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“Please help me persuade Arriva Trains Wales to put on larger trains between Newport and Chester” – Thom Miller

Description

Thom Miller

The service I boarded was to Holyhead, a ferry transit destination, going through the Newport, Shrewsbury and Chester rail hubs. Clearly, it should be expected that this would be a busy service. The train I boarded was a 2 carriage bone shaker that seemed to have been in service since the 1970s. It would be unacceptable for my local (arriva) rail service to run such a small and scruffy train for local routes from Liverpool to Chester. But this was a long distance service. I therefore ended up standing from Newport to Chester, almost 2 and a half hours. Most of the time squeezed in, cheek by jowl with other rail users. I barely had room to shuffle my feet to alleviate the cramps I was suffering. All the time, I was being mocked by a promotional poster for Arriva Trains Wales, declaring how comfortable and relaxing rail journeys were - I begged to differ! The staff avoided checking tickets for the first hour and a half, presumably because they knew they would feel the wrath of the passengers. When the guard did decide to take a stroll through the train, there was no apology, no explanation. I regularly travel between Chester and Newport and whilst journeys are frequently full, this was something else entirely. I am outraged at the thought that I spent £33 on a ticket for this journey. Perhaps next time I should consider selling myself as a veal calf, as I believe the conditions they travel in have a form of regulation to ensure they are humane. To compound matters, the train was 20 minutes late and I missed my connecting train. However, I understand that trains can be late sometimes, for reasons beyond the control of train operators. What I cannot accept is the sending of a train so small and antiquated that your paying passengers travel in extreme discomfort, without a word of apology.

Problem History

  • 1 Thom Miller reported the issue on FixMyTransport. close 21:11 05 Jul 2014
  • 2 Thom Miller wrote to Arriva Trains Wales close 21:11 05 Jul 2014

    Here is the letter that Thom Miller wrote.

    Did you send the wrong train?

    The service I boarded was to Holyhead, a ferry transit destination, going through the Newport, Shrewsbury and Chester rail hubs. Clearly, it should be expected that this would be a busy service. The train I boarded was a 2 carriage bone shaker that seemed to have been in service since the 1970s. It would be unacceptable for my local (arriva) rail service to run such a small and scruffy train for local routes from Liverpool to Chester. But this was a long distance service. I therefore ended up standing from Newport to Chester, almost 2 and a half hours. Most of the time squeezed in, cheek by jowl with other rail users. I barely had room to shuffle my feet to alleviate the cramps I was suffering. All the time, I was being mocked by a promotional poster for Arriva Trains Wales, declaring how comfortable and relaxing rail journeys were - I begged to differ! The staff avoided checking tickets for the first hour and a half, presumably because they knew they would feel the wrath of the passengers. When the guard did decide to take a stroll through the train, there was no apology, no explanation. I regularly travel between Chester and Newport and whilst journeys are frequently full, this was something else entirely. I am outraged at the thought that I spent £33 on a ticket for this journey. Perhaps next time I should consider selling myself as a veal calf, as I believe the conditions they travel in have a form of regulation to ensure they are humane. To compound matters, the train was 20 minutes late and I missed my connecting train. However, I understand that trains can be late sometimes, for reasons beyond the control of train operators. What I cannot accept is the sending of a train so small and antiquated that your paying passengers travel in extreme discomfort, without a word of apology.

  • 3 Customer Relations responded to Thom Miller close 11:34 07 Jul 2014
    Thank you for contacting Arriva Trains Wales. Your message has
    been received and assigned the reference number  ATW-140705-QPL.

    Our usual target response time is ten working days, and we aim
    to provide you with a full reply within this timescale. If you
    have any queries in connection with your case, then please
    contact us on 033 33 211 202. We're open between 8am and 8pm
    Mondays to Saturdays, or 11am until 8pm on Sundays.

    Please note that our role is primarily to investigate and
    respond to comments, complaints and suggestions regarding Arriva
    Trains Wales services. If you are planning a journey and need to
    find out times and fares, or to check if there is any disruption
    to services, please visit [1]www.arrivatrainswales.co.uk or
    [2]www.nationalrail.co.uk.

    In addition, if your enquiry relates to recruitment your email
    will not be responded to, however please visit
    [3]www.comeaboard.co.uk where all of our current vacancies will
    be advertised.

    Yours Sincerely

    Customer Relations

    Arriva Trains Wales 

    Diolch am gysylltu â Threnau Arriva Cymru. Mae’ch neges wedi
    cael ei derbyn a rhoddwyd iddi’r rhif cyfeirnod ATW-140705-QPL.

    Deg diwrnod gwaith yw’r amser ymateb rydym yn anelu ato fel
    arfer, a’n nod yw rhoi ateb llawn i chi cyn pen y cyfnod hwn. Os
    oes gennych unrhyw ymholiadau ynglŷn â’ch achos, cysylltwch â ni
    ar 033 33 211 202. Rydym ar agor rhwng 8am ac 8pm o ddydd Llun i
    ddydd Sadwrn, neu rhwng 11am ac 8pm ar ddyddiau Sul.

    Nodwch mai ein swyddogaeth yn bennaf yw ymchwilio ac ymateb i
    sylwadau, cwynion ac awgrymiadau am wasanaethau Trenau Arriva
    Cymru. Os ydych chi’n cynllunio taith ac angen cael amserau a
    chostau tocynnau, neu holi a oes unrhyw darfu ar wasanaethau,
    ewch i [4]www.arrivatrainswales.co.uk neu
    [5]www.nationalrail.co.uk.

