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“Please help me persuade ScotRail to let us travel in peace: minimal train announcements” – Alison Campbell

Description

Alison Campbell

The announcements about where we are now, where we will stop next, etc etc are too loud, too verbose and too frequent. The auto-announcements come every few minutes at deafening volume, preceded every time by a piercing double bell sound. Frequently they are given first by the train conductor then repeated moments later –sometimes twice– by ‘sonia’ (short for “getsonia nerves”, as the auto-announcer is known to the conductors). It is impossible to hear a phone call, concentrate on work or read a newspaper.

In addition to these endless positional updates, we are bombarded by reminders to read the safety instructions, stow our bags properly and remember to “uplift” them, not to smoke, not to drop our tickets, and not to fall into “the gap”. I frequently feel like jumping into it.

When this is your life 5 days a week, 49 weeks a year it makes for an unpleasant, stressful and depressing commute. Please may we have silent journeys, or if this is impossible, then a single, brief, quiet announcement, "We are now approaching ".

Problem History

  • 1 Alison Campbell reported the issue on FixMyTransport. close 15:54 26 Sep 2011
  • 2 Alison Campbell wrote to ScotRail close 15:54 26 Sep 2011

    Here is the letter that Alison Campbell wrote.

    Train announcements

    The announcements about where we are now, where we will stop next, etc etc are too loud, too verbose and too frequent. The auto-announcements come every few minutes at deafening volume, preceded every time by a piercing double bell sound. Frequently they are given first by the train conductor then repeated moments later –sometimes twice– by ‘sonia’ (short for “getsonia nerves”, as the auto-announcer is known to the conductors). It is impossible to hear a phone call, concentrate on work or read a newspaper.

    In addition to these endless positional updates, we are bombarded by reminders to read the safety instructions, stow our bags properly and remember to “uplift” them, not to smoke, not to drop our tickets, and not to fall into “the gap”. I frequently feel like jumping into it.

    When this is your life 5 days a week, 49 weeks a year it makes for an unpleasant, stressful and depressing commute. Please may we have silent journeys, or if this is impossible, then a single, brief, quiet announcement, "We are now approaching ".

  • 3 First Group Response responded to Alison Campbell close 15:58 26 Sep 2011
    Thank you for contacting ScotRail. Under the terms of our Passengers' Charter, we aim to respond to all claims/correspondence within 7 working days.

    Please note that you will not be able to respond direct to this email.
  • 4 Scotrail Customer Relations responded to Alison Campbell close 19:12 28 Sep 2011
    ScotRail
    Customer Relations
    PO Box 7030
    Fort William
    PH33 6WX

    Tel: 08456 015 929
    Fax: 01397 708 239

    Our Ref: 6205878/SR

    Dear Customer

    Thank you for your email.

    As a Train Operating Company, we want to keep our customers happy.

    We have a series of initiatives in place to listen and act upon their comments. These channels range from 'Meet the Managers' at stations and on trains to Customer Forums.

    We also have a dedicated customer relations centre which aims to respond to queries or complaints as quickly and effectively as possible.

    We encourage our customers to contact us directly to help give them the service they expect and deserve.

    Yours sincerely

    John Mair
    Customer Relations Advisor

    First ScotRail Limited. Registered in Scotland No SC185018. Registered Office: 395 King Street, Aberdeen AB24 5RP

    First ScotRail Limited. Registered in Scotland No. SC185018. Registered office: 395 King Street, Aberdeen, AB24 5RP.

    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 will geluk commented close 15:38 22 Oct 2011

    hi, i live in tokyo and i am dealing with such a problem. so at the moment i am just browsing the topic. i have sent many letters to the train company but ultimately i need to create pamphlets to hand out at the the station gates to get people on board. just downloaded some iphone apps for decibel readings.
    i think the majority of people in any country can just ignore loud noises. but a certain segment of which i am included suffers when loud repetitive sounds interrupt their train of thought, usurping their headspace and causing a fair degree of discomfort and stress.
    keep up the good fight for reduction of noise pollution

  • 6 Alison Campbell commented close 10:02 27 Jan 2012

    My experience with getting the rail companies (and I no longer know which outfit is in charge of which aspect of travel) to change things for the comfort and convenience of their passengers is that no-one ever does anything. One feels entirely powerless and completely without a voice. It is really not worth writing at all.

    All the companies do is send you auto-responses saying they've received your complaint/feedback. And all Passenger Focus has ever done is to say, "sadly, they are acting within the law and there's nothing we can do". What passengers want, what is comfortable and convenient for us, is of no consequence whatsoever to anyone. We are required simply to pay our fares.

  • 7 Alison Campbell added an update close 10:06 27 Jan 2012

    Nothing is happening. Nothing has been done. There is no machanism within Scotrail for allowing passengers to influence policy. Providing we pay our fares, Scotrail is not interested in what passengers think, what kind of journey we have. If there were any alternative, we would migrate to it in droves - and then perhaps Scotrail's policies would change.

  • 8 Chris Steinle commented close 10:14 27 Jan 2012

    Don't worry. ScotRail have an 86% approval rating according to their latest PR announcement. They're doing a great job!

  • 9 Alison Campbell commented close 10:46 27 Jan 2012

    I appreciate the irony! But on a more sober note, a 14% disapproval rating means a lot of your passengers are seriously p**sed off with you.. Most people are too disenchanted or disenfranchised actually to complain. Many believe (as I am concluding) that there is nothingat all that one can do.

    This 14% is probably the tip of a large, dark, cold iceberg. It behoves Scotrail to pay attention instead of feeling smug that fewer than 1 passenger in 10 is considering using another means of transport.

  • 10 Myf Nixon advised Alison to write to Noise Abatement Society. close 11:18 27 Jan 2012

    Hello Alison,

    I'm sorry to hear that you feel so unable to get your voice heard on this issue. I wonder whether the Noise Abatement Society might help. I've provided the email address for their free advice line - I'm sure you wouldn't be the first person to approach them to ask what can be done about announcements on trains.

    Good luck!

    Myf Nixon

    anorak
    admin
  • 11 Alison Campbell commented close 11:53 27 Jan 2012

    Many thanks for the link, Myf. I’ll try to write to them at lunchtime.

    However (sorry to put a damper on), I do not really want to hear someone say "we hear your pain", I want action. Nominally that's what Passenger Focus is there for, but it is as impotent as a baby. Lately (call me a cynic) I have even wondered whether the train operating companieswere complicit in setting up PF, to act as a bin into which passengers can deposit their complaints and suggestions.

    Regards,
    Alison

Comment
  • started 26 September 2011
  • supporters 3
Train route between Edinburgh and North Queensferry operated by ScotRail
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