A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Journeycall's best practice article

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from Journeycall is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles

Managing Director Theresa
We are Scotland’s
largest transport-
centric contact centre
Journeycall is one of the three leading organisations which
comprise the ESP Group. The conglomerate is dedicated
to making life simple – whether it’s getting a travelcard
to customers, having someone on the end of the phone or
responding to online chat enquiries. The team is driven by
supporting passengers and travellers during every stage of their
journey. Journeycall itself is an award-winning, specialist contact
centre based in Arbroath, Scotland, founded in 2003 and led by
Managing Director Theresa Slevin. Its team provides customer
support services to a variety of market sectors, including issuing
and supporting Oyster and other transport smartcard schemes on
behalf of Transport for London, London Councils Freedom Pass and
Rail Delivery Group, among many other bus and trainoperators.
We are Scotland’s largest transport-centric contact centre, and we offer services
including customer support channels such as voice, email, white mail, web chat,
social media activity, video calling and SMS to meet passengers’ needs. We work
from a state-of-the-art, 350-seat, 22,500-square foot contact centre and operate 24
hours a day, 365 days a year, to support passengers on every step of their journey.
Our support services
One of our largest and most successful avenues of work after voice contacts has
been compensation services. In 2016, we developed our own fully automated delay
»Managing Director: Theresa
»Established in 2003
»Based in Arbroath, Scotland
»Services: Contact centre
customer service expertise
»No. of employees: 371
»UK-leading transport-centric
contact centre
Highlighting best practice
compensation system, DelayCheck, to
meet new consumer rights regulations.
This system streamlines and fully
manages delay verification, repayments
and correspondence to ease the
difficulties faced by operators when
We offer an enquiry and telesales
service for a variety of operators and
retailers, where our expertise is made
evident through our advisers’ ability
to adapt and confidently operate
numerous complex systems while
delivering high-quality service. We also
provide dedicated customer service,
smartcard and mobile ticketing support
alongside aftersales services for bus
and train operators, rail retailers, TfL,
RDG and other London councils.
Throughout these processes, we
encourage customers to make use of
our online systems; in May 2014, we
introduced online retail for Disabled
Persons Railcards. This soon saw 65 per
cent of the cards purchased through
this online platform, from an original
base of zero, making it easier and
more convenient for users.
These are just some examples of the
services we provide for a vast range of
clients, with others including assisted
travel, refund issuance and dedicated
customer relations.
No compromise on quality
and security
As so much of our work is
customer-facing, we place quality
and the customer experience at
the heart of our operations. Our
quality management system is ISO
9001-accredited, and we employ
a dedicated team consisting of 16
learning and development agents
working alongside five fully certified
internal auditors across the business.
All team members undertake
a rigorous training programme
during induction to ensure they
achieve excellence in every aspect of
We also recognise the importance of
data security. Considering we handle
massive amounts of customer data,
we make it an absolute priority to
remain compliant with the appropriate
legislation, which came into force
last year. We are registered with the
Data Protection Act, work to the EU’s
GDPR regulations and are PCI DSS level
1-accredited – the highest level.
In keeping with our dedication to both
quality and security, we have invested
heavily in technology over the past
few years. This has included a new
cloud-based telephone system, which
provides state-of-the-art multimedia
customer interactions and allows
us to record 100 per cent of calls
utilising PCI-compliant software. This
ensures that we can respond quickly to
customers and process their needs in
a streamlined and efficient way, all the
while demonstrating a commitment
to operational excellence, which will
continue to underpin future training.
Global industry: ever-
In continually changing economic,
political and technological landscapes,
the transport industry is faced with
numerous challenges which impact the
We work from a state-
of-the-art 350-seat
22,500-square foot
contact centre
Our expertise is
made evident
through our
advisers’ ability
to adapt and
systems while
delivering high-
quality service
delivery of service. Brexit, for instance,
will certainly alter travel options for
passengers over the coming years, with
travelcard prices set to increase as a
result of trade restrictions.
The Oyster card recently celebrated its
15th anniversary, but with technology
and contactless travel payments
coming to the forefront, we are seeing
more pressure than ever on transport
and mobility organisations to adapt
to these services while still delivering
the support that passengers require
throughout theirjourneys.
Authorities and operators across
the UK are working tirelessly to
make travel easier. Not everyone is
benefiting, however – in large part
thanks to a lack of awareness and
concerns about ease of use.
In our latest Easy Travel Index survey,
we found that 30 per cent of people
who required assistance to travel by
rail did not request help from the train
operating company because they felt
uncomfortable doing so, and 22 per
cent did not even know that passenger
assistance existed.
Realising positive changes
There are so many initiatives to support
passengers when it comes to public
transport and other forms of travel –
even when things go wrong. These
include new forms of payment and
smartphone apps, as well as other
services to assist those who need
further help.
The impact of these services,
however,is being constrained thanks
to a lack of understanding among
the general public: regular users
may understand and use services,
but occasional or new users are still
somewhat uncertain. Technology
can help, but it’s noteverything;
people still want and need support,
and especially voice support. Our
co-designing sessions for recent
project delivery have made this a key
deliverable for the transport of the
future. Passengers are clear – voice is
still king.
Going forward, we see a need for
human support to be blended with
new technology, and initiatives such as
DelayCheck and NaviGoGo – a travel
planning, booking and payment app
co-designed by young people – will
help to both combat these issues and
provide solutions for travel anxiety.
There are endless opportunities for the
future of travel, and we’re committed
as an organisation to making these
changes a reality for people across
As so much of
our work is
facing, we place
quality and the
experience at
the heart of our
Our latest Easy Travel
Index survey found
that 22 per cent of
passengers did not know
that travel assistance
existed – we aim to
change that

