We consulted on access for diverse user groups to the Docklands Light Railway
Our consultants worked with Serco Group on a diversity consultation with local residents in the five London boroughs where the company runs the DLR on behalf of Transport for London. Serco commissioned us to look specifically at barriers to use and access among diverse groups.
We started with a phase of qualitative research, including interviews with 724 families from a wide variety of backgrounds. By speaking in depth to those residents who felt excluded from the DLR service, we identified the top six changes that would make the DLR a more attractive prospect and a more valuable local resource:
- Better access routes to DLR stations
- More information about access to job opportunities
- Better station environments
- Improved security
- Cheaper fares
- More information on places to visit using the DLR.
These factors were especially important among certain protected groups: disabled people, women, older people, and residents from BME backgrounds.
Serco took our diversity consultation advice on board and launched a series of practical measures to improve satisfaction levels among local users.
Based on our assessment and recommendations, Serco launched a ‘walking routes’ pilot scheme. This aimed to address station use beyond the existing step-free access to all stations and trains: including approach routes to stations, road crossings, and wider issues such as graffiti and CCTV coverage.
Serco set up a team of four Community Ambassadors to better engage with the communities served by the DLR. They also installed a Community Skills and Recruitment centre at Shadwell station (in partnership with the Pecan Community charity), which ran targeted job postings to encourage local people to apply for DLR positions.
The success of this project was showcased in a joint report by the EHRC, the TUC and the CBI: Talent not Tokenism – the Business Benefits of Workforce Diversity.
The project also led us to a further commission with Serco Docklands. This time we worked on the design and analysis of a diversity skills questionnaire. Firstly, we designed a questionnaire for the top 60 managers at Serco Docklands to assess current levels of knowledge and understanding of diversity and inclusion issues.
The questionnaire covered the following subjects:
- Coverage of the law
- Identifying discrimination
- Managing bullying and harassment
- Managing equality, diversity and inclusion
- Communicating responsibilities to staff
- Benefits of commitment to equality
- Benefits of equality and diversity policy
- Benefits of valuing employees
- Valuing diverse ideas, views and culture
- Good practice in employment
- Good practice in service delivery
- Change and improvement.
We then analysed the results from the questionnaire and wrote a summary report with our findings. As well as presenting the results in a face-to-face meeting with the Executive Team, we also produced a report with our recommendations concerning each subject. This would then allow Serco to commission training specific to the needs of managers and supervisors.
The results and findings from the questionnaire also informed the content of two one-day training events for senior staff and others with important responsibilities for diversity.
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