    Yn ogystal ar uchod, os yw eich ymholiad yn ymwneud â recriwtio,
    ni fydd eich e-bost yn cael ei ymateb gan yr adran hon. Os
    gwelwch yn dda ewch i [6]www.comeaboard.co.uk lle mae ein holl
    swyddi gwag yn cael eu hysbysebu.

    Yn gywir

    Cysylltiadau Cwsmeriaid

    Trenau Arriva Cymru

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    References

    Visible links
    1. http://www.arrivatrainswales.co.uk/
    2. http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/
    3. http://www.comeaboard.co.uk/
    4. http://www.arrivatrainswales.co.uk/
    5. http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/
    6. http://www.comeaboard.co.uk/
  • 4 Customer Relations responded to Thom Miller close 09:02 17 Jul 2014
    Link: [1]File-List
    Link: [2]Edit-Time-Data
    Link: [3]themeData
    Link: [4]colorSchemeMapping

    17 July 2014

    Your Case Reference: ATW-140705-QPL

    Dear Customer,

    I was very sorry to learn of the discomfort that you endured
    whilst using our service and I sincerely apologise for the
    conditions that you experienced on our train on your journey
    from Newport to Holyhead. I can certainly understand your
    frustration and annoyance at the lack of seating available on
    our train because of the overcrowding and it is regrettable that
    on this occasion you were left with a very poor impression of
    our standards of service overall.

    In connection to overcrowding, unfortunately it can occur for a
    number of different reasons, such as peak times, seasonal
    periods or because of disruption to services in the area. We do
    not normally limit the number of passengers boarding our trains,
    as experience has shown that most of our passengers prefer to be
    able to join the service of their choice, even though this may
    entail standing.

    We do operate our train services with a fixed number of trains
    but, where possible, we will always endeavour to provide more
    capacity subject to the availability of our trains at the time.
    Due to the limited number of carriages that we have at our
    disposal I am sorry to say that it is not always possible for us
    to increase the capacity of each of our services across the
    network. I do apologise for this.

    In terms of the capacity that we provide on our services, we
    have a finite number of trains allocated to us by Government for
    the operation of our timetable. The original Franchise contract
    that we were awarded did not plan for, or expect, passenger
    growth and, as a result, it does not make provision for
    additional rolling stock. Substantial growth during the last 10
    years has been the reality with more than 12 million extra
    passenger journeys. To accommodate this growth, we have invested
    heavily in making our rolling stock more reliable, with a number
    of our classes of fleet now being industry leading, thus
    allowing us to keep the fleet in service for longer before
    maintenance is required. As a direct result of this strategy
    during 2012 alone we were able to provide an additional ½
    million extra seats by making more efficient use of our fleet.

    The other alternative to meet this growth would of course be to
    obtain more rolling stock, and we have seen examples of this
    during recent years when Welsh Government has provided us with
    additional trains to meet growing demand on our Valley lines
    network. But, due to passenger growth across the entire national
    rail network, all Train Operators are holding on to their
    rolling stock. Therefore it is unlikely that there will be any
    additional trains to lease until at least 2017 when the national
    electrification programme is likely to cause a “cascade” of
    surplus diesel stock. During this time it is our hope that
    electrification of the Valleys network will be well underway and
    this programme in itself will lead to additional electric
    rolling stock and surplus diesel trains together with better
    plans for accommodating future rail growth

    I am sorry however if you were left with a poor impression of
    our stock and for the inconvenience caused to you by
    overcrowding and that you were left standing from Newport to
    Chester. In recognition of our failure to you, I am happy on
    this occasion to provide you with compensation in the form of
    Rail Travel Vouchers. Please could you provide me with your full
    address, your journey details (date and departure times), along
    with a high quality photo attachment of your tickets (or proof
    of purchase).

    If you would prefer to post the documents to me then you would
    be more than welcome to post to the following Freepost Address:

    Customer Relations

    Arriva Trains Wales

    Freepost RLTR-HBCR-LLTH

    St MaryÂ’s House

    47 Penarth Road

    Cardiff

    CF10 5DJ

    Once again, please accept my apologies for the inconvenience
    caused to you on this occasion. If you require anything further
    then please do not hesitate to contact me directly.

    Yours sincerely,

    Thomas Owens

    Customer Relations Advisor

    Arriva Trains Wales

    Tel 033 33 211 202

    E-mail [email address]

    Twitter @ArrivaTW

    Web www.arrivatrainswales.co.uk

    Address St MaryÂ’s House, 47 Penarth Road, Cardiff, CF10 5DJ

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    References

    Visible links
    1. file:///tmp/ed26fa61-69e7-479e-a4f6-f8737f14663f_files/filelist.xml
    2. file:///tmp/ed26fa61-69e7-479e-a4f6-f8737f14663f_files/editdata.mso
    3. file:///tmp/ed26fa61-69e7-479e-a4f6-f8737f14663f_files/themedata.thmx
    4. file:///tmp/ed26fa61-69e7-479e-a4f6-f8737f14663f_files/colorschememapping.xml
Comment
  • started 5 July 2014
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Train route between Chester and Newport (S Wales) operated by Arriva Trains Wales
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