This article was sponsored by Journeycall. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it. The publication in which this article originally appeared contained the following foreword from The Rt Hon Theresa May MP.

The Rt Hon Theresa May MP's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By The Rt Hon Theresa May MP

This foreword from the then Prime Minister appeared in the 2018/19 Parliamentary Review.

British politics provides ample material for analysis in the pages of The Parliamentary Review. For Her Majesty’s Government, our task in the year ahead is clear: to achieve the best Brexit deal for Britain and to carry on our work to build a more prosperous and united country – one that truly works for everyone. 

The right Brexit deal will not be sufficient on its own to secure a more prosperous future for Britain. We also need to ensure that our economy is ready for what tomorrow will bring. Our Modern Industrial Strategy is our plan to do that. It means Government stepping up to secure the foundations of our productivity: providing an education system that delivers the skills our economy needs, improving school standards and transforming technical education; delivering infrastructure for growth; ensuring people have the homes they need in the places they want to live. It is all about taking action for the long-term that will pay dividends in the future.

But it also goes beyond that. Government, the private sector and academia working together as strategic partners achieve far more than we could separately. That is why we have set an ambitious goal of lifting UK public and private research and development investment to 2.4 per cent of GDP by 2027. It is why we are developing four Grand Challenges, the big drivers of social and economic change in the world today: harnessing artificial intelligence and the data revolution; leading in changes to the future of mobility; meeting the challenges of our ageing society; and driving ahead the revolution in clean growth. By focusing our efforts on making the most of these areas of enormous potential, we can develop new exports, grow new industries and create more good jobs in every part of our country.

Years of hard work and sacrifice from the British people have got our deficit down by over three quarters. We are building on this success by taking a balanced approach to public spending. We are continuing to deal with our debts, so that our economy can remain strong and we can protect people’s jobs, and at the same time we are investing in vital public services, like our NHS. We have set out plans to increase NHS funding annually by an average by 3.4 percent in real terms: that is £394 million a week more. In return, the NHS will produce a ten-year plan, led by doctors and nurses, to eliminate waste and improve patient care.

I believe that Britain can look to the future with confidence. We are leaving the EU and setting a new course for prosperity as a global trading nation. We have a Modern Industrial Strategy that is strengthening the foundations of our economy and helping us to seize the opportunities of the future. We are investing in the public services we all rely on and helping them to grow and improve. Building on our country’s great strengths – our world-class universities and researchers, our excellent services sector, our cutting edge manufacturers, our vibrant creative industries, our dedicated public servants – we can look towards a new decade that is ripe with possibility. The government I lead is doing all it can to make that brighter future a reality for everyone in our country. 

British politics provides ample material for analysis in the pages of The Parliamentary Review 
The Rt Hon Theresa May MP
Prime Minister