Rail firms did go the extra mile to support the Tour

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From: Alan Chaplin, Service Delivery Director, Northern Rail.

IT’S disappointing that Yorkshire Post Newspapers were keen to highlight what they deemed rail chaos rather than acknowledging the months of planning the rail industry undertook with organisers to prepare for the Tour de France as well as the hundreds of staff who worked tirelessly over the weekend to help spectators get to the event (The Yorkshire Post, July 12).

I’d like to thank your readers who recognised the efforts of our people over the weekend which did include our allegedly “faceless senior directors and executives”. From travel and Tour advice to handing out water and keeping children entertained they did everything they could to help spectators make the most of the weekend.

The shortage of trains and limitations of capacity of the rail infrastructure in the North have been well documented before, but within those constraints every possible step was taken.

We provided 50 per cent more capacity – that’s over 100,000 extra spaces through running longer trains, extra services and hiring in charter trains.

Yes services were busy and at times there were long queues but given the volume of spectators inevitably it would take time to move everyone. And move them we did – trains were there and running frequently.

The rail industry as a whole pulled together that weekend, worked as one and successfully carried thousands of spectators to the Tour.

We were extremely proud to support the organisers and Yorkshire in delivering a Grand Départ like no other.

From: Charles W Welch, Thetford, Norfolk.

I HAD an experience on Sunday, July 13, on my way from Norfolk to Rawdon in Leeds. I got so far following my sat nav when I came to a slip road I should take, but it was blocked. Not knowing where to go, I asked a motorcyclist just as he was setting off on the best direction from there to Rawdon.

“I know the way,” said the man. His instructions were OK for a few miles, as he put it, so I said: “Hang on, I’m lost already.” He said: “I am only going for a ride so I will take you, follow me.”

He set off and I followed, and the distance we went was surprising. We must have travelled miles and he waited each time we got parted by pushy traffic or traffic lights until we came to some more traffic lights where he signalled to come alongside him.

Thank you my motorbike friend, there are not enough people like you and Yorkshire is the place to find them.