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Govia Thameslink Railway Proposed Station Hosts Trial Update

1 February 2017

TSSA Company Councillors recently met with Govia Thameslink Railway to discuss the trial of the Station Host concept.

 

Firstly it was stated that we did not believe that the trials had properly started and that it was important that all the pieces were in place for the trials to be meaningful. The Company Councillors informed the company that the trials are not working for the following reasons:

· The trial stations did not have the agreed number of volunteers to work at each location.

· No Job Descriptions had been agreed.

· The training for the role had not been specific to this new role, was more focused on new entrants and was Southern biased.

· Team Leaders were unaware of the duties and working patterns of those participating in the trial.

· There were problems with the technology, Envoy machines were losing Bluetooth connections, tickets issued not working the gates, the printers are heavy and go to sleep, not recognising the old style photo card for transactions.

· Stations amendment works have not happened at all the locations.

Contrary to the company briefing the trials are not half way through. Govia Thameslink Railway has agreed that for the trial to be relevant it is essential that volunteers are properly trained and the correct numbers are in place for each location, and the station concourse layout is fit for purpose. However they did say that they expected that a trial would discover where there are faults and weaknesses in the technology and that would allow modifications before the Envoy machine is used fully. The trials will still be at City Thameslink, Cricklewood, Enfield Chase, and Sandy on Thameslink/Great Northern and at Battersea Park, Balham, Chichester and Peckham Rye on the Southern area. The TSSA still wants to see this trial worked fully to assess whether the proposal is a workable in the station environment. As stated before it may be that the whole proposal works in some locations and not all, it maybe that part of the new proposed working practices work and not all. Therefore we will only know this if there is a realistic and meaningful trial over a period of time.

There will be a further meeting with the company on this matter so that we can ensure that the trial is carried out in a consistent and meaningful manner that reflects the proposal.

 

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