Hurrah! A victory for common sense and a quiet life on the horizon for First Great Western passengers, as they have promised to review all train announcements and remove as much of the extraneous tosh as possible.
Their research has shown that because so much drivel comes out of the public address systems, the travelling public are conditioning themselves to tune out, because every time the train arrives at a station they are reminded to mind the gap (even when there isn’t much of one), take personal belongings, report anything suspicious, and just in case they’ve forgotten, to remember to breathe.
As for the person (I nearly found myself calling them something far more impolite) from industry watchdog Passenger Focus, who appears to be suggesting that these lengthy hectoring announcements are necessary, I find myself wondering when was the last time he travelled on a train?
Announcements need to be more like tweets… Concise, but able to get all the important information across, and in as few words as possible.
“…need a lift, Sir Richard?”
Cheeky marketing by Birmingham to London competitor Chiltern Railways, encouraging passengers to try out their Mainline service.
Those who do try out Chiltern Mainline might be pleasantly surprised to find:
- Cheaper fares.
- Journey times that are only slightly longer than on Virgin, and maybe be end-to-end shorter if you’re closer to one of Chiltern’s stations.
- Seats which line up with the windows.
- Tables and power sockets.
- Free wifi.
It’s one of the few places in the UK where you can find some genuine competition on a city centre to city centre rail service.
Chiltern have made massive improvements and real investments, i.e. spent their own cash, not claimed investment of public funds as their own, on the route and have worked hard to build a good relationship and understanding with their travelling public.
The CEO of Passenger Focus recently wrote this blog article on his positive Chiltern Mainline experience, and wondered how they can continue to grow the service. I suggested ia a comment that recommendation, word-of-mouth, is very strong in helping the Chiltern cause, but even tongue-in-cheek marketing like this has it’s place.
There’s one thing about the “wrapper ad” on the Metro which strikes me as bizarre. The words “Book now”.
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