After checking travel info online on the GMPTE website, I was confident about having enough time to catch a train from Manchester to Stalybridge - either the 21 mins past the hour at Piccadilly, or the 43 mins past at Victoria. I knew I'd have to transfer between the two stations if I missed the Piccadilly one, but that was fine. The website said Easter travel changes would be reflected in the search results, so I was happy I had the right info before I set off.
I got to my target platform at Picc with 5 mins to spare, only to hear the announcer miss out Stalybridge from the list of station stops. Confused, I asked a platform ticket checker, who told me to check the board - Stalybridge wasn't on the list. The checker then intimated that I must've read the website wrong, which I disagreed with, and then he told me Easter services are playing havoc with online timetables, which I also put him right about according to what I'd read online about service changes. I then went back to the main station concourse and Staly wasn't even on the main Departures listing. So, I went to Victoria, to find that that train was cancelled, with a replacement bus service laid on because of engineering works. It would appear that the Piccadilly staff had no idea about this even happening.
That bus trip in itself was a complete nightmare - not only was the bus stand not signposted (I had no clue where to wait, so I hung around with other people who had some luggage and got lucky), and not only did it leave late, but I had to continually keep lifting my shopping trolley and luggage bag onto my seat so that the attendant could get past me to walk up and down the coach for various reasons. And then again to let people off at the first stop. When I finally got off at Stalybridge, I found out that there was a luggage locker in the side of the bus. I was soooooo annoyed about that, it's untrue. I suffer from arthritis (legs and hands) and spondylitis (neck) so to have to go through all that was distressing. When I got home I had to go straight to bed, I was in that much pain. Neither the driver or attendant mentioned the locker space to me.
Summary: the online journey planner's a waste of time; the staff under-inform passengers and don't have the correct information to properly advise passengers about (eg) engineering works; there's no information to tell people where to stand to wait for replacement buses; and there's no assistance or information to do with luggage. I was so stressed and in pain when I got home, it's unreal. I'm so frustrated about all these "small" things that added up to equal a nightmare journey home.
- By Linden Linden on 08 Apr 2012
- Sent to Northern Rail on 08 Apr 2012
- 1 Peter Dixon added an update close 23:14 11 Apr 2012
- 2 Linden Linden added an update close 14:40 12 Apr 2012