Twitter trumps crew’s Blackberry

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Your correspondent Mr Craig Sams (Hastings Observer July 17) is correct in noting that there are numerous wi-fi black-spots on the rail journey to London, which, incidentally, affect both the Charing X and Victoria lines.

What should also be pointed out is that the Train Operating Companies (TOCs) are increasingly using Blackberry-type devices to keep their train crews appraised of disruption, alterations etc.

So if Joe Public cannot get any internet connection then neither can the staff who need to keep their passengers informed, especially but not exclusively if a train is marooned in a rural area. It is an unfortunate truth that a passenger with a live Twitter access can find out service information faster than the crew on the same train.

Added to this is the local antiquated ticket vending machine system that does no more than provide a queue-busting service and fails to provide the cheapest fare options.

Whilst those machines were originally intended for that very role, they should not be used as a substitute for closed ticket offices until they have been brought up to date and are fit for that advanced purpose.

There is a clear requirement for the historical lack of IT investment by the TOCs to be addressed.

Whilst SouthEastern have been granted the relevant funding to update their systems, there is no known priority for the Hastings area to be given early upgrades, which also puts on hold any expansion to Southern’s ‘Key’ and ‘Unizone’ products.

Martin Woodfine

SHRIMP – St Leonards and Hastings Rail Improvement

Silverstone Court

St Leonards on Sea

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