This month saw the new website for the south-east rail network Thameslink and Great Northern go live. Now run by Govia Thameslink Railway, a subsidiary of leading transport group, Go-Ahead - which won the franchise for the network in May this year – Thameslink and Great Northern’s new website has been designed and built in a narrow three-month window by Imaginet. The Cardiff based agency has a track record with the new owners Govia , as it has developed many of its other main travel websites, including Southern Railway and Gatwick Express.
Thameslink and Great Northern routes serves London as well as a number of important regional centres, including Cambridge, Luton and Peterborough to the north of the region, and Brighton, Portsmouth and Southampton in the south. It also provides direct rail links to major airports (Gatwick and Luton) as well as St Pancras International and Farringdon station for links to Heathrow and Crossrail in due course. Features of the new website include:
- fully fluid responsiveness so that the site restructures itself according to device and screensize - an essential for transport sites
- ticket booking via the Webtis ticket widget, which itself has been restyled for simpler booking options
- live running information from National Rail Enquiries (NRE) on each of its main routes (‘Great Northern’ and ‘Thameslink’)
- live disruption and engineering works updates from NRE with a handy calendar for selecting dates of travel, combined with a Service Update alert admin for conveying important travel news
- extensive station information direct from an NRE feed
- full content management across the site with advanced user management, documents, news, images and banners so users can control all content across the site
- space for promotion of destinations on the network with 2 for 1 NRE offers and a back-office admin for Destinations management
- A darksite system so if traffic to the site explodes, as on snowy days, it can be switched to a low res alternative conveying essential content for travellers.
Go Ahead's Group Marketing Director, Gillian Singh said:
"The new website was a massive achievement and we were very impressed with Imaginet's ability to work quickly with our team to develop in such short timescales, but also their understanding of our requirements and the complex third party integrations. We will now work with them on the next phase of development to introduce even more functionality as well as further improving the retailing opportunities across the site."
Paula Dauncey, Accounts Director for Imaginet said:
"We've been working with Go-Ahead for over 5 years now, with more than 20 websites developed for the group in that time. This latest addition for Thameslink and Great Northern is one we're particularly proud of. It not only sets the benchmark in the sector regarding its fully fluid responsiveness rather than just having one or two break points, but also because our designers and developers excelled themselves in completing the brief in such a short timescale."