Description

Martin Gleadow

Not only was the 1724 Sheffield to Retford train 7 minutes late today (November 14) it was also dangerously overcrowded. The reason? This already busy service normally operated by a 2 carriage pacer was today operated by a single carriage train.

This is totally unacceptable, the services are already overcrowded and to use a smaller train is a joke and insulting to those who pay a not insignificant sum to travel by train.

It is high time all trains on this route are upgraded and a service representative of the fares charged is provided.

Problem History

  • 1 Martin Gleadow reported the issue on FixMyTransport. close 17:39 14 Nov 2011
  • 2 Martin Gleadow wrote to Northern Rail close 17:39 14 Nov 2011

    Here is the letter that Martin Gleadow wrote.

    Single carriage trains at rush hour

    Not only was the 1724 Sheffield to Retford train 7 minutes late today (November 14) it was also dangerously overcrowded. The reason? This already busy service normally operated by a 2 carriage pacer was today operated by a single carriage train.

    This is totally unacceptable, the services are already overcrowded and to use a smaller train is a joke and insulting to those who pay a not insignificant sum to travel by train.

    It is high time all trains on this route are upgraded and a service representative of the fares charged is provided.

  • 3 Customer Relations responded to Martin Gleadow close 17:41 14 Nov 2011
    Dear Customer

    Customer Relations

    Case Reference: NR/233609

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

    We aim to respond within 20 working days.

    In the meantime we can confirm receipt of your feedback/enquiry.

    Kind regards

    Customer Relations Officer

    show quoted sections
  • 4 Northern Rail responded to Martin Gleadow close 13:21 15 Nov 2011
    15 November 2011

    Our Reference NR/ 233609

    Dear [provide sufficient capacity on trains operating Sheffield to Lincoln email]

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

    Thank you for your recent email. Please rest assured that your feedback has now been passed on to the relevant teams in Northern. Should you wish to know more please contact us directly at [Northern Rail problem reporting email].

    Thank you again for taking the trouble to contact me.

    Yours sincerely

    Debby Corbett
    Customer Relations Officer
    FREEPOST RLSL-ABEC-BGUU
    Northern Customer Relations
    First Floor, The Travel Centre
    City Railway Station
    Leeds
    LS1 4DY

    Tel 0845 00 00 125
    Fax 0113 2479 059

    http://www.northernrail.org

    show quoted sections
  • 5 Myf Nixon advised Martin to write to Passenger Focus. close 13:41 15 Nov 2011

    Hello Martin,

    I don't think this is a satisfactory response from Northern Rail. If you would like to take your issue further, I have a couple of suggestions. You can either click the yellow 'email' button at the top of your campaign page to send a follow-up reply to Northern Rail, or you can contact Passenger Focus. Or both!

    Passenger Focus are an independent watchdog who say:

    "If you are unhappy with the outcome of your rail-related complaint or you do not feel the train company handled it appropriately, then we may be able to help. Often, we can make representations to mediate with the train company on your behalf.

    We can independently review your complaint and judge whether we feel it was handled fairly and appropriately. We may not be able to get you the outcome you were hoping for but if we feel that the train company could do more for you then we will make representation to them on your behalf. "

    Good luck!

    Myf Nixon

    anorak
    admin
  • 6 Martin Gleadow commented close 13:45 15 Nov 2011

    I was fully expecting that response from Northern Rail, they seem opposed to any ideas about engaging with the customers. I have once again e-mailed Northern directly asking for more details as they refuse to give an answer over Fix My Transport but since I have not heard back from them on previous cases I really doubt I will hear anything other than weak platitudes.

    I may well take you up on the idea of writing to Passenger Focus.

  • 7 Martin Gleadow wrote to Passenger Focus following Myf Nixon's advice. close 14:03 15 Nov 2011

    Hi

    I have been a customer of Northern Rail since moving house at the end of August and in that time I have to say there service just about scrapes an acceptable level. I have on several occasions used Fix My Transport to raise issues with them and have not yet had one satisfactory response from them. Bellow is a summary of my issues with them - all these refer to the Sheffield - Lincoln service but I am well aware they are applicable across the areas served by Northern.

    * Insufficient capacity. This leads to regular overcrowding of the peak services with standing the norm and people often congregating in the vestibule and connecting corridors - an unpleasant place to travel. On two occasions a single carriage train has been used on the peak Sheffield to Lincoln service, leading to very uncomfortable conditions.

