back to article MySociety marshals griping commuters to fix UK transport

Commuters who like to complain have a new outlet with the launch of FixMyTransport.com, a website that gets your grievance to the right person. The new site, from charitable democracy project MySociety.org, allows the transport-weary masses to report broken ticket machines, locked gates or stations without stair-free access to …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Love thier strapline

    "Euston we have a problem"

    Great stuff. Hope it gets the job done as well as FixMyStreet.

    1. Arctic fox
      Happy

      Many moons ago I worked as a driver on the Northern Line.

      The train I was driving one fine day got stuck (brakes hanging on) in the tunnel approaching Camden Town on the southbound. Happily the train's call-number was 13 (the Line Controller was based at Euston and I think that you know what's coming here!) and I had the great pleasure of the following radio exchange.

      Me: Train 13 approaching Camden Town south to Northern Line control.

      Controller: Yes 13, pass your message.

      Me: Euston we have a problem here.

      Controller: Howls of laughter.

  2. b166er

    Mr

    The sad thing is, that the government/councils would never have done this themselves.

    1. AJB
      Thumb Up

      not sad

      It isn't sad that the govt didn't do this themselves, I think it is a positive that it exists!

    2. Arrrggghh-otron

      Millions...

      And if they had done it themselves it would have cost millions...

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Facepalm

      No.

      The sad thing is that if the government did try and do it themselves, it'd be a multi million (if not billion...) pound project, and 5 years late.

      It would be running on cheap shared hosting, which would fail under the load of 0.1% of the UK population trying to use it normally within five minutes of the site being announced on BBC and el reg. Management would fail to see the problem, since "it worked fine when we tested it" (with 5 beta testers)

      It would then stay down for weeks while management tries to shift the blame to the techs who told them what would happen, while trying to avoid paying more than £5 a month on a dodgy shared hosting outfit which has "unlimited" bandwidth available for use.

      After enduring weeks of management suggestions that they could do something that won't help (like burn offerings to the server gods, or something equally as stupid) the techs will then get permission to use a real server outfit, and then the site will go up.

      At which point it would be discovered it only supports IE6, thus requiring a complete rewrite for 3 times the starting amount. Meanwhile, the person who managed the program receives an OBE and another position in the civil service while the management say that "lessons were learned..."

      THAT is what would happen. Though I may have missed a few bits.

    4. The Indomitable Gall

      Why would the councils...

      Why would the councils do anything about it? "Public" transport is private enterprise, so not the councils' problem....

      1. TeeCee Gold badge
        Coat

        "...and 5 years late."

        Yes, but after 5 years two websites would have turned up at once......

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @The Indomitable Gall

        Private operators yes, but still heavily regulated by the state (despite all the talk, most public transport regulation comes from the EU, so "deregulation" was a somewhat pointless public relations exercise), heavily funded by subsidy from public funds, and providing a public service that is regularly meddled with by local councils. They have an interest, to say the least. It is largely their problem because they are so heavily involved in it.

        Nevertheless, if I had my way they wouldn't be involved at all, at least until they've got their priorities sorted out and sliced away a few dozen layers of upper and middle-management along with the bloated executive salaries that go with them.

        Government in this country is good for just two things: looting and more looting.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          @AC 00:37 GMT

          'Deregulation' was an expensive failure. The number of miles travelled by buses doubled, while the number of passenger miles nosedived as a result of the collapse in services. Councils have made efforts to defend service quality (and had to do to prevent gridlock in some areas!) My local operator is still council-owned, makes a profit, and gives a better quality of service than the private companies. Not surprisingly, the Tories wanted to sell it off! Thus increasing taxes, undermining the local economy and destroying services all in one go!

    5. Qu Dawei
      Joke

      In which case...

      If the sad thing is that the government and councils would never have done this (set up this site) themselves, then we clearly need another two sites:

      fixmygovernment.co.uk and

      fixmycouncil.co.uk

      we could also have

      fixmymediaorganisation

      to deal with the NI scandals

      fixmybankersbonuses

      and so on...

      1. kevin king
        Thumb Up

        Re: In which case ....

        Qu Dawei said <If the sad thing is that the government and councils would never have done this (set up this site) themselves, then we clearly need another two sites: </Quote>

        Well if you had a little bit of Google-Fu you see that Fixmytransport comes from the idea of

        http://www.fixmystreet.com/ Report, view, or discuss local problems

        (like graffiti, fly tipping, broken paving slabs, or street lighting) which is also run by Mysociety.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          And where does MySociety get its money?

          And did you get to vote for / against them?

          Just having people let off steam in a sandbox is not democracy.

          Learn to ask questions, eg: whose agenda are they *actually* serving?

          1. Count Ludwig
            Coat

            Read the fine manual

            http://www.mysociety.org/about/

            NSFW if you're in Syria, Iran, China, Zimbabwe, Belorussia...

            Mine's the one with the paranoid troll in the pocket

  3. Pete 2 Silver badge

    While we're at it

    How about a FixMyWeather.com to complain about all the days we've had this month (and to be fair, last August, too) when the temperature's barely reached a high of 15C.

    I reckon it would stand about as much chance of getting some positive outcomes as the travel version, or the street versions.

    1. The Indomitable Gall

      Positive outcomes...?

