YP Letters: Why no help for rail passengers left stranded?

Customer service on Northern Rail is being criticised again.
Customer service on Northern Rail is being criticised again.
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From: M Clayton, Avenue Hill, Leeds.

THE other day, I went on a day trip to Morecambe with Northern Rail. I decided to return on the last train at ​19.08 as the earlier train left too early at 16.19.

On arrival at Morecambe Station, I noticed the train departure notice said “delayed” but then it changed to “cancelled” and was accompanied by an announcement saying “we apologise for any inconvenience caused”. Thirteen people were left stranded on the station.

There was no reason given for the cancellation, no mention of any replacement bus, no contact details given for assistance. It was an unmanned station​,​ so there was no member of staff to help.

Of the 13 people, six senior citizens needed to get to Leeds, three young people needed to get to Lancaster, one man needed to get to Edinburgh for a flight to Spain (his flight from Manchester had been cancelled), one man had a bike, plus there were two other people (destination unknown).

Fortunately, one of the men travelling to Leeds knew what to do as the same thing had happened to him on a previous occasion. He ordered three taxis for 11 of us to travel to Lancaster. We pooled our contributions to pay for the taxis.

We explained to the ticket collector on the train what had happened and she was very helpful, and went beyond the call of duty. As she was finishing her shift in Leeds, she arranged to give a senior citizen a lift home as they lived fairly near each other.

I never expected a rail company to cancel the last train from a destination leaving passengers stranded with no offer of a replacement bus or any offer of help.

HS2 breaking up Britain

From: Arthur Quarmby, Mill Moor Road, Meltham,

THE Westminster government seems determined to ensure the further break-up of this once-United Kingdom by continuing to shower finance and assets of all kinds on London and the Home Counties, while at the same time starving the remainder of the country – and especially the North – of its reasonable, realistic and fair share of the country’s resources.

A prime example being the Government’s determination to impose HS2 on an unwilling country, despite worldwide 
proof that the line will draw talent and investment away from the provinces and into the capital.

No matter what the political colour of the Government, the central administration continues along this path, and it is probably already far too late to change its direction and mindset.

We should look to the Swiss, to see how independent cantons can still be a united country.

Ridiculous parking fine

From: Mr and Mrs Preston, Leeds.

I AM writing to advise that there is a serious problem at the Colton Retail Park location with parking. My wife and I received a parking fine through the post with a penalty for £100. It is a maximum four hour stay, but this letter stated that our car was there for 28 hours and 17 minutes (how ​ridiculous).

We have used that facility for over 20 years on a very regular basis for shopping at Argos, Boots and our main shop at Sainsbury’s. We took the letter with us to discuss with the staff, and try to get advice​. Their reaction was “oh no, not another one” and they advised that a lot of their regular customers (dozens and dozens) were getting £100 fines for staying in the car park for 20/30 hours etc.

My wife and I are both in our 70s and, as pensioners, cannot afford to be paying fines like that every time we go shopping.

Good news for garden birds

From: Nina Smith, Hebden Bridge.

IT is excellent news that the number of finches in Yorkshire gardens had increased this January in comparison to the previous year, especially as it applies to the greenfinch.

However, greenfinches are not increasing everywhere and this year there has been a shortage of greenfinches in Calderdale. This is the first recent winter that they have not been in my garden, and I don’t know of anyone who has seen them in Calderdale. I haven’t been visited by a siskin either.

The RSPB Birdwatch was carried out in late January and is an invaluable study of garden bird sightings. However, I wonder whether they should repeat it in late March/early April as I fear the harsh winter may have caused significant avian mortality.

Enriching the establishment

From: Dr David Hill, Huddersfield.

ON the recent outing of how 102 academy schools paid trustees over £150,000 a year, the Public Accounts Committee stated that they gave no logical reason for the vast increases. (The Yorkshire Post, March 30).

It is another reason why I feel academies are not the vehicle to drive our education system forward, but only to enrich privileged individuals through an abuse of the system constructed by the Government.

Thinning out the Lords

From: Bob Watson, Baildon.

IN a debate in the House of Commons (The Yorkshire Post, March 29) about whether the House of Lords should be reduced in size, Labour’s David Hanson said the 92 hereditary peers should be given the sack.

On the contrary, let’s start with many of the hundreds of ennobled party hacks and other political appointments, who should the first to go.