“Please help me persuade Arriva Trains Wales to provide a waiting room in the boarded-up building at Whitland station” – Thomas J. Wheeler

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Thomas J. Wheeler

Windy Whitland is not a pleasant spot to wait for a train as the wind rushes through, freezing the patient passengers. Bus shelter type affairs may keep passengers dry but generally do not provide shelter from wind, and the ones at Whitland are no exception.

With a town the size of Whitland, if the station served just that town, there probably would be no justification for providing proper shelter. If all passengers using the station walked from within the town or arrived at Whitland by car they could simply stay in their house or car until they do not have long to wait. However, anyone using public transport for their whole journey does not have that luxury, they arrive when the bus or train that operated the previous leg of their trip does. That can result in some lengthy waits, and Whitland is an interchange between the Pembroke & Tenby railway and the west Wales main lines to Milford Haven and Fishguard.

I am sure passengers from one line waiting for the train down the other would look enviously at the boarded-up station building, which if re-opened could provide an enclosed waiting room to keep them out of the wind. A ticket office is not required, just a fully-enclosed waiting room, and therefore the station need not be staffed (if need be the guard on the last train of the day could lock the waiting room, and unlock it on the first train the following day).

It would be great if the council could provide public toilets in the station building as well, but one step at a time.

Problem History

  • 1 Thomas J. Wheeler reported the issue on FixMyTransport. close 10:40 15 Nov 2011
  • 2 Thomas J. Wheeler wrote to Arriva Trains Wales close 10:40 15 Nov 2011

    Here is the letter that Thomas J. Wheeler wrote.

    Insufficent facilities for an interchange

    Windy Whitland is not a pleasant spot to wait for a train as the wind rushes through, freezing the patient passengers. Bus shelter type affairs may keep passengers dry but generally do not provide shelter from wind, and the ones at Whitland are no exception.

    With a town the size of Whitland, if the station served just that town, there probably would be no justification for providing proper shelter. If all passengers using the station walked from within the town or arrived at Whitland by car they could simply stay in their house or car until they do not have long to wait. However, anyone using public transport for their whole journey does not have that luxury, they arrive when the bus or train that operated the previous leg of their trip does. That can result in some lengthy waits, and Whitland is an interchange between the Pembroke & Tenby railway and the west Wales main lines to Milford Haven and Fishguard.

    I am sure passengers from one line waiting for the train down the other would look enviously at the boarded-up station building, which if re-opened could provide an enclosed waiting room to keep them out of the wind. A ticket office is not required, just a fully-enclosed waiting room, and therefore the station need not be staffed (if need be the guard on the last train of the day could lock the waiting room, and unlock it on the first train the following day).

    It would be great if the council could provide public toilets in the station building as well, but one step at a time.

  • 3 Myf Nixon commented close 10:52 15 Nov 2011

    Good luck Thomas - you make a good case for a waiting room. Personally, I think that we could do with more waiting rooms at stations up and down the country.

    Let's see what sort of reply you get from Arriva, and if it is unsatisfactory, there are other channels to pursue. Meanwhile, any support you can get for this page will help make your case. Perhaps let friends and family know about it. A more convenient URL to pass on is:

    http://tinyurl.com/whitland

    - which will redirect to this page.

    anorak
    admin
  • 4 Myf Nixon commented close 16:11 24 Nov 2011

    Hello Thomas,
    I notice you haven't had a reply to your email - do feel free to give Arriva a nudge if you'd like to. You can do so by clicking the yellow 'email' button at the top of this page.

    anorak
    admin
  • 5 Thomas J. Wheeler commented close 23:40 26 Jan 2012

    I have very little to say on this one. I reported this particular problem in the hope that local pepole might browse the site and add support, so that in time the page would build up something like a petition which could then be used, by myself or others, to try and get something done.

    While I didn't really expect much success for quite a while, it is slightly disapointing that Arriva Trains Wales haven't made any comment.

  • 6 Thomas J. Wheeler commented close 13:55 20 Apr 2012

    Somebody has broken in to part of the station building at Whitland, revealing that there was both a waiting room and a ticket-sales window in there. To my supprise, there are post-privatisation timetable posters in there from Wales & West, dating closure as recently as about 1998.

    Now that the Fishguard line has effectivly been reopened to local traffic, Whitland could be an important interchange between all three Pembrokeshire branches, so getting a waiting room is very important. Carmarthen has a waiting room, but is not quite so usefully located for interchange between the lines as Whitland, esspecially as the lunch time Fishguard service doesn't call at Carmarthen. Coming from Carmarthen for Fishguard at that time, you have to take the Milford Haven train to Whitland and wait half an hour.

  • 7 Peter Dixon commented close 18:19 22 Apr 2012

    Hello Thomas

    My advice would be to write to your local MP and Assembly Members to raise this with their appropriate transport bodies to get Arriva Trains Wales to turn this building into an important waiting area or provide suitable shelter against the elements.

    Our sister website Write to Them is a really useful website.

    http://www.writetothem.com/

    Kind regards

    anorak
    admin
  • 8 Thomas J. Wheeler commented close 18:26 04 May 2012

    Thanks for the advice Peter.

    I have heard that work has started on a partial demolition of Whitland station, with Network Rail considering demolishing the remaining building. See this article: http://www.thisissouthwales.co.uk/needed-makeover-underway-gateway-station/story-15978203-detail/story.html

    On your advice, I have sent an e-mail to the AM that represents my area, Paul Davies, whom I have communicated with in the past. Whitland is actually in a different constituency, but is quite an important junction for Pembrokeshire.

  • 9 Thomas J. Wheeler commented close 19:47 01 Jun 2012

    I haven't been able to actively pursue this issue very much due to my university workload, but I've just reached my holiday for this year and some news has reached me.

    Demolision has been carried out on one of the buildings at the station (not the one I'm eyeing up for a waiting room though). The footbridge is supposedly going to be renevated soon, but after that there is a possibility that the main building will be demolished, along with any prospects of making Whitland the suitable public-transport interchange I believe it should be. Alternatives to demolision are under consideration, either trying to let it out or using it as a Network Rail maintenance base, neither would solve the problem.

    I thought openning up a waiting room in there looked like an easy job, so I e-mailed my area's Assembly Minister with a suggestion that it might be a job a volunteer group could do. However, it appears I was mistaken since my AM reported that there are aspestos issues with the building at present.

  • 10 Thomas J. Wheeler commented close 19:50 05 Feb 2013

    I'm not sure where to take this from here, I don't think the footbridge refurbishment has yet been carried out and the aspestos issue raised is concerning.

    Has anyone ever consulted on what makes a good interchange? It would be interesting to see if many other passengers call for better waiting facilities.

    Am I the only one who thinks being frozen by the wind for over 10 minutes is a really bad idea if you want to encourage pepole to use public transport for journeys where a change is involved?

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  • started 15 November 2011
  • supporters 1
Whitland Rail Station in Whitland operated by Arriva Trains Wales
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