    * Frequent lack of ticket checking. This often appears to be directly related to overcrowding since it is not always possible for the conductor to make is way through the train in order to collect tickets and fares. Clearly this increases the chance of fare evasion, unfair on the honest paying members of society

    * Long dwell times in stations. Again this is often caused by overcrowding, usually because the conductor is too busy taking fares to make his way through the train to operate the doors. This leads to late running of the service. I understand that Northern conductors are paid commission to encourage 'revenue protection duties', I suspect in some cases this is to the detriment of punctuality.

    * Lack of customer engagement. Northern are unwilling to engage with the public on Fix My Transport, insisting on direct communications. This further tarnishes their image to paying customers, and makes it far harder to get information out of them. Only through persistent pestering and repeated emails have I managed to get anything approaching an explanation from them on one of 3 instances.

  • 8 Martin Gleadow added an update close 14:03 15 Nov 2011

    I have emailed Passenger Focus as suggested

  • 9 Advice responded to Martin Gleadow close 14:03 15 Nov 2011
    We are pleased to acknowledge your email and will contact you
    within 10 days. 

    Thank you for getting in touch with Passenger Focus.

    The Passenger Team
    Passenger Focus
    The independent passenger watchdog
    t 0300 123 2350
    f 0161 236 1574
    e [1][email address]

    w [2]www.passengerfocus.org.uk
    Passenger Focus, Freepost RRRE-ETTC-LEET, PO Box 4257, M60 3AR 

    Follow us on Twitter [3]@passengerfocus

    Our passenger contact centre is open 8am - 8pm Monday to Friday
    and 8am - 4pm at weekends

    show quoted sections

    References

    Visible links
    1. mailto:[email address]
    2. http://www.passengerfocus.org.uk/
    http://www.passengerfocus.org.uk/
    3. http://twitter.com/#!/PassengerFocus
  • 10 Dave H commented close 21:46 15 Nov 2011

    Worth also noting that the dire shortage of trains available to Northern Rail and which the DfT franchise agrees to them using (and DfT paying for) is exacerbated by DfT now refusing to authorise any order for new Diesel trains, and sat on its hands for nearly 1000 days since the last order was placed for any trains - bets are being taken on beating the last gap of 1064 days. Northern might get some diesel trains released when the new trains yet to be ordered are delivered to London and release the older trains to run on the yet to start electrification of the lines around Liverpool and Manchester.

    Meanwhile the burghers of Harrogate have seen an option to buy secondhand London Underground sub surface stock and adapt it to run in place of their diesel trains. An interesting idea which might provide some salvation for some routes, if a few details can be resolved. (my option is to add a generator truck to the train to replace the missing conductor rail)

    Equally the DfT has relented to pressure from Bristolians and allowed First GW to hire in 2 old-style trains with 40 year old locos and coaches (fully amortised but in this wonderful world costing more to operate than the diesel units) to provide high capacity commuter services. Arriva Northern used to do this for the Leeds-Settle service, so that diesel units from this route could be released for use elsewhere - another way that a rapid fix might be supplied, if DfT will allow the franchise to spend the extra money.

    The 2 coach bus bodies on 2-axle adapted freight wagon chassis can carry 102 seated passengers, and the 1-coach units also with a similar pedigree, have 70 seats.

  • 11 Sorrelle Wagster responded to Martin Gleadow close 15:18 23 Nov 2011
    Dear Mr Gleadlow

    Thank you for contacting us regarding your complaint with
    Northern Rail.

    Passenger Focus is the statutory watchdog protecting and
    promoting passengers' interests. I should explain that our role
    includes dealing with customer complaints that the rail industry
    has not been able to resolve satisfactorily. This means that we
    must give the rail industry an opportunity to sort things out
    with you before we get involved.

    At present Northern Rail has taken the decision to use the
    current channels available for responding to correspondence and
    therefore will be continuing to advise customers to contact them
    directly.

    Passenger Focus are reviewing this issue as we are aware that
    passengers do want to complain via fixmytransport.com

    Therefore if you would like me to forward your complaint to them
    so they can respond directly I will require your contact details
    so they can record your complaint. Alternatively you can contact
    Northern direct at [1][Northern Rail problem reporting email].uk or
    by calling them on 0845 000 0125.

    Once Northern Rail have replied and you feel that the issues
    have not been properly addressed, or if you are not satisfied
    with what is said, please do get back in touch.

    Thank you for contacting Passenger Focus.

