Wobbly passengers on South West Trains?

Status
Not open for further replies.
Joined
1 Aug 2014
Messages
135
In an execrable attempt at smug spin, SW Trains says "Seat reservations are no longer offered on South West Trains, meaning passengers are free to choose where they want to sit".

But what about wobbly passengers who need to know that they will have a seat for what can be a three-hour journey on a SWT service?

I've just cancelled a journey for an elderly relative having spotted a lack of reservations on the two-hour leg from Basingstoke to Honiton and realised that SWT Passenger Assistance had glossed over this rather fundamental problem. The odds of having to stand on a crushed train might be low, but if that did happen, it could be the last time that my relative would have the confidence to travel alone.

Why don't franchise specifications (which seem quite bossy in many other respects) require the provision of a reservations service for journeys beyond a given duration?
 
Sponsor Post - registered members do not see these adverts; click here to register, or click here to log in
R

RailUK Forums

DerekC

Established Member
Joined
26 Oct 2015
Messages
1,199
Location
Hampshire (nearly a Hog)
I've just cancelled a journey for an elderly relative having spotted a lack of reservations on the two-hour leg from Basingstoke to Honiton and realised that SWT Passenger Assistance had glossed over this rather fundamental problem ...
Why don't franchise specifications (which seem quite bossy in many other respects) require the provision of a reservations service for journeys beyond a given duration?
You have raised an excellent point - I think the accessibility aspects of this are the way to get under DfT's skin. They will, of course, pass the blame on to the TOC but if you play it right they might just do something. I suggest you write to your MP asking him/her to raise it with SoS for Transport - and also wind up the accessibility lobby - Access for All are the people to talk to. It would be even better if you live in the SWR area because the MP will be more interested.
 

yorksrob

Veteran Member
Joined
6 Aug 2009
Messages
24,610
Location
Yorks
I think that's fine, so long as reservations are only offered where people actually request them, rather than just churning them out for everyone who buys an AP ticket.

Having had a weeks worth of GWR's unreliable reservation system and the problems associated with it, it was a relief to get on a SWR service without having to worry about them.
 

VT 390

Established Member
Joined
7 Dec 2018
Messages
1,366
In an execrable attempt at smug spin, SW Trains says "Seat reservations are no longer offered on South West Trains, meaning passengers are free to choose where they want to sit".

But what about wobbly passengers who need to know that they will have a seat for what can be a three-hour journey on a SWT service?

I've just cancelled a journey for an elderly relative having spotted a lack of reservations on the two-hour leg from Basingstoke to Honiton and realised that SWT Passenger Assistance had glossed over this rather fundamental problem. The odds of having to stand on a crushed train might be low, but if that did happen, it could be the last time that my relative would have the confidence to travel alone.

Why don't franchise specifications (which seem quite bossy in many other respects) require the provision of a reservations service for journeys beyond a given duration?
I thought only counted place reservations have been used on South West Trains/Railway for a while now as for the past 3 years when I have travelled with them on routes like Weymouth to Waterloo there have been no specific seat reservations anywhere it the train.

For your situation if they are elderly could they ask to sit in a priority seat?
 

nuts & bolts

Member
Joined
24 Jan 2015
Messages
244
Location
B & H
In an execrable attempt at smug spin, SW Trains says "Seat reservations are no longer offered on South West Trains, meaning passengers are free to choose where they want to sit".

But what about wobbly passengers who need to know that they will have a seat for what can be a three-hour journey on a SWT service?

I've just cancelled a journey for an elderly relative having spotted a lack of reservations on the two-hour leg from Basingstoke to Honiton and realised that SWT Passenger Assistance had glossed over this rather fundamental problem. The odds of having to stand on a crushed train might be low, but if that did happen, it could be the last time that my relative would have the confidence to travel alone.

Why don't franchise specifications (which seem quite bossy in many other respects) require the provision of a reservations service for journeys beyond a given duration?
If you had booked via the Passenger Assitance Service, your elderly relative would have been placed in a 'Priority Seat' by the platform staff, these seats have to be given up by able bodied persons when requested by TOC staff.

Hope this helps
 

wibble

Member
Joined
23 Jun 2010
Messages
585
In an execrable attempt at smug spin, SW Trains says "Seat reservations are no longer offered on South West Trains, meaning passengers are free to choose where they want to sit".

But what about wobbly passengers who need to know that they will have a seat for what can be a three-hour journey on a SWT service?

I've just cancelled a journey for an elderly relative having spotted a lack of reservations on the two-hour leg from Basingstoke to Honiton and realised that SWT Passenger Assistance had glossed over this rather fundamental problem. The odds of having to stand on a crushed train might be low, but if that did happen, it could be the last time that my relative would have the confidence to travel alone.

Why don't franchise specifications (which seem quite bossy in many other respects) require the provision of a reservations service for journeys beyond a given duration?
It's not a smug statement - SWT (or South Western Railway as they've been called for the last 2 years) got rid of seat reservations almost 10 years ago. That was mostly due to complaints from regular travellers (i.e. vocal commuters) who saw a sea of reserved seats on trains and it was sometime pot luck as to whether anyone would actually sit there.

