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Southern wins at the National Transport Awards

Date: 12 Oct 2012.

Southern has scooped the Contribution to Sustainable Transport award at the prestigious National Transport Awards. Southern’s Balham station was highly commended in the Rail Station of the Year category and Southern train Conductor, Corrine Dowden was highly commended in the Frontline Employee of the Year category.

Southern’s Managing Director, Chris Burchell said “I am very pleased that we have been recognised for our efforts in sustainability. Although travelling by train is already a greener option for travellers, we fully understand that we, as a company can further reduce the size of our carbon footprint and that is what we continue to work towards. ”

In the Contribution to Sustainable Transport category, Southern showed that it has always aimed to lead the way in the rail industry in minimising its environmental impact. Central to Southern’s environmental approach are: the appointment of 43 volunteer environmental champions; engagement with its staff and customers to support its initiatives; to create an environmental management system which is robust but supports the business; to reduce carbon emissions; and to reduce energy use.

Key milestones have included a 17% reduction in traction power consumption due to regenerative braking on its fleet of Class 377 trains, 10% reduction in electricity consumption from reducing voltage in depots from 240 to 220 volts, an increase in recycling of waste materials from 34% to 72% and a saving of 3.1% or 6,000 tons of carbon dioxide per year by improving energy use on its trains.

It was also noted that Southern’s 30 Station Travel Plans are encouraging passengers to move to bus, cycle and walking to stations. To encourage this, over 1,500 additional bicycle parking spaces have been provided across the Southern Network.

In the Rail Station of the Year category, Balham was highly commended for its £1m station modernisation scheme. In March last year, an 11-month programme of improvements begun at this very busy Tube interchange station following consultation with local residents and other key stakeholders. Improvements include: better accessibility; repositioning of the ticket gateline to improve passenger flow; a new station entrance from Balham High Road; more accessible ticket windows; improved customer information systems; better signage and a deep clean and repaint.

In the Frontline Employee of the Year category, Corrine Dowden, who is a Brighton based train Conductor was highly commended. Corrine won her place in the final as she is committed to Customer Care and demonstrated this through her actions when the train she was working on lost power in a tunnel and was stranded for three hours. Unable to use any information systems to communicate with her passengers on the 12-car train, Corrine decided to walk the entire length of the train, informing passengers of the problem, calming those who were nervous, helping two pregnant women to a more comfortable area of the train and calling the mother of an unaccompanied child to let her know that he was safe and well. Throughout the entire three-hour period, Corrine ensured that everyone was fully informed and looked after.

Mr Burchell added: “I’m particularly pleased for the staff at Balham station as they have worked hard to ensure that the customer experience they provide is welcoming, friendly and helpful, adding tremendously to the superb modernisation programme which has transformed the station. 

“I congratulate Corrine on her achievement. It’s well deserved and typifies our aim of making every journey better for our passengers.” 

 

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