    Kind regards

    Sorrelle Wagster
    Senior Passenger Team Adviser
    Passenger Focus
    The independent passenger watchdog

    7th Floor, Piccadilly Gate, Store Street, Manchester M1 2WD
    t 0300 123 2175
    f 0161 236 1574

    e [2][email address]

    w [3]www.passengerfocus.org.uk

    Follow us on Twitter [4]@passengerfocus

    You can also contact our passenger contact centre on 0300 123
    2350. The centre is open 8am - 8pm Monday - Friday and 8am - 4pm
    at weekends.

    ______________________________________________________________________
    This email has been scanned by the Symantec Email Security.cloud
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    References

    Visible links
    1. mailto:[Northern Rail problem reporting email].uk
    2. mailto:[email address]
    3. http://www.passengerfocus.org.uk/
    4. http://twitter.com/#!/PassengerFocus
  • 12 Sorrelle Wagster responded to Martin Gleadow close 15:19 23 Nov 2011
    Sorrelle Wagster would like to recall the message, "Complaint: PF0-49667-RMDZ".

    ______________________________________________________________________
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  • 13 Sorrelle Wagster responded to Martin Gleadow close 15:19 23 Nov 2011
    Dear Mr Gleadow

    Thank you for contacting us regarding your complaint with
    Northern Rail.

    Passenger Focus is the statutory watchdog protecting and
    promoting passengers' interests. I should explain that our role
    includes dealing with customer complaints that the rail industry
    has not been able to resolve satisfactorily. This means that we
    must give the rail industry an opportunity to sort things out
    with you before we get involved.

    At present Northern Rail has taken the decision to use the
    current channels available for responding to correspondence and
    therefore will be continuing to advise customers to contact them
    directly.

    Passenger Focus are reviewing this issue as we are aware that
    passengers do want to complain via fixmytransport.com

    Therefore if you would like me to forward your complaint to them
    so they can respond directly I will require your contact details
    so they can record your complaint. Alternatively you can contact
    Northern direct at [1][Northern Rail problem reporting email].uk or
    by calling them on 0845 000 0125.

    Once Northern Rail have replied and you feel that the issues
    have not been properly addressed, or if you are not satisfied
    with what is said, please do get back in touch.

    Thank you for contacting Passenger Focus.

    Kind regards

    Sorrelle Wagster
    Senior Passenger Team Adviser
    Passenger Focus
    The independent passenger watchdog

    7th Floor, Piccadilly Gate, Store Street, Manchester M1 2WD
    t 0300 123 2175
    f 0161 236 1574

    e [2][email address]

    w [3]www.passengerfocus.org.uk

    Follow us on Twitter [4]@passengerfocus

    You can also contact our passenger contact centre on 0300 123
    2350. The centre is open 8am - 8pm Monday - Friday and 8am - 4pm
    at weekends.

    ______________________________________________________________________
    This email has been scanned by the Symantec Email Security.cloud
    service.
    For more information please visit http://www.symanteccloud.com
    ______________________________________________________________________

    References

    Visible links
    1. mailto:[Northern Rail problem reporting email].uk
    2. mailto:[email address]
    3. http://www.passengerfocus.org.uk/
    4. http://twitter.com/#!/PassengerFocus
  • 14 Myf Nixon commented close 14:11 24 Nov 2011

    Hello again Martin,

    The direct email address for Northern Rail is customer.relations@northernrail.org (our software tends to strip out email addresses for privacy reasons). I am sorry that we have sent you round the houses somewhat - I hope that you can get a satisfactory resolution and that you will come back and update your page so we all know what progress is made.

    anorak
    admin
  • 15 Martin Gleadow commented close 13:45 13 Dec 2011

    Great news - the new winter timetable brings more carriages to Northern Rail:

    http://www.northernrail.org/news/6947

    So far this has resulted in 4 carriages in the morning on the 0801 KVP-SHF service, but I am yet to see extra capacity on the 1724 SHF-KVP service. I'm waiting to see if this aspect of the journey improves too.

  • 16 D Long commented close 10:55 22 Jan 2012

    On 23 November Passenger Focus said they are 'reviewing this issue [of not accepting complaints sent to FMT] as we are aware that
    passengers do want to complain via fixmytransport.com'.

    Does any one know how this review is progressing?

  • 17 Passenger Focus responded to Martin Gleadow close 16:30 30 Jul 2012
    Passenger Focus [1]Passenger Focus logo
    Annual Report and Accounts 2011-12

    Dear Martin, [3]Cover of annual report

    Passenger Focus is the official,
    independent consumer organisation
    representing the interests of rail
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    tram users across England outside
    London.

    Read how we’ve made a difference
    for passengers in 2011-2012.

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  • started 14 November 2011
  • supporters 1
Train route between Kiveton Park and Sheffield operated by Northern Rail
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