep it manned as much as possible.

Images and media

Problem History

  • 1 Kate Griffin reported the issue on FixMyTransport. close 10:58 17 Nov 2011
  • 2 Kate Griffin wrote to First Great Western Railway close 10:58 17 Nov 2011

    Here is the letter that Kate Griffin wrote.

    Keep the gate open at Platform 2

    In theory, train passengers travelling to Oxford should be able to leave the station at Platform 2, through the side gate. However, in practice this gate has been increasingly kept locked, obliging passengers to leave via Platform 1. This is reached via a footbridge, requiring the traveller to go up and down lots of stairs or use a slow and crowded lift.

    That extra walk up and down the stairs (or trip in the lift) often means the difference between catching and missing my bus connection, and I know I'm not the only one in this position. Also, obliging all passengers to leave via Platform 1 can create a big crowd at the ticket barriers on that platform.

    I think First Great Western are keeping the Platform 2 gate locked so that they don't have to pay a member of staff to stand there and check tickets. Well, it may be cheaper to force us all to go the long way round, but it's not acceptable. I'm asking FGW to reopen that gate and keep it manned as much as possible.

  • 3 First Group Response responded to Kate Griffin close 11:01 17 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 Kate Griffin added an update close 11:24 17 Nov 2011

    First Great Western have confirmed receipt of my email.

  • 5 FGW Customer Relations responded to Kate Griffin close 23:49 18 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 6292541

    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 [First Great Western Railway
    problem reporting email] email address, we will be more than happy to
    investigate your concerns and respond to you in due course.

    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
  • 6 Myf Nixon commented close 10:46 21 Nov 2011

    This is an interesting response from FGW. I think it is also slightly disingenuous, as it doesn't quite explain why it's "important to reply to our customers directly", while they don't mind you then posting the reply on the internet.

    When operators reply FixMyTransport, their replies do come directly into your personal email inbox as well as being published on this site. This being the case, FGW's reply as it stands does not really cut the mustard.

    Also, FGW clearly already have this message, so it's odd that they are asking you to send it again.

    Anyway, Kate, to progress your issue - if you would like to point out the above to FGW, please feel free to do so, either by following the link from your email and clicking "reply" or by pressing the yellow "email" button at the top of your campaign page.

    If you would rather take FGW's preferred offline channels, they can be contacted on fgwfeedback@firstgroup.com. Please do come back and update this page so that we can all follow the issue!

    anorak
    admin
  • 7 Kate Griffin commented close 14:41 29 Nov 2011

    Hi Myf,

    Never fear, FGW hadn't tired me into giving up! I've just been on holiday and only got back today. To avoid turning this into two issues, I'm going to mail them offline for now... but then create a separate Fix My Transport page about their stupid policy of refusing to communicate through Fix My Transport!

  • 8 Kate Griffin commented close 14:51 29 Nov 2011

    So, First Great Western are refusing to respond through Fix My Transport, on the grounds that they want to respond to me "directly". They've asked me to contact them "directly", but of course haven't given me any contact details with which to do so. But if they're trying to discourage me, they've picked the wrong person. I've now complained to them "directly", using the email address which Myf dug out for me, and will post their response here if/when I get one.

    I would really like to create a Fix My Transport page specifically about the issue of First Great Western refusing to communicate through this site, but unfortunately right now complaints can only be fitted into the categories of stops and routes.

    My next step is clear as crystal. I need to complain to Fix My Transport about how they won't let me complain to First Great Western about how First Great Western won't let me complain through Fix My Transport.

  • 9 Kate Griffin commented close 15:40 29 Nov 2011

    First Great Western have acknowledged receipt of my second email. That's big of them.

  • 10 Kate Griffin added an update close 09:47 06 Dec 2011

    I've now had a response from First Great Western. Ref: 6313144 Dear Ms Griffin Thank you for your email of 29 Novembert 2011. We welcome suggestions for improvements and are always keen to incorporate passengers' views and ideas where possible. Your comments regarding the gates ayt Oxford station have been logged for the attention of the Station Manager. We review all customer feedback on a regular basis, to allow us to identify any areas where there is a clear need for improvement. Thank you again for taking the time to contact us with your suggestion. Yours sincerely Kevin Noonan Customer Services Advisor

  • 11 Kate Griffin commented close 09:49 06 Dec 2011

    Whoah, sorry, that was hideous. The "Update" button doesn't let you do any formatting, so it's all come out as a Joycean stream of consciousness. Also, maybe I should've edited FGW's typos out of kindness.

  • 12 Myf Nixon commented close 10:26 06 Dec 2011

    Thanks for keeping us updated, Kate. Are you satisfied with that response?

    If not, it may be time to think about other channels - there are various routes to go down but I think your next steps could be:

    - getting the issue highlighted on a local blog or two, and
    - getting some more names on this page to show that there is a real desire for the gate to be opened.

    Do you know any blogs who might publish this link?

    anorak
    admin
  • 13 Kate Griffin commented close 11:45 07 Dec 2011

    Hi Myf,

    No, I'm not satisfied with the response - I don't like the implication that this is a "suggestion" for improvement rather than pointing out a clear need. I think my next step is, as you say, finding more people to support me. As for "a local blog or two", perhaps I should write something for my own blog before I start trying to persuade other people to blog about it!

  • 14 Myf Nixon commented close 12:03 07 Dec 2011

    Ooh, good idea Kate, yes do!

    anorak
    admin
  • 15 Kate Griffin commented close 13:37 26 Jan 2012

    First Great Western treated my complaint as a suggestion and I know they won't do anything unless there's more pressure.

  • 16 Kate Griffin added an update close 09:30 10 Dec 2012

    There's been a retrograde step on this: First Great Western have announced they're now going to keep the gate shut at all times "to deter fare dodgers": http://www.oxfordtimes.co.uk/news/yourtown/oxford/10094408.Railway_station_gate_to_be_shut_to_stop_fare_dodgers They refuse to say how much it would cost to install a ticket barrier at the gate, which would deal with the fare dodger problem without inconveniencing honest passengers.

Comment
  • started 17 November 2011
  • supporters 10
Oxford Rail Station in Oxford operated by First Great Western Railway
Problem Reporter
Supporters (10)
View more (6)
Top of page