Train stations have become much more than simply a place to travel from one place to another — they now include a slew of commercial facilities ranging from restaurants to clothes shops. The UK’s Network Rail is now trialling a new service called Doddle, which will open up mail delivery to station customers at all times of the day.
The first Doddle parcel shop has now opened at Milton Keynes Central station in Buckinghamshire, where passengers can use the time they spend waiting for their train to send and receive their mail. The station was chosen due to its proximity to a number of nearby delivery depots. Network Rail, which already serves customers around the country, is open to collaborating with all retailers, online stores and delivery services in the scheme. Customers will benefit from being able to sort their mail and returns at all times the train station is open, which by its nature is all year round and from the early to late hours of the day. They can also combine their trips to the delivery service with their existing travel plans. Using the companion website and app, as well as email and SMS, customers can receive notifications about the mail they send through Doddle.
Network Rail hope to open more Doddle desks at London Paddington and Woking stations before expanding the idea more locations throughout 2014. Are there other outlets that could use existing networks to deliver mail more efficiently?