Wednesday, July 18, 2007

First Great Useless

As you'll no doubt already be aware, I have a problem with First Great Western. They are not capable of running the service they are supposed to provide. We are halfway through this week and my delays already total more than an hour.

My problem is not generally with FGW front-line staff (though occasionally it is), my gripe is mostly with the appalling management who havn't a clue how to efficiently run a railway. In fact they can't be trusted to do most things.

Below is a picture I took at Bath Spa station on Saturday in the ticket office. The office is partly closed at the moment for refurbishment and this poster, signed by Ian Monks the station manager, apologizes for the inconvenience caused during the refurbishment. This poster sums up fantastically so many things about FGW.

Now anyone can make a typo. Though even the most basic proof-reading by a person of limited intelligence should spot this one before printing. What's worse though, is that having spotted this mistake after printing, you'd have thought Ian Monks would have been quite embarrassed and taken the poster down and printed another. But no, it's just neatly crossed out and corrected with a biro, so that everybody has their attention is drawn to how stupid it is. Nice.


whistleblower said...

Hi Billyo. You do get worked up about relatively unimportant things, don't you? The whole of FGW is condemned by a typo! How much more would you have condemned us if we hadn't attempted to apologise or if we had spent your hard-earned money on throwing away the poster and paying for a new one?

And what about kettles and pots? Even the most basic proof-reading by a blogger of limited intelligence should spot the two typos/spelling errors and the split infinitive in his blog before posting. You'd have thought Billyo would have been quite embarrassed and taken the blog down and printed another.......

Billyo said...

Point taken. Post Edited. You must admit though, to mistake closer and closure is worse than sticking two "i"s in "printiing".

I have to get worked up about the unimportant things. Writing again and again and again and again that my train was delayed on the way to work is boring. I've gotten commuter apathy; I get nothing but hollow apologies from FGW when I complain about late trains, so I've stopped writing unless my delay is >45 min.

I would also imagine, that the image conscious FGW management care more about this sort of thing than running trains on time.

whistleblower said...

Only teasing! The staff are just as fed up as the customers so we're not really going to defend FGW. Like everybody else we are hoping that the rumours of First Group losing the franchise have a basis in fact. But even if that did happen I can't really see any more money being put into it. And if the Government took it back, as they did with Connex Southeast, do you think the DfT would make a better job of running it? After all, they designed the franchise in the first place. It's so depressing that I think I'll persuade cyberbrat to flunk his A levels and skip Uni so that I can retire early. Does that make me morally corrupt, do you think?

Billyo said...

I have no personal knowledge of the connex service after it was "semi-nationalised", but reading the Signal failures coloumn of Private Eye, I seem to remember it was run much better.

Ian said...

there spelling is really bad isn't it

Anonymous said...

Connex ran much better (although still not great) after it was renationalised. This was slightly embarassing for the Government, so they re-let the franchise as soon as they could.

Mind you, when the connex franchise was taken back, it was run by a team from the Strategic Rail Authority which was a fairly competent organisation. So competent in fact that the Government abolished it. If FGW was stripped of the franchise, the trains would be run by DfT's "rail group" who in my opintion are useless and might even be worst than First.