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SVR General Discussion

Discussion in 'Heritage Railways & Centres in the UK' started by threelinkdave, Aug 20, 2014.

  1. Kje7812

    Kje7812 Part of the furniture

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    £8 return

    Sent from my moto g(7) play using Tapatalk
     
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  2. Wyreman

    Wyreman New Member

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    Pleasantly surprised to see most fares held; I'd been expecting a small rise. The standardisation of short hop fares does have its winners and losers, but I can see the rationale. I'm particularly interested to see that a family of four can now travel from Kidderminster-Bewdley and back for £26. That's *much* cheaper than a family ticket for the whole line. It allows a realistic half-day visit including some time in Bewdley town between the two trains.

    My only real issue, though it won't affect me personally as I only travel Third on normal days, is that the First Class bit is if anything even more confusing than it has been in the past:

    "First Class upgrades are available on the train and apply per SINGLE journey; full-line and half-line upgrades are available. Full-line upgrades allow unlimited first class travel for the day, when accompanied by a Freedom of the Line ticket, in the same direction only. Purchase tickets from the Travelling Ticket Inspector on the train once you have found first class seating."

    I think many people will be left more confused than informed by that. Without any example prices it's impossible to tell whether First is good value. What's a half-line upgrade? Can you pay the TTI by card or do you need cash? And so on. In this case, I feel that brevity has been pushed too hard at the expense of clarity.
     
  3. Matt37401

    Matt37401 Nat Pres stalwart

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    Bewdley is an absolutely wonderful gem of a town and an attraction in its own right, we just don’t want these bloody trippers coming in and spoiling it for the rest of us! :)

    In all seriousness Fred I appreciate where your coming from, but the car park at Bewdley is tiny, plus it’s not much fun trying to park in town, for myself and my partner we’re lucky in that we can use my parents as a base when we visit, and much as a I love Bewdley I really wouldn’t recommend it as a base to start your day at the SVR if you’ve traveled by car.
     
  4. Andy2857

    Andy2857 Member

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    Agreed, the explanation isn't particularly high on detail but I think the bigger issue is that it's frankly a confusing policy. I'm not clear what the benefit (to anyone) of making the supplement specific to direction of travel is. "Pay a 1st class supplement when you have a freedom of the line ticket and travel in 1st class all day" would be be much simpler.
     
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  5. 46118

    46118 Part of the furniture

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    Very Positive email!

    An email from SVR just dropped into my inbox. Clearly some new thinking about visitors and revenue for 2024.

    Headings are:

    -Half Term (February)
    -The Gruffalo Visit ( presumably something for the youngsters)
    -On-Train Dining
    -The Unlimited Pass Is Back
    -Affordable Tickets For All The Family
    -Lots To Look Foreward To In 2024 ( special events)

    This can only be the current GM and his marketing team thinking "lets be positive and give it a go this year"

    I say most welcome!

    46118
     
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  6. Southernman99

    Southernman99 Member Friend

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    Whilst I wont deny Gus, as the public face/ top of the tree, has managed to steady the ship. It is not solely down to him, the senior managment team and all 3 boards have also been working very hard with very careful spending and budgeting across all departments has put us on a slightly better footing than this time last year.
    Even in a time of crisis, you cannot stand still, bury your head in the sand and hope it all blows over.
     
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  7. Kje7812

    Kje7812 Part of the furniture

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    The rationale behind the 'half-line' is that previously it has been a flat rate for First (£4) whether it's say Kidderminster-Bewdley or Kidderminster-Bridgnorth. It will still be £4 (adult) for the full upgrade. There are card readers but a limited number and thus having cash would be a potentially useful backup. I agree the wording could do with some cleaning up.
     
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  8. Matt37401

    Matt37401 Nat Pres stalwart

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    Deleted.
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2024
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  9. Southernman99

    Southernman99 Member Friend

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    Both of those questions are something we may never know. In answer to your second question. Decisions and board members actions/ choices are not something that should be discussed on here. In my opinion.
     
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  10. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    I don't know the ins and outs of SVR politics at all, so the following is a general point not a specific one. There are a couple of considerations for boards. One is that whatever is happening inside the boardroom, it is generally not helpful to give the appearance outside that things are problematic - doing so just risks undermining those in position and unsettling members, volunteers and staff, not to mention external stakeholders such as grant-giving bodies and the ORR. The other consideration is that recruiting a new senior leader - whether that is a general manager or a board chairman - is inevitably a disruptive process. Even if long-term the replacement is much improved on the incumbent, you will get a temporary period of the organisation being unsettled and needing to adapt to the new status quo.

    Both of those suggest that changing leaders needs to be a very well considered process; and - as a board member - until you decide to change, giving the incumbent your full backing is better than not doing so - even if privately you have misgivings.

    (To see the opposite in action, can I point you at the Parliamentary Conservative Party ...)

