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Neil Turner

Since early July 2011, there have been no announcements of approaching or delayed trains at Sowerby Bridge station, due to a fault. Northern Rail have said that they will fix the fault but in the meantime there is no way of finding out live train running information at the station.

It is the last train before a junction, where some trains to Leeds go via Halifax and Bradford, and others via Brighouse and Dewsbury onto Leeds. During the morning peak, 3 trains arrive within a 20 minute period; if one is delayed, then people may get on the wrong train by accident if they don't know where the train is going - and without the announcements, it's hard to know this.

I'm asking Northern to let me know when they plan to fix the problem.

Problem History

  • 1 Neil Turner reported the issue on FixMyTransport. close 13:05 28 Jul 2011
  • 2 Neil Turner wrote to Northern Rail close 13:05 28 Jul 2011

    Here is the letter that Neil Turner wrote.

    Non-operation of automated announcements at Sowerby Bridge

    To whom it may concern,

    I am writing to you regarding the automated announcements at Sowerby Bridge station on the Caldervale Line. As you will be aware, these have not worked now for several weeks, as per your signs on the platforms. The absence of any other live running information makes it difficult to know which train is arriving, and this poses a particular problem on weekday mornings when 3 services (07:50, 07:57 and 08:09) arrive within a short space of time but use different routes to Leeds.

    I commute to work every day from Sowerby Bridge to Bradford, however, the 07:50 departure does not call there and instead travels via Brighouse and Dewsbury. If this service is delayed then it can arrive at the time when the 07:57 is due and this can be confusing. It's a particular problem at Sowerby Bridge because this is the last station before the lines split; in other words, should someone be on the wrong train they would not have a chance to get off before the train went the 'wrong' way.

    Please could you inform me whether there is a timetable to fix the announcements, so that they work again.

    Additionally, I would be interested in finding out whether there are plans for text-based passenger information screens on the platforms, similar to those recently installed at New Pudsey station.


    Neil Turner

  • 3 Customer Relations responded to Neil Turner close 13:11 28 Jul 2011
    Dear Customer

    Northern Customer Relations

    Case Reference: NR/217737

    Thank you for taking the time to contact Northern, the train
    company serving communities across the north of England.

    We confirm receipt of your feedback/enquiry.

    Kind regards

    Customer Relations Officer

    show quoted sections
  • 4 Steve Bentley commented close 13:02 30 Jul 2011

    I've caught the wrong train at Sowerby Bridge due to the inadequate PIS. I got a delayed service via Bradford thinking it was the Dewsbury (where I wanted to be) service.

    Simplest solution to this would be an instruction to conductors to make an announcement while waiting to set off from Sowerby Bridge, making sure that there's enough time for people who realise they're on the wrong train to leave, of course.

  • 5 Neil Turner commented close 15:44 30 Jul 2011

    Steve: Some do that, but not all do, especially when the train is running late.

  • 6 Steve Bentley commented close 14:16 31 Jul 2011

    Yeah some guards are good at this, others not so much. An instruction that all guards must do this would really help.

  • 7 Northern Rail responded to Neil Turner close 13:59 06 Aug 2011
    [fix the automated announcer system at Sowerby Bridge station email]
    Northern Rail 217737

    06 August 2011

    Our Reference NR/ 217737

    Dear Mr Taylor

    Thank you for your e-mail, which I received recently.

    We are aware that there has been a problem with the public announcements at Sowerby Bridge train station and I would like to apologise for this shortfall as we do know how important it is to provide quick accurate information to our customers especially at times of disruption. I would like to assure you that we are working hard to rectify this problem.

    Presently there are no plans to introduce customer information screens at New Pudsey station, this is due to technical limitations. However that is not to say that they will never be introduced as the Northern franchise has a number of aims, particularly relating to train services offered in the timetable, the operating performance of the train services, and station information quality.

    Northern and the Strategic Rail Authority (SRA) together with the Passenger Transport Executives (PTEs) will meet frequently to review delivery and to identify and develop areas for improvement. I have passed your email to Mr Waite, who is the Area Station Manager for Northern so he can highlight your comments when such meetings take place.

    We have a commitment to continuous improvement during the life of the Northern franchise and comments such as yours regarding the quality of Sowerby Bridge and Pudsey station.

    Thank you for taking the time to contact Northern.
    Yours sincerely

    Cherie Chilcott
    Customer Relations Officer
    Northern Customer Relations
    First Floor, The Travel Centre
    City Railway Station
    LS1 4DY

    Tel 0845 00 00 125
    Fax 0113 2479 059

    show quoted sections
  • 8 Myf Nixon advised Neil to write to Halifax Courier. close 11:08 11 Aug 2011

    Hi Neil,

    I see you had a reply to your request, and it is being taken further, which is great news. If you don't feel happy that that's enough, though, you might want to give your problem some more publicity.

    Maybe try the Halifax Courier?

    Good luck!

    Myf Nixon

  • 9 Neil Turner commented close 11:14 11 Aug 2011

    Thanks for the comments. I've since heard that Northern will install a visual public information system at Sowerby Bridge - see . I'll keep this open for now until it's fixed, but I'm pleased to see progress.

  • 10 Myf Nixon commented close 11:09 12 Aug 2011

    Ah, that's excellent news!

  • 11 Neil Turner added an update close 09:14 20 Aug 2011

    Announcers now working again - thanks for the comments everyone!

  • 12 Tom Steinberg commented close 13:12 01 Sep 2011

    This is super news. How about we send you a mySociety hoodie for being the first person on FixMyTransport with a successful problem report? You could snap yourself in it for us, at the scene of the victory!

  • 13 Neil Turner commented close 13:31 01 Sep 2011

    That sounds great! Let me know if you need any further details from me like my address.

  • started 28 July 2011
  • supporters 3
Sowerby Bridge Rail Station in Sowerby Bridge operated by Northern Rail
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