YP Letters: Train overcrowding risks safety of passengers

From: Diane Haigh, Scarborough.

Overcrowded trains and cancelled services are causing misery for thousands of local commuters
Overcrowded trains and cancelled services are causing misery for thousands of local commuters

I HAVE been reading with interest the many letters about delays on rail travel, especially given the recent increase in fares. However, I feel that there is a further vital issue to address – that of passenger safety.

I returned from Bath to Scarborough on the Sunday prior to Christmas and was appalled to find that my train had only four carriages. This left people standing in the aisles, exit areas and toilets, those unable to find their booked seats joining other passengers and their suitcases.

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Anyone wishing to use the facilities or get off the train had to climb over luggage to do so and people and any thought of obtaining refreshments was impossible. I was reminded of photographs of trains in India and Africa where passengers regularly travel on the roof. Is this what we can expect in the future I wonder?

I found the whole experience extremely frightening, keenly aware that any emergency would have resulted in catastrophe.

Why is it that our train providers cannot better anticipate demand and 
ensure that there is an adequate number of carriages to ensure passenger safety as well as the comfort for which they have paid?

The only positive aspect of the journey was the truly good nature of the passengers who bore their discomfort with politeness and cheerfulness.

I love travelling by rail but please, can the providers address this issue now before there is a serious accident?

From: Paul Emsley, Hellifield.

When interviewed on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme today, the Transport Secretary spun out the same phrase about “Government investment in the UK railway network is at an all-time high”.

What he didn’t say, was, that if you take away the money being spent (wasted?) on HS2 and ‘Crossrail/Thameslink’; which will only benefit London travellers; and the two projects’ overrun on costs, this means that there is precious little left for the ‘Transport for North’ initiatives to spend.

And where are our local MPs banging on Mr Grayling’s door? I’m not sure if Julian Smith MP knows where Skipton and Harrogate stations are! Why are our local Parliamentary representatives not asking the right questions about Northern’s performance, the lack of resolution of the RMT train guards’ dispute, the lack of new rolling stock, etc, etc? If it takes a change of Government to resolve these major UK infrastructure issues, then so be it.