Anyone with shred of decency should give up their seat if someone has visible disability and needs to sit down. I've offered my seat on many occasions to those older or less able to stand than me, even when people in priority seats won't move.

I think you should contact your MP to complain about it, but the reality is, nothing will really change. If it does, I look forward to seeing seat reservations on London Underground.
 

Eccles1983

On Moderation
Joined
4 Sep 2016
Messages
707
The difference with Northern though is most people will be making much shorter journeys than on SWR's longer routes.
Have fun justifying that with Leeds-southports or Chester-Leeds services.

A Waterloo to Weymouth is around 2hrs 40.

Chester Leeds is around 2hrs 20.
Southport Leeds is 2hrs 40.

What you have written is a bit baseless really.
 

SussexMan

Member
Joined
23 Oct 2010
Messages
430
Anyone with shred of decency should give up their seat if someone has visible disability and needs to sit down.
There are many, many people who find standing difficult for any length of time who have no visible disability - and indeed wouldn't call it that. Many people have excruciating back pain if they have to stand for a longer period. I would suggest that many of those people are reluctant to travel if there is a reasonable chance of not getting a seat.
 

VT 390

Established Member
Joined
7 Dec 2018
Messages
1,366
Do any operators issue some sort of priority seat card which you could show if you need a seat?
 

6Gman

Established Member
Joined
1 May 2012
Messages
6,278
There are many, many people who find standing difficult for any length of time who have no visible disability - and indeed wouldn't call it that. Many people have excruciating back pain if they have to stand for a longer period. I would suggest that many of those people are reluctant to travel if there is a reasonable chance of not getting a seat.
Conditions which can make standing for a long time difficult or medically inadvisable (or even impossible):

Dementia
Vascular disease
Blood sugar disorders

(And that's just in my family!)
 

theironroad

Established Member
Joined
21 Nov 2014
Messages
3,177
Location
London
The seats reservation argument has been done more than a few times before on here.

Swt abolished them years ago, because a) it was one of the biggest issues for conflict on board and b) when trains were disrupted and it wasn't possible for staff to walk a 10 car train putting bits of paper in seats and thus no reservations appear.
 

VT 390

Established Member
Joined
7 Dec 2018
Messages
1,366
Have fun justifying that with Leeds-southports or Chester-Leeds services.

A Waterloo to Weymouth is around 2hrs 40.

Chester Leeds is around 2hrs 20.
Southport Leeds is 2hrs 40.

What you have written is a bit baseless really.
Very few people if any will do the full Southport to Leeds service, though a few might do Chester to Leeds but my point was that a lot of Northerns long journeys (not all of them) are more for operational reasons where as on SWR more passengers will be doing longer journeys. I do not think SWR needs reservations though as it is more commuter based than other long distance routes out of London such as Virgin Trains or LNER.
 

3141

Established Member
Joined
1 Apr 2012
Messages
1,520
Location
Overton, Hampshire
That might be a solution. There would of course be the question of how to ensure that a priority seat was available for a priority passenger.

But how would a priority passenger be defined? The issue raised by the OP is much wider than having a space for wheelchair and helping the passenger on and off the train. I could define myself as a priority passenger as I'm now 80 and I was in hospital for four weeks earlier this year and recently had an operation. I've also recovered well, luckily, and walked over three miles one day last week. If necessary I could stand for an hour at least, but I'd have doubts if it was going to be two hours. (Incidentally, I doubt if the Basingstoke to Honiton trip the OP referred to would require standing.) My own conclusion is that if there comes a time when I feel I cannot stand I will either avoid travelling at busy times or accept that I cannot travel at all. In a similar way, there may come a time when I should no longer drive, and there won't be any special arrangements to enable me to continue.
 

theironroad

Established Member
Joined
21 Nov 2014
Messages
3,177
Location
London
That might be a solution. There would of course be the question of how to ensure that a priority seat was available for a priority passenger.

But how would a priority passenger be defined? The issue raised by the OP is much wider than having a space for wheelchair and helping the passenger on and off the train. I could define myself as a priority passenger as I'm now 80 and I was in hospital for four weeks earlier this year and recently had an operation. I've also recovered well, luckily, and walked over three miles one day last week. If necessary I could stand for an hour at least, but I'd have doubts if it was going to be two hours. (Incidentally, I doubt if the Basingstoke to Honiton trip the OP referred to would require standing.) My own conclusion is that if there comes a time when I feel I cannot stand I will either avoid travelling at busy times or accept that I cannot travel at all. In a similar way, there may come a time when I should no longer drive, and there won't be any special arrangements to enable me to continue.
Most swt/swr stock has had priority seating for years, generally at the end of s carriage.
 

3141

Established Member
Joined
1 Apr 2012
Messages
1,520
Location
Overton, Hampshire
What level of confidence can a passenger have of being able to sit there? Post #5 says that if you book via the Passenger Assistance Service, you would be placed in a 'Priority Seat' by the platform staff (at stations where there are some), and these seats have to be given up by able bodied persons when requested by TOC staff. But if someone who will have difficulty standing just buys a ticket and boards a train, they may find it less easy to get someone else to give up one of the priority seats.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.

Top