Network Rail trials parcelshop service at mainline stationsDec 03, 2013
Milton Keynes Central has been chosen as it stands next to the UK rail infrastructure operator’s national headquarters.
The Doddle initiative aims to capitalise on the booming online retail market. Network Rail envisage it generating extra revenue that will be reinvested in the UK’s railways.
Milton Keynes Central has been chosen as Network Rail’s 3,000 staff are on its doorstep and the station is close to a number of key delivery operations. Trials at London Paddington and Woking in Surrey are to follow, with other stations taking up the Doddle project next year.
Doddle is a joint venture between network Rail and entrepreneur and philanthropist Lloyd Dorfman CBE, who founded the Travelex Group which is now the world’s largest non-bank foreign exchange business.
The Doddle dedicated parcel shops would be open seven days a week, early until late. There will be an easy-to-use website and advanced touch point notifications through a mobile app, SMS and email.
The service would be the only one of its kind available to every retailer, e-tailer, parcel carrier and shipper, creating a network of single points for the collection, return and sending of parcels.
Network Rail’s managing director, network operations, Robin Gisby said: “Stations have become more than just a place to wait for or get off a train. We have adapted to what passengers want and need and this is a natural next step to help passengers and station users whose lives are increasingly busy and on the move.
“We have the potential to create an unrivalled parcel delivery and collection service to meet the needs of rail users and those living near to stations.”
Project director Peter Louden added: "Our initial conversations with both leading retailers and carriers have been extremely positive, with many indicating a desire to become an early adopter.
"They are excited by the fantastic locations and the guaranteed footfall which is expected to increase by 30% by 2020."