Meet the directors
10th March 2010
The forum gives you the opportunity to post questions to our senior team and get instant answers. Thank you for taking part.
We hold 'Meet the Directors' sessions on a monthly basis at various stations on our network.
Use the form below to find a question in the forum.
Question number 101
From Mrs G BiggleswadeQ
Are there any plans to make the platforms longer at Sandy/Biggleswade/Arlesey or have at least one more peak hour train. The services from Biggleswade are becoming more crowded. On the 7.07 for example people getting on at Arlesey have to stand. The new houses being built in the area north of Hitchin towards Peterborough means that the trains will become more crowded over the next couple of years and we will probably be standing from Biggleswade. Do FCC really think it is OK for people to have to stand all the way to Kings Cross?
Thank you for your question.
We are developing capacity schemes with the DfT which include further strengthening of outer services.
The details are not yet finalised but we are committed to delivering additional capacity across our network which we know is one of our biggest challenges.
Question number 100
From Mr Jonathan MorrisQ
I hope that this doesn't sound too sycophantic, but for anyone that might accuse FCC of running a fleet of 'dirty' trains, I have to stand up and say that I think they do an absolutely wonderful job given the abuse they have to endure.
I've boarded trains that are absolutely covered in mess, from dumped cans of beer, bottles of wine, crisps that haven't been eaten rather thrown all over the place torn up papers and, well you get the idea.
If it's wet, the seats end up wet and muddy where people are putting their feet up (and if you walk through any late night train, you'll see that a good 20-25% of passengers will be doing this).
Yet, despite all of this abuse, by the next morning these trains are sent out without any sign of the carnage that happened the night before.
The cleaning team, and the people that are monitoring it, are doing an amazing job given the testing circumstances.
However, I can't just praise FCC without a point! It would therefore be nice to see a clamp down on the people who put their feet on the seats, as the lack of any enforcement does now seem to result in everyone thinking it's okay. Sadly, I am not sure much can be done about the rubbish, except to have more cleaning on the late-night services at the turnaround points.
Thanks for the feedback, I'll make sure it gets back to the cleaning teams. I understand the point about feet on seats and it is something we can pick up with our revenue teams.
Question number 99
From Mr Matthew DickinsonQ
The gateline at the high level platforms at St Pancras have displays that now indicate that they accept Oyster, but any attempt to use an Oystercard there returns an error.
This is inconvenient when trains are diverted there.
The machines operated by East Midlands Trains (to which your are referring) are not Oyster enabled however those operated by FCC and South Eastern are fully enabled.
Question number 98
From Mr Kevin BoxellQ
What was the selection criteria for the new trains?
I know that they mean more trains can have eight coaches but based on your own inforamtion they have less seats so therefore services with the new trains have more standing passengers.
Also the seats and aisles seem to be much smaller than the old trains and with the airline style seating seems a little daft to me
Thank you for your comment.
The design criteria for the new trains are specified in the Invitation to Tender, which is published on the Department for Transport website.
The trains are intended to support a train frequency of up to 24 trains per hour through the core of the Thameslink network, which means that the interior layout, including seating, doors and corridor connections, needs to provide for free flow of customers on and off the train.
There will be different layout configurations for trains designed for short journeys and longer trips.
Question number 97
From Mr andrew stockQ
When are you going to get the extra class 313 units from London Overgound and what internal refurb are you going to do on these units as the London Overground units are in a very poor state.
We continue to work on this but have no news for you at this stage.