CRA 2012 winner - Best Customer Service
South West Trains
The judges were impressed with South West Trains’ service during the Olympic and Paralympic Games and saw a marked evolution in the Company’s level and scope of customer service.
The panel noted ongoing improvements for cyclists at Waterloo and Richmond, highlighted the TOC’s combination of cyclist-focused measures including clear signage, promotion of initiatives and links with local routes and attractions and considered the company’s cyclist-specific customer service provision exemplary.
During the past twelve months, South West Trains has evolved its cycle initiatives, introduced new and innovative facilities and ensured its cycle policy is clear, consistent and understood by the vast majority of customers. Specific projects have included additional cycle stands, eight new secure compounds, development of the popular and pioneering Brompton Dock at Guildford and a new cycle centre at Richmond.
Ongoing measures to extend Cycle-Rail provision include new cycle signage on highways linked to stations, bike surgeries held at a number of stations and improved marketing and communication, linking up with visitor attractions and major cycle routes.
A major theme in South West Trains’ activities saw it collaborate with the Tour of Britain and the London-to-Windsor bike ride to accommodate over 400 cyclists travelling to and from these events. SWT proved itself capable of scaling up its service without disruption by providing extra trains and carriages to cope with demand.
The London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games were seen as other such opportunities and saw a boost in take-up of the TOC’s three cycle hire schemes. This tie-in to local events has proved to be a tangible measure in the ongoing success of SWT’s Cycle-Rail provision, with customers recognising its support of and desire to assist with these activities rather than impose a ban on bikes. The Olympic and Paralympic Games saw SWT ensure a consistency of service for its regular passengers and provide a good level of customer support for all.
SWT’s Cycle-Rail provision is funded through partnership working between ATOC, DfT, TfL, local authorities, Network Rail and SWT and it has recently been successful in a Local Sustainable Transport Fund bid for cycle improvements with six local authorities, proving a desire to improve customer service for local residents as well as its passengers.