Wednesday, February 27, 2008

DfT and FGW don't tell the truth shocker

The Times newspaper reports today that London Travelwatch has accused ministers of colluding with First Great Western to conceal the true extent of its failures. Read the full story here. It seems that 311 cancellations over the past 11 months went unreported, according to the DfT.

Well, safe to say, I am un-flabbergasted and not at all surprised by the allegations. We all knew things were worse than FGW let on, and I suspect no commuters will be shocked to hear this news, as we've all known for ages that the system has been crap over the past year, to the extent that even a lazy person like me started a blog to complain about it.

At least the new management is, as it puts it, "blowing the whistle on itself".

In happier news, I have taken advantage of the "double discount" currently available due to the crap service before Christmas, and have renewed my season ticket this morning. Having taken the advice of a station manager who commented on an earlier post, I've got myself a ticket which can be used for trips both on FGW's services, and the South West Trains service to Waterloo from Windsor and Eton Riverside.

This means that I can opt out of FGW when the constant train-changing gets too much.
I might experiment with a journey on SWT next week and see how that goes. I think the trip will take longer, but since it's two trains instead of four, I might be able to put up with that.

I like this new management team that admits to its mistakes and offers cheaper tickets as an apology. That's all we really wanted from the start wasn't it?

Well, I suppose what we wanted was a good train service, but I'm beginning to wonder if that might just be pie in the sky. For now, an admission, an apology and a discount are working for me. Any chance of that off-peak upgrade again? That was good.


Lord Hutton said...

I am sure there were plenty of unreported cancellations. Letters of complaint to FGW cc'd to DfT and Travelwatch are good fun. Mr Haines seems to be upfront about things.

Anonymous said...

Does this mean that the reliability figures reported by FGW for the past 12 months are also incorrect?
Should season ticket holders be getting a 10% (or 20%) discount on renewal?

Anonymous said...

No the reliability figures are correct. What the did was to say that some of the cancellations were the fault of network rail and not FGW. This is important because some cancellations have to be made because of a point failure etc and are not within FGW control.

There is a level at which cancellations under FGW control could trigger the loss of the franchise. The total number of cancellations was reported correctly but some of them were wrongly allocated - hence the fine.

Train manager

Anonymous said...

First Management, admit a mistake???????

Surely not, anyone who admits a mistake or apologises won't very last long in this empire....

just ask the last MD.