A message from co-founder, Phil Rogers.
Dartford Rail Travellers Association (DRTA) was formed in November 2014 with our first meeting shortly after.
With the recent direct award of the Southeastern franchise and the work at London Bridge affecting many Dartford rail users over the coming years, it’s time that Dartford rail users have a way to channel our feedback on the rail services that we use daily.
DRTA was formed after Southeastern suggested to me, after my appearance on BBC Radio Kent, that if we had a rail user group, then we would be able to engage with them on a regular basis.
The group is a joint effort led by myself and Mike Pellatt, a fellow commuter in Dartford. The aims of the group are informal and apolitical, of course the lower case politics of train issues is acceptable, however the group is here to represent all rail users, regardless of any Political views.
We have no immediate plans to create a committee or charge membership feeds – we believe that any costs can be covered between us during the initial stages of the group. Joining the group is easy – follow us on twitter @DartfordRailTA, our Facebook group, or see our website at www.drta.org.uk
The Thameslink work at London Bridge over the coming months and years may cause us some issues to travel, if you tweet about this please use the hashtag #TLDartford to help us gather up these thoughts easily.
We will also hold regular face to face group meetings, and whilst it may be difficult to have a time that suits all group members, we hope that as many of you can turn up as possible. The next meeting will take place within the next month, and will be announced shortly – we will also invite all Dartford Councillors and invite their thoughts from conversations they may have had with local residents.
We will engage with the local community through a variety of means:
- Twitter @DartfordRailTA – this will be used for short posts and retweets of news relevant to Dartford commuters or the rail industry
- Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/groups/DartfordRailTA/ ) – we will use this as the place for community discussions since this is a more natural place for that kind of engagement. There will be guidance of acceptable posts soon, to ensure we stay focussed on trains, and not cheap sunglasses!
- Website – www.drta.org.uk, which will act as a broadcast platform for longer articles by the group
- Local media – this press release will be provided to local media to increase exposure of the group, and relevant updates provided to the media
- regular meet ups – please contact us directly if you have something to raise but can’t turn up
- meetings with Southeastern. As membership numbers increase we’ll look to invite Southeastern to our town to talk to us
- consider leafleting to expand knowledge of the group, with the support of Southeastern
What can you do?
Join one or all of our social platforms and join the discussion, and come along to meetings if you can. All feedback, discussions, and suggestions are welcome.
As the group grows, and we engage in conversation with Southeastern, we hope to have useful information to convey to Dartford rail users, and look forward to support from the local media, and community groups to pass this on. If there are any specific media contacts that you’d like us to add to any release mailing list, then please let me know.