Passengers at London Waterloo station, which handles almost 100 million journeys each year, are now benefitting from more up to date, real time travel advice as station staff have been issued with 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 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.
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 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.
Anthony Smith, chief executive of independent rail passenger watchdog Transport Focus adds:
“It is great to hear about another big rail station taking steps to present one team on the concourse with access to real time information for the benefit of passengers.
“We look forward to seeing the improved passenger experience this collaborative effort can deliver.”
Chico Coulibaly, London regional manager for South Western Railway, said:
“We’re absolutely focused on putting customers at the heart of everything we do and our station staff are vital to the smooth running of Waterloo.”
“We want our staff to stand out from the crowd, so being highly visible with the latest technology means customers can receive the best real-time information to help them on their way.”
“This is part of a bigger project to transform Waterloo station into the best railway station in London.”