A group of members from the Scottish Region visited the First Scotrail Customer Services Centre at Paisley on Tuesday 9 October 2007.
The group was given a brief introduction to the Customer Service Centre by Brian Duigenan, who explained the work of the centre and gave an overview of the area covered.
The Paisley Customer Service Centre opened in 1996 and at that time covered only 13 stations on the network. Today, the centre covers 162 stations with 2099 cameras covering platforms, waiting rooms and station car parks. There are also 292 help points that are linked to the centre. Currently the centre has 43 members of staff and is staffed 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
Moving into the CCTV control room, members were given detailed explanations of the features of the system by the staff on duty. Demonstrations of the flexibility of the camera systems were also given. The system records all the images from every camera and should something happen the police can ask for the footage showing the incident. It was stressed that only the police can do this and no one else. The Data Protection Act covers the use of all images recorded, so providing protection for people going about their lawful business.
The Customer Service Centre staff also deal with customer enquiries from the Help points at stations. The majority of these enquiries were passengers seeking information when the next train was due. The staff have access to the only railway timetables and were able to advise passengers making the enquiries very quickly.
Station announcements are also made from the Customer Services Centre. There is an fully automated announcement system that provides routine announcements for the services and other announcements are made by a dedicated station announcer. These systems were also demonstrated to members.
The Scottish Region would like to thank Brian Duigenan the shift supervisor, for his overview of the system and the staff on duty who patiently answered the many questions from members and demonstrated the various features of the CCTV and station announcement systems. Thanks also go to John Yellowlees, External Relations Manager of Scotrail for his assistance in making the visit possible.
Report by John Fender.
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