Friday, 18 January 2008
Why Overground need to listen to a Users Group for the North London Line
The North London Line (I assume it is still called the North London Line even though it's part of Overground) is being gradually tidied up - or at least new signs are going up and handrails are being painted.
But frankly I'm looking for a bigger shift than just the paint colour. Now we do have the security guards, but there's a bit of work needed on some of the customer service based on my experience - and I'm using about 4-5 different stations a week - and some fixture repairs are going on.
My picture here is of a dumping area at Kensal Rise that needs cleaning up - it's pretty grim, use an area used for putting full bin bags and is generally being used as a storage space for rubbish and becoming an eyesore. it's not the only one - it is just one example I saw when i had the camera.
But there is a still a further catalogue of repairs and enhancements that are needed:
- the graffiti at Brondesbury
- the awful awful wire security fence at Finchley Road and Frognal
- the bike rack in the wrong place at Hampstead Heath
- the lack of screens in the various ticket halls which mean you have to swipe your oyster card to go in and find out if a train is due (yes, I know there is a printed timetable, but trains on this line are frequently late and the screen is the only way of finding out actually likely departure times).
Oh, and when the trains are cancelled I hope that there is a better system in future than this one I caught on a recent sunday...
Yes, the piece of flip chart paper says "NO TRAINS FROM THIS STATION 12.30 TODAY
And the even more amusing piece of tape over the Oyster swipe card point says "NO TRAINS TODAY."
To be fair these were put up by a member of staff who 'happened to be there' and who was trying to be helpful - but it didn't feel very professional and did nothing to assist the people who had bought tickets cos the machine is separate from the swipe point or the stairs to the platforms...
For these reasons and more I'm very keen to accelerate setting up a Users Group for the 6 affected stations - please do get in touch. I'm hoping to get a meeting sorted in the next week or so and will let everyone know.