Commuters detail their travel misery

A packed commuter train in Yorkshire  earlier this week.
A packed commuter train in Yorkshire earlier this week.
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WHEN Neil Foster sets off to work in the morning, he cannot always be sure how he is going to get there.

His preference is to drive to the station in his home town of Thirsk and catch the train into Leeds. But it is not always that straightforward.

The state of the seat on a local commuter train in Yorkshire.

The state of the seat on a local commuter train in Yorkshire.

Competition for spaces means there is not always anywhere to park at the station and there is no alternative near by.

Sometimes, he has no alternative but to drive into Leeds.

“What’s worse is that there used to be a £1 bus from outside my house direct to the train station that was scheduled around the main train departure times but North Yorkshire County Council cancelled the route earlier this year as part of the cuts.

“So you’re left with a situation where you set off in a morning not even knowing how you’re going to get to work,” he says.

“It’s all very frustrating because there used to be a time where we were encouraged to get off the road and use public transport.

“It’s bad enough that train tickets are so expensive and station car parks are so dear but to then not be able to effectively access the train is ridiculous,” he said.

Mr Foster spoke about his challenging journey to work after The Yorkshire Post appealed for people to relate their experiences of rail journeys around the region via social media.

David Keywood uses the Harrogate to Leeds line to get to work.

“I pay £1,536 for a season pass between Leeds and Harrogate. which is extortionate when the trains haven’t been updated since the 1970s or 80s.

“You look at the trains used for Skipton or Ilkley and they are the new modern types. ““I currently pay £72.60 for a monthly pass between New Pudsey and Leeds,” said Andrew Robinson.

“I get the 8:12am from New Pudsey, which is very rarely on time, usually two or three minutes late, sometimes longer and the other day completely cancelled.

“The reason it is a couple of minutes late is that the train is so full on occasion that people are left running up and down the platform to force their way onto the train.

“I very rarely get a seat on a morning and stand in the aisle for the 10 minute journey. On other occasions the number of carriages is reduced meaning it is even more crammed, which often leads to people being left on the platform to wait for the next train.”

Ben Grant said: “I have lived in Normanton for ten years and regularly commute via train to Leeds using the Leeds-Sheffield Hallam line.

“There is usually one train per hour throughout the day. These are usually old Pacer carriages which must have been in service for 25 years. The service is very unreliable with frequent delays and cancellations, usually down to train faults. The rush hour trains are always overcrowded and involve standing. Additionally Leeds station is in serious need of work, its unable to cope with large volumes of passengers that use it and the ticket barriers cause all sorts of delays.”

Gareth Everson, who travels from Harrogate, complained about “waste”.

He said: “They employ four people to check tickets as you approach platforms, but even at busy times there are usually only two or three staff at the ticket office and there is only one very slow ticket machine.”