Zac Goldsmith called a meeting with Andy Mellors, the Director of SWR on Tuesday 20th February
to discuss the ongoing reliability issues with the service. Mr Mellors detailed the measures being put in place to improve the service and provided the following update from SWR on their upcoming works.
Our performance since the start of the franchise has not been good enough and we apologise to you for that. However, notwithstanding other issues that have had an adverse effect on punctuality, there is an improving trend.
The challenges with operational performance didn’t suddenly start at the beginning of the new franchise. We’ve inherited a network which has been in decline for a number of years, and unfortunately, there’s no quick fix on a network as complicated as ours. However, we are acutely aware of the challenges we face and we’re working hard in conjunction with Network Rail to resolve them and are determined to get performance back to where it should be.
Some of the things we are working jointly with Network Rail on are:
· remote monitoring to stop incidents before they occur
· the introduction of additional teams to get a quicker response to incidents
· the removal of temporary speed restrictions to improve performance
· work to make our trains more reliable
The new longer platforms at Waterloo delivered through the August works mean we are now running longer trains on some of our busiest services, and in December, the former International Terminal will fully reopen giving us access to additional platforms providing much needed extra flexibility to deal with disruption.
New Trains for you
By the end of March, we will have completed the introduction of 150 new carriages to your route, providing several thousand more seats to and from Waterloo at the busiest times. Although ordered during the last franchise, these trains have all been introduced into regular passenger service since the start of our franchise.
Looking ahead, we’re already started investing the first of our £1.2bn planned investment our new Aventra trains will come on stream towards the end of next year. These state of the art British built trains – 750 carriages in all at a cost of £895m – will come with Wi-Fi, at-seat power sockets, real-time passenger information systems, air conditioning and toilets. They will operate on the Windsor, Reading and suburban routes, with all being in service by December 2020.
Keeping the trains clean
We have delivered on a key pledge to deep-clean every train across the network in our first 100 days. This involved over 15,000 hours of elbow grease across six different train depots by a team of almost 50 people. Now we are also delivering on our commitment to continue to deep-clean our trains every 30 days – in addition to the routine daily clean.
What are the numbers behind the dirt?
· Over 65,000 seats are deep cleaned each month
· Over 1000 packs of toilet tissues are used each week
· 100,000 ml of soap is used each month
· Since November, we have used more than 4000 litres of cleaning chemical and 15,000 cleaning cloths
If you are delayed
We’re working hard to improve performance, but sometimes delays to journeys are inevitable. You can now claim compensation if your journey is delayed by 15 minutes or more – compared to the previous Delay Repay compensation threshold of 30 minutes. You can apply for Delay Repay 15 compensation by using the secure online form at delayrepay.southwesternrailway.com or via the SWR mobile app (available from the App Store or Google Play). If you prefer to complete a paper compensation form, you can pick one up at any staffed SWR station.
We’ve also introduced a new Delay Repay Customer Account which only takes 2 minutes to sign up to:delayrepay.southwesternrailway.com/user/register. Once registered, you can save both your contact details and payment preferences securely, saving time and effort when making any new claim. You can also track the progress of your previous claims from your dashboard area, including those made prior to registration if you’ve used the same email address.
Wi-Fi and infotainment for you
By December 2018, all of our mainland trains will have free on-board Wi-Fi and there will be free-of-charge customer Infotainment services featuring films, TV shows, newspapers, magazines and games on some services. By December 2020, every train will have the customer Infotainment service installed and we will have increased speed and coverage for all of our Wi-Fi services. Station Wi-Fi is also being rolled out from next year, with every mainland station connected by