      Many companies make it difficult to find who to complain to, so people don't complain -- it's not worth the hassle. So the companies can pretend that the problem doesn't exist.

      Sites like this make it easy to complain, and in a way that is tracked and audited -- no more turning a blind eye to the problem.

      Sure, it won't fix everything, but it gets things started...

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Flame

      Boo-friggin-hoo

      @Pete 2: "How about a FixMyWeather.com to complain about all the days we've had this month (and to be fair, last August, too) when the temperature's barely reached a high of 15C."

      Try dealing with 51 days of over 100F highs. It was 108F yesterday. It's 106F now. It hasn't peaked yet.

      You UK types are stealing our cool! Give it back to the Midwest you btards!

  4. dotdavid
    Unhappy

    Transport

    Think it'll take more than a complaints site to fix my transport. First Crap Con, I'm looking at you...

    1. theonewhomustbeobayed
      Thumb Up

      RE Transport

      Maybe Kings Cross too while you're at it.. Those ticket barriers sure help with crowd control.

  5. Pete 43
    Happy

    Bad drugs?

    Just logon to FixmyFix.com

  6. TeeCee Gold badge
    Joke

    S3xu4l Imp0t3nc3?

    Do you feel inadequately equipped to satisfy your partner?

    Are you having trouble keeping it hard?

    Just go to FixMyCock.com for a fast and effective solution!

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Big Brother

    No substitute for accountability.

    "MySociety also hopes the site will give folks who are not usually terribly active in politics their first taste of social activism."

    First, second or third taste of manipulative, state-sponsored patronising bullshit more like. If they are a "charitable democracy project" they might like to address the shambles of privatisation, the total lack of integration, and the insanely high level of fares in a 'private' industry which has seen handouts of public cash which British Rail could never even have dreamt of. But that would REAL politics.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Mushroom

        @Adam 54

        You think? Lets's see: Oxfam gets most of its money from the government now. There is a huge raft of effectively nationalised 'voluntary' sector helping government promote its political dogma, and a lot of people who might have been critics are silenced by having their mouths stuffed with gold in cushy jobs in 'the third sector'. Perhaps you have a naive conception of what 'politics' actually is?

    2. Number6

      Activism

      The thing is that it encourages you to try, at which point you learn that you get fobbed off, and then start reading between the lines of what any politician says in the media. It's a slow process, but the more people who understand what's going on, the harder it is for the political classes to ignore us.

      Been There, Done That, but the teeshirt still hasn't arrived, despite being promised.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Holmes

    Why not Global Warming?

    The Warmist issue is that there appears to be a lot of evidence pointing to Nature not Man as the climate controller, even in the short term.

    Maybe a website that counts studies pro and con and points to who is "adjusting" the truth would be of great value. IPCC, the UN body tasked to consolidate science on the subject appears to have been hijacked to give a pro-warming politically motivated (and possibly financially, too) view.

    This issue is too important to leave to a biased executive body.

    I'm sure someone could come up with a voting and weighting system, and a list of most-reported studies

    1. Adam Nealis
      Thumb Down

      Re: Why not Global Warming?

      Idiot.

    2. The BigYin
      FAIL

      @AC

      Meanwhile all those companies wanting to maintain the status quo (and thus their business model) are not profit motivated?

      I am not 100% convinced about anthropogenic global warming. There, I've said it. Maybe I'm just stupid.

      But I am not so stupid as to think we can carry on the way we are. We are burning way too much oil, wasting too many resources, polluting far in excess of what is needed, abusing the natural order with too many pesticides, destroying farming cultures with patent/license infected seeds; all in the name of profit.

      This is biting us all in the ass right now, never mind what global warming could do to us.

  9. Sir Barry

    L & 7

    Help me out guys.

    What's "public transport"?

  10. The BigYin
    Thumb Down

    Can't be fixed

    With everything now privatised and in the grubby claws of the venture capitalists via PFIs, any tax revenue from profits lost due to tax avoidance measures and vast subsidies having to be paid to keep the operators profitable; we're screwed.

    It cannot be fixed in the current state.

    The prices that have to be paid are ridiculous, restrictions are ludicrous and the service (almost) universally appalling. The two exception I can think of are ScotRail (although that's been getting worse) and NI Railways. The embarrassing think for the government and their PFI chums is that these two are state run (well, near as dammit); that's a situation that can't be permitted for much longer.

    So, Scots and Irish, rejoice in your train service while you have for you too are soon to be screwed over just like the English and Welsh.

  11. riparian zone
    Thumb Up

    utopian ideals, sh*tty transport, bad politiks

    ...leave us with FB end users who would have been AOL/Compuserve's salvation and don't try too hard to do anything worthwhile. The web's connectivity has just brought more trite shite to fill heads with inanity as TV was becoming a stale and cold medium in a speeding up world.

    Yup, I love MySociety's non partisan attitude as they know that the will to be transparent, efficient and serving appropriate need to a connected society is not there beyond tokenism. Sick of moaning about buses with moody drivers - I'll be getting their fracking driver numbers and see what happens. Don't knock it just yet peeps, I know that councils HATE fixmystreet because it makes them work and (heaven forfend) be accountable to the people that pay their wages.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Holmes

      Indeed

      With locked down tablets and 'the cloud' and 'social media' the web looks like turning into mildly interactive TV for passive consumers anyway.

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