Good News Friday: Your weekly round-up of positive rail news!

Posted: 14 June 2024 | | No comments yet

In this week’s ‘Good News Friday’, we cover GTR’s ‘Boys Need Bins’ initiative, TPE’s special service for Taylor Swift fans and QTS Group’s achievement of the Social Value Silver Award.

Good News Friday: Your weekly round-up of positive rail news!

GTR joins ‘Boys Need Bins’ campaign with sanitary bin initiative


Credit: Govia Thameslink Railway

Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR), the UK’s largest rail franchise, has announced that it has partnered with Prostate Cancer UK to support its ‘Boys Need Bins’ campaign by installing sanitary bins in all men’s staff and customer toilets across its extensive network. This initiative addresses the need for proper disposal facilities for incontinence products, benefiting men, especially those over 65 who constitute more than one-third of the demographic in the UK.

Sanitary bins have been placed in 495 male toilet cubicles across 228 stations, offices and depots within the GTR network, including Gatwick Express, Great Northern, Southern and Thameslink services.

Carl Martin, GTR’s Accessibility Lead, said: “We’re keen to reduce the anxiety experienced by male colleagues and customers with urinary incontinence, and this small but significant step aims to enhance the comfort and dignity of both colleagues and customers who may need these facilities.”

Nick Ridgman, Head of Health Information & Clinical Support at Prostate Cancer UK, said: “A man living with incontinence should be able to travel away from home without having to worry about whether he’ll be able to get rid of his used pads. Despite the fact that one in three men over 65 in the UK experience urinary incontinence, there’s a dire lack of sanitary bins in gents’ toilets and a paralysing taboo stopping people from speaking up about it.”

TransPennine Express adds late-night service for Taylor Swift fans

Nova train TPE

Credit: TransPennine Express

TransPennine Express (TPE) has announced an additional late-night service between Liverpool and Manchester on 15 June 2024, to accommodate fans attending Taylor Swift’s ‘Eras Tour’. The move aims to facilitate a smooth journey home for concert-goers looking to cherish their experiences.

The special service will depart from Liverpool Lime Street at 23:32, stopping at Liverpool South Parkway, Warrington Central and Birchwood, before arriving at Manchester Piccadilly at 00:34. This initiative follows the recent introduction of a 00:18 direct service from Liverpool Lime Street to Manchester Victoria, included in TPE’s updated June 2024 timetable.

In addition to these travel enhancements, fans can also enjoy complimentary treats onboard during the tour dates (14 and 15 June), adding to the excitement of the event.

Kathryn O’Brien, Customer Experience & Transformation Director at TransPennine Express, said: “We are pleased to be able to offer this extra service to help get fans home after enjoying the concert. And as customers know all too well, it’s not a bad idea to check before you travel.”

The provision of these services underscores TPE’s efforts to cater to the needs of passengers attending major events, ensuring they have convenient and comfortable travel options available.

QTS Group achieves Silver Award for Social Value

QTS Group

Credit: QTS Group

QTS Group has announced that it has made history in the rail sector by becoming the first dedicated rail business to receive the Silver Award for Social Value from the Social Value Business. This accolade recognises QTS Group’s commitment to creating positive change across its workforce, supply chains, customers and communities.

To earn the Silver Award, QTS Group demonstrated a strong dedication to social value through tangible initiatives and measurable impacts. A standout initiative highlighted by the Social Value Quality Mark CIC is QTS Group’s community volunteering programme. Since 2023, employees have collectively volunteered over 1,400 hours to support local charities like KIND and Whiteleys Retreat, showcasing the company’s proactive approach to community engagement.

Established in 2023, QTS Group’s Social Value Committee plays a pivotal role in integrating social value principles company-wide. Comprising members from critical departments such as procurement, training and HR, the committee ensures comprehensive perspectives and effective implementation of social value strategies. Additionally, social value champions stationed across different offices amplify QTS Group’s impact, spreading awareness and maximising positive outcomes.

Emma Whyte, appointed as the Social Value Lead in April 2024, said: “QTS firmly support the implementation of social value initiatives and practices that better not only its workforce, but its supply chain and communities also. We are determined to help lead the industry into creating meaningful change and lasting social value. It’s very exciting to be a part of and I am looking forward to making a difference as part of this role.”

Through initiatives such as the QTS Skills Academy and ongoing community engagement efforts, QTS Group demonstrates a commitment to corporate social responsibility, contributing positively to the rail sector and potentially influencing broader business practices.

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