Britain’s busiest railway station in latest passenger first initiative
Posted byJennifer Bollen
Network Rail has launched its latest initiative to put passengers first following the success of Team Victoria.
Passengers at London Waterloo station, which is Britain’s busiest railway station with almost 100 million journeys a year, now benefit from improved service from station staff.
Staff can now give more up-to-date, real-time travel advice as station staff thanks to mobile technology to help them better guide people on their journeys.
The station team are the first in London to be linked directly to their route’s Rail Operating Centre, in Basingstoke, putting real time information into the hands of all staff on the concourse for the first time.
They have previously relied on National Rail Enquiries or a physical book with service information to advise passengers.
Station staff are now more easily identifiable
Station support staff are also now more visible to passengers seeking help at the station, with new blue tabards which are joint Network Rail and South Western Railway branded.
This means all station support staff, whether Network Rail or South Western Railway, appear as one team and stand out from the many people passing through the station already wearing more traditional orange high-vis.
The research by watchdog Transport Focus, which twice a year collects opinions of train services from a sample of passenger journeys, shows satisfaction levels at London Victoria rose by 6.4% to 78.3% in the year to the autumn.
The surge was greater than the 6.3% increase achieved in that period by Liverpool Lime Street, which ranked as the best Network Rail station for passenger satisfaction with 93.8%.
In a first for Britain’s rail industry, Network Rail staff and employees at train operators Southeastern, Southern and Gatwick Express, ditched their individual company uniforms in favour of a new Team Victoria outfit, featuring the station’s iconic logo of Queen Victoria in silhouette.
Jason Murphy, head of stations for Network Rail’s Wessex route, said: “At Waterloo, we move more people than a sold-out England game at Wembley Stadium during evening rush hour alone, so being visible and communicating up to date information to our passengers is vital to the smooth running of the station.
We know passengers want better information, and we know staff helping our passengers is really useful, especially those who don’t have access to technology themselves.
“We are absolutely focused on improving things for our passengers and are making these changes so we can make their journey through the station easier and more comfortable.
Other changes at Waterloo include the passenger information desks at the station now staffed all-day - previously they were staffed only at peak times. New passenger information screens have also replaced advertising boards at Exit 2, which sees more people pass through it than the whole of Manchester Piccadilly in peak periods, to provide clear and relevant information to passengers.