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“Please help me persuade Arriva Trains Wales to tackle overcrowding” – John Sanders

Description

John Sanders

My wife and I travelled on the 1.30 from Manchester Piccadilly to Cardiff on Friday 12 September and returned from Cardiff on the 2.55 on Saturday 13 September. Both times the trains (2 carriages only) were badly overcrowded on significant stages of the journey. On the return journey the train was particularly crowded between Ludlow (where there had been a Food Festival) and Shrewsbury. There were many elderly people being forced to stand for long periods. There is surely a health and safety issue here. Or will it take a rail disaster with fatalities to highlight the dangers of this practice, namely the inadequate planning and provision of carriages? Rail companies presumably can plan to cater for the additional capacity that will be required for events such as this. The fact that people do not complain sufficiently should not be taken to indicate that the status quo is acceptable. The fact that passengers seemed to accept the situation suggests that it is endemic - a fact confirmed when we spoke to regular customers.
Both trains were also cold with the air conditioning set too low. Three and a half hours both ways in a cold, overcrowded train is not a pleasant experience. Again we requested that the air conditioning be turned up a bit, but were told (by the train manager) that it was set at the start of the day and that nothing could be done about it. Turning off the system, at least temporarily, would have helped.
We have recently travelled by train in a couple of European countries. The contrast (in terms of comfort, the standard of the rolling stock and the quality of experience) could not have been greater. It is hard not to conclude that in the UK, the customer comes last in the pecking order. It is sad and slightly shameful.

Problem History

  • 1 John Sanders reported the issue on FixMyTransport. close 12:13 14 Sep 2014
  • 2 John Sanders wrote to Arriva Trains Wales close 12:13 14 Sep 2014

    Here is the letter that John Sanders wrote.

    Overcrowding and Cold

    My wife and I travelled on the 1.30 from Manchester Piccadilly to Cardiff on Friday 12 September and returned from Cardiff on the 2.55 on Saturday 13 September. Both times the trains (2 carriages only) were badly overcrowded on significant stages of the journey. On the return journey the train was particularly crowded between Ludlow (where there had been a Food Festival) and Shrewsbury. There were many elderly people being forced to stand for long periods. There is surely a health and safety issue here. Or will it take a rail disaster with fatalities to highlight the dangers of this practice, namely the inadequate planning and provision of carriages? Rail companies presumably can plan to cater for the additional capacity that will be required for events such as this. The fact that people do not complain sufficiently should not be taken to indicate that the status quo is acceptable. The fact that passengers seemed to accept the situation suggests that it is endemic - a fact confirmed when we spoke to regular customers.
    Both trains were also cold with the air conditioning set too low. Three and a half hours both ways in a cold, overcrowded train is not a pleasant experience. Again we requested that the air conditioning be turned up a bit, but were told (by the train manager) that it was set at the start of the day and that nothing could be done about it. Turning off the system, at least temporarily, would have helped.
    We have recently travelled by train in a couple of European countries. The contrast (in terms of comfort, the standard of the rolling stock and the quality of experience) could not have been greater. It is hard not to conclude that in the UK, the customer comes last in the pecking order. It is sad and slightly shameful.

Comment
  • started 14 September 2014
  • supporters 0
Train route between Cardiff Central and Manchester Piccadilly operated by Arriva Trains Wales, Crosscountry
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