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Customer Cabinet

The North Customer Cabinet brings together staff and passengers from across the Great Northern and Thameslink networks to give advice and recommendations on customer strategy and collaborate on practical initiatives for improvements.

Working together

We put together the cabinet to better understand our customers’ views and needs.

In addition to providing advice and recommendations from a customer perspective, cabinet members have the support and budget for a number of self-generated projects. They are also asked to provide journey feedback as regular users of our network.

This voluntary group is made up of passengers that are chosen to represent a broad cross-section of our users from across our network.

The cabinet is chaired by our passenger services director, Stuart Cheshire.

What we’ve been talking about

In our last North cabinet meeting at the end of January, agenda items included crime and security, with a presentation being made by our crime and security manager, Tony Holland. We also had a discussion with Matt Gee, head of service delivery, regarding the transition of the Great Northern service delivery centre to the rail operating centre in Three Bridges.

Cabinet members were then shown a presentation on a new system that allows us to recognise when on-board toilets are out of service, giving us the opportunity to plan ahead and get them serviced and working as soon as possible. Finally we discussed the ‘humps’ that have recently been added to many ‘core’ stations, giving disabled passengers the ability to board and disembark our Class 700 trains without the need for staff assistance.

Member profiles

Nick Bignall

I’ve used the Thameslink line from Bedford to Blackfriars for nearly 6 years, in the last year I moved to Lincolnshire, now travelling Peterborough to Kings Cross on Great Northern and then picking up the Thameslink to Blackfriars.

I’m looking forward to the new Thameslink services in May 18 and being able to complete my journey without needing to change services.

The customer cabinet is a valuable way of being able to influence GTR about what matters most and impacts all of us on our everyday journeys, it’s also a great way of learning and understanding why some things happen that otherwise might not make sense. In my time on the cabinet I’ve GTR to be very open and honest and certainly it’s been great to see them listen positively to what at times can be diffuse feedback.

Mark Wharton

I have been an occasional traveller on the Thameslink line into London since the seventies for both pleasure and business and since 2008 as a daily commuter travelling into Blackfriars station from St. Albans.

I have witnessed a marked increase in passenger numbers since my daily commute started in 2008, leading to the resultant train capacity issues and impact on the line. How disruption is handled and communicated is something close to my heart, whether it is an issue for the train operating company or Network Rail. I joined the North Cabinet as I understand the frustrations my fellow travellers feel when our commute doesn’t go quite to plan. It isn’t all bad, but only the troublesome journeys tend to get remembered and mentioned in the media and not much of the positive changes that have been delivered and in the pipeline. I see the cabinet as an opportunity to represent fellow travellers and share my experiences, both good and bad, with Govia Thameslink Railway.

Lyn Graham-Taylor

I have lived in Radlett for over thirty years and use the train service both for commuting (into central London) and for leisure. I joined the customer cabinet as I hoped to promote the interests of local users – with this, of course, including commuters but also those who are more infrequent users of the rail service.

Nigel Gale

I live with my young family in Borehamwood and commute to Central London on a daily basis. My family and I often travel into London at weekends and not having a car means we rely heavily on the Thameslink route.

Like many passengers, I have a love-hate relationship with the line, because when it works properly it's the best line to live on; on the other hand we do seem to suffer more than our fair share of disruptions and cancellations which is a source of frustration for many. I applied for the role as I wanted to know why and see what I and my fellow cabinet members could do to make travelling a little better for those of us who feel a little unloved at times.