Station Announcements at Birmingham new Street – Update

In an earlier post, I referred to a meeting that was taking place today between RNIB representatives and network Rail managers at birmingham. Below is the text of an Email outlining the meeting which really didn’t seem to go well. This is not going to be the last of it.

*** Text of email ***

Just back from the meeting with Network rail and other train service managers, about the announcements at Birmingham New Street.

It was as expected. They claimed to have surveyed lots of people, including disabled people, (though mainly those who use journey care, a system where your escorted through the station so wouldn’t be relying on these announcements anyway), and that most people according to them never listen to announcements as their too loud. It stops them having meetings, stops them using mobiles.

They said from their surveys that about 50% of disabled people using the station said they liked the new system, (remember those are the ones using journey care)!

They if at all rarely answered questions I asked or avoided them.

I asked the direct question that if this was a trial period why wasn’t anyone told, including staff. They said then it wouldn’t have been a proper trial!

I asked when would the trial period be ending and the announcements switched back on?




Sorry, that was about the length of their pause and then with a stutter, they said, (Urh, in about two weeks.)

So, from that and what the meeting went like I would guess or assume that the trial period is a definite! I wouldn’t hold your breath to hear the announcements back on at concourse level as they have noticed a greater increase in the calmness of the station, the quietness for everyone and staff, and more meetings going on in the cafés!!!

Something tells me from those kind of words that there’s a (revenue, needing more money through the station!) issue on the agenda but hidden.

*** end of test ***
So, is it a station, where people catch trains? Or will we all have to pass through quietly from now on so as not to disturb people’s business meetings?


About Mel Griffiths

I live and work in Nottingham, England and am blind. This blog is often centred around things that happen to me because of being blind. This is my space to write and sometimes people will disagree with what I write, but its the one place I have in which to be frank and honest. I also like to reflect on the funnier side of life from time to time.
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2 Responses to Station Announcements at Birmingham new Street – Update

  1. oh dear
    if i remember rightly it used to vbe where i caught trains, not any more though. will avoid it if possible. hugs.

  2. fleurette67 says:

    Aren’t railway stations where people catch trains?
    Hi Mel! I know that the subject line of this comment may seem like a silly question at first glance, but it’s not so silly after I’ve read the text of that email which you copied and pasted into this here entry. OK, the station will earn more money from its users if they spend ages having meetings in cafes, but to me the primary use of any railway station is to get on or off trains there, and I think that announcements are a necessary part of making sure people don’t miss the trains they’re going to catch or to meet. When that survey was done, they shouldn’t just have asked the disabled people who use that Journeycare service whether they wanted the announcements, they should also have talked to disabled people who travel alone, such as blind people. It would be far better to have announcements at Birmingham New Street, as they did when I used that station twenty years ago, but the writer of the email may be right that you shouldn’t expect the announcements to come back very soon, disgraceful though it is that they should have been scrapped in the first place.

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