Last week saw the first batch of plastic ‘credit card’ style shareholder photo passes produced.
The process is continuing, and passes will shortly be posted out.
Martin Bannister (left) and director Tony Bending are seen at the computer printing the first cards.
Update 22/10/19: Tony Bending (who sits on both boards) writes:
All shareholders with 1200 shares or more receive a simple “card” type travel pass for use on SVR trains. In 2016 we decided to change this for a plastic pass, rather like a credit or debit card, but containing both a photograph of the shareholder (two photographs if a joint shareholding) and a barcode for security purposes. From that time, in the annual Shareholders Newsletter and also in the annual accounts, we asked shareholders to submit photographs, either by post or electronically, so that the conversion process could begin. At first the response was slow, but the number of photographs submitted gradually increased, such that we now have sufficient to start the production process.
You may be surprised to learn that there were just over 1000 shareholders in this category when we first requested photographs. The highly successful Bridgnorth share offer in 2016/17, however, increased the number of qualifying shareholders by over 800, so that we now have almost 1,900 passes to issue – quite a task! We are currently printing about 900 of the new shareholder passes and, if all goes well, they should be in the post by the end of October. This of course means that a further 900 or so shareholders have yet to respond with their photograph(s), and we would be grateful if these could be supplied sooner rather than later. At some point, possibly towards the end of 2020, we will introduce a cut-off date after which the old card type passes will no longer be accepted, and we would prefer not to be faced with hundreds to process in the last few weeks!
Currently there are over 1,800 passes in circulation and, bearing in mind the fact that the holder(s) can just “turn up and travel”, we only have a little knowledge as to their usage and their effect on train loadings. The bar code included on the new pass will enable us to monitor that usage from time to time, and the results will help us when we plan our train services.