    Tom
     
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  11. Wyreman

    Wyreman New Member

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    I agree, I've never liked the "per direction of travel" aspect (does any other line do it that way?) but it's been around for so long that I tend to just put it down as a little eccentricity on the SVR's part and ignore it. A bit like the policy of including loco allocations on the free timetable for the SSG but not the ASG, though that particular oddity seems to have become a thing of the past now.
     
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  12. 35B

    35B Nat Pres stalwart

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    I would also like to add that it is rare that a leader is all good or all bad. It is therefore unsurprising that opinions on an individual in a leadership role may be divided, and that support may exist for a leader that others regard as poor or worse. When considering leadership, the step up between tolerating and mitigating a leader that people think poor, and forcing change, is both very steep, and highly intimidating.

    For clarity, I am not referring to any particular individual or organisation here, but making a general observation.
     
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  13. Sidmouth

    Sidmouth Resident of Nat Pres Staff Member Moderator

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    have you been on a board Matt ? all too many are quick to criticise but all too few often willing to stand

    The horse as you so delicately put it was the considered best candidate at the time . I don't envy anyone running a railway. Would circumstances have been different had we not had Covid, probably, and as many railways would testify , the crisis management needed almost certainly led to some very challenging board room discussions and changed the functioning of many boards . Also in the midst of a maelstrom you probably collectively coalesce around someone loud and with a plan . Don't knock the person willing to put their head on the block when disaster is unfolding all around

    That said and I can speak as a newly appointed board member, the experience now is a lot more positive and collaborative . There have been a number of changes both through resignation but also through the sad loss of stalwart members whose knowledge and experience are hard to replace . I avoided volunteering to be a board member for a long time , down to timing but also down a lot of toxic stories about dysfunctional boards . My experience and the welcome along with the onboarding has been completely different and I am very grateful to all involved
     
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  14. 35B

    35B Nat Pres stalwart

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    Your last paragraph is key - how new members are onboarded is key.

    I am a PCC member, and trustee of another charity - both trustee roles. In both cases, my role is essentially non-executive; I participate in (and therefore bear collective responsibility for) board decisions, for a staggering remuneration of £0.00. As a PCC member, I just got on with it - very little induction, and no real briefing on roles and responsibilities. In the other charity - more comparable to a large railway like SVR - I was carefully briefed on the legal duties of trustees/directors, and introduced to key personnel to both build relationships with them and get their understanding of the key issues we were facing, so that I could be effective at board meetings.

    The effect is a much more functional board, which performs the strategic decision making for the organisation while also delivering a good balance of accountability of the paid staff in what is a volunteer heavy world. It also allows me to be effective in my role, by helping me understand how I can work to deliver appropriate accountability while supporting the activity of the charity.
     
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  15. 21B

    21B Part of the furniture

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    quite right.

    It is also worth considering what a previous incumbent may have had to deal with when they join an organisation and that their successor may be the one who enjoys the fruits of their labour. Organisations, especially large and complex ones, take a while to change tack. Also steering the ship and dealing with underlying systemic issues can and often does create a situation where the person driving the change will be unpopular and/or may not have as much time as they may want or other may want for the less controversial elements of the job.
    I think that we should accept and champion MD/CEO/GM roles that are not sinecures for life in the way they may once have been. 3 to 8 years is plenty for anyone, and enough for any organisation. The resulting differences in viewpoint and approach are beneficial.
     
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  16. 35B

    35B Nat Pres stalwart

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    The same point applies to board members. I made the comparison to a PCC - as an elected member of a PCC, I am subject to a term limit of 3 years, after which I have to take a year's break before I can be elected again. That, by the way, is the default position in the Church Representation Rules, and not a local exception. There are ways round it - co-option, election to other roles that bring ex-officio membership - but the principle is maintained and I think useful.

    Similarly, the other charity on which I'm a trustee/director has three year terms, and as an elected member, I cannot serve more than two terms. Now in my third year of my first term, I welcome this - indeed, I will think twice before standing for re-election for a second term.

    It mitigates membership as a badge of status, and ensures (with routine rotation of trustees) that there is a steady churn rather than everyone changing at once. It's no panacea - getting people to stand can be tricky, and there are too often vacancies.

    When I look at heritage railways with leadership issues discussed on here, one of the common themes is a set-up that focuses attention on how membership can be packed to support one or other faction, with no term limits as mitigation - or to drive the need for new blood in leadership.
     
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  17. Fred Kerr

    Fred Kerr Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    Finding the "right one" takes time especially when the field is limited and demand is high. To use a football allegory it's a case of training staff in-house as with Gus or "poaching " the expertise from outside unless a proficient retiree becomes a volunteer and is willing to take up the reins. Sadly the expertise required to become a GM requires a lot of commitment that many are unwilling to make especially if retired hence the shortage of capable applicants.
     
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  18. Matt37401

    Matt37401 Nat Pres stalwart

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  19. gwalkeriow

    gwalkeriow Well-Known Member

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  20. ruddingtonrsh56

    ruddingtonrsh56 Well-Known Member

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