'Bolton commuter trains are worse than cattle trucks'

The Bolton News: Liz Davies’ pictures at Blackrod on the 8.11am service to Manchester Victoria. She said: “Five 5 more stops to Manchester . . . five more loads of people to get on. Health and safety out the window.” Liz Davies’ pictures at Blackrod on the 8.11am service to Manchester Victoria. She said: “Five 5 more stops to Manchester . . . five more loads of people to get on. Health and safety out the window.”

A COMMUTER has branded her daily journey into work as “worse than being stuck in a cattle shed”.

Liz Davies, an IT trainer, travels between her home in Blackrod and her job in Manchester city centre, and fears the packed carriages are unsafe and dangerous.

The 34-year-old, of The Cheethams, Blackrod, said: “This is not a recent problem, it has been like this for the past six years. Everyday people are left on platforms because they cannot get on the train.

“The other day I was forced to spend the whole 35-minute journey in a spot near the door of the train that ironically had a sign saying ‘do not stand here’ — I think cattle in a shed would have more space. It can’t be safe.”

Ms Davies, who travels on the 8.11am Northern Rail service from Blackrod to Manchester, said she has witnessed desperate train operators directing passengers to travel in the bathroom.

She added: “One time I saw a conductor telling three people to squeeze into the bathroom.”

Ms Davies sent photographs of her cramped journeys to The Bolton News in response to our Let’s Get Back On Track campaign, which has been backed by the town’s three MPs and is calling for a dramatic improvement to Bolton’s rail services.

Bolton North East MP David Crausby has asked if more rolling stock could be added to the Bolton line.

However, Northern Rail’s managing director Alex Hynes said there were no spare diesel trains in the UK.

He added: “For us to provide additional capacity on the Bolton corridor, train carriages would have to be removed from services on other, also busy Northern routes — in simplest terms robbing Peter to pay Paul.

“We know overcrowding continues to be a concern for passengers travelling through Bolton and we are working hard to address this — the safety of our passengers and employees is Northern’s highest priority and we continue to monitor the situation.”

Comments (5)

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1:29pm Tue 4 Feb 14

Mike23 says...

So this rail company has no spare capacity?

Thus, when one breaks, in theory we should see one less train on the tracks?

When are people going to wake up to "Couldn't give a s**t politics" and organisations totally able to make unchallenged statements and operate key infrastructure in our economy.

When you have a situation where people are clearly being put at risk, enduring unhealthy travel systems, which adds to their daily stress, and are then told we will monitor the situation?

Come on, please, its embarrassing and shameful.

Well u know what to do folks, elections are coming up etc...
So this rail company has no spare capacity? Thus, when one breaks, in theory we should see one less train on the tracks? When are people going to wake up to "Couldn't give a s**t politics" and organisations totally able to make unchallenged statements and operate key infrastructure in our economy. When you have a situation where people are clearly being put at risk, enduring unhealthy travel systems, which adds to their daily stress, and are then told we will monitor the situation? Come on, please, its embarrassing and shameful. Well u know what to do folks, elections are coming up etc... Mike23
  • Score: 8

11:26pm Tue 4 Feb 14

Opionated321 says...

The blackburn line to manchester victoria is also like this i have taken many pictures and sent these to northern rail to be told they do not have extra carriages?! Why are extra carriages added to trains in the day when it is quiet rather than in the morning when it is busy? Couldnt organise a p*ss up in a brewery springs to mind!! Even bicyles are crammed on these trains when there is clearly no room! I think it is going to take for someone to be seriously injured or killed as a result of over crowding before action is taken!!
The blackburn line to manchester victoria is also like this i have taken many pictures and sent these to northern rail to be told they do not have extra carriages?! Why are extra carriages added to trains in the day when it is quiet rather than in the morning when it is busy? Couldnt organise a p*ss up in a brewery springs to mind!! Even bicyles are crammed on these trains when there is clearly no room! I think it is going to take for someone to be seriously injured or killed as a result of over crowding before action is taken!! Opionated321
  • Score: 2

8:43am Wed 5 Feb 14

The Righteous One says...

I also take photos of the daily occurance - and better still yesterday I couldn't even get a train - not because of the awful incident but because I couldn't park anywhere near Bolton station - only place I could find was Shifnall Street - no thanks!!!! Ended up driving in - that was at about 930 in the morning - and this morning got to the station at 730 and the car park was full and I literally took the final gap in teh side-street opposite the carpark!! What are all these people, including myself, going to do when the car-park closes for good later this year!!! Claerly the bus network is not good enough to get people to/from station otherwise the buses would probably be used - especialy as the majority of areas in Bolton only have an hourly "daytime" service which don't operate at peak times!!!

Anyway, back on topic - see letter in teh comments section about what happened last week and how Wigan is being favoured over Bolton seemingly all the time and how staff just don't give two hoots about Bolton and blaming the Government at any given chance when this is actually a localised issue - bad management is the problem on so many days!
I also take photos of the daily occurance - and better still yesterday I couldn't even get a train - not because of the awful incident but because I couldn't park anywhere near Bolton station - only place I could find was Shifnall Street - no thanks!!!! Ended up driving in - that was at about 930 in the morning - and this morning got to the station at 730 and the car park was full and I literally took the final gap in teh side-street opposite the carpark!! What are all these people, including myself, going to do when the car-park closes for good later this year!!! Claerly the bus network is not good enough to get people to/from station otherwise the buses would probably be used - especialy as the majority of areas in Bolton only have an hourly "daytime" service which don't operate at peak times!!! Anyway, back on topic - see letter in teh comments section about what happened last week and how Wigan is being favoured over Bolton seemingly all the time and how staff just don't give two hoots about Bolton and blaming the Government at any given chance when this is actually a localised issue - bad management is the problem on so many days! The Righteous One
  • Score: 1

8:58am Thu 6 Feb 14

KR3032 says...

If you dont like the service - dont use it simple. Its overcrowded because idiots decide to still board so hardly the operators fault. Northern were given the franchise by the (What was) SRA on a non growth basis. DfT refused to give some funding for extra stock and Northern invested a lot of their own money (from the little profit they actually get) and secured a lot of extra trains. However they have become a victim in their own success and as such people should start to hammer the government for new trains in the North instead of blaming the operator when its not their fault the DfT can't plan anything right.
If you dont like the service - dont use it simple. Its overcrowded because idiots decide to still board so hardly the operators fault. Northern were given the franchise by the (What was) SRA on a non growth basis. DfT refused to give some funding for extra stock and Northern invested a lot of their own money (from the little profit they actually get) and secured a lot of extra trains. However they have become a victim in their own success and as such people should start to hammer the government for new trains in the North instead of blaming the operator when its not their fault the DfT can't plan anything right. KR3032
  • Score: 0

4:15pm Thu 6 Feb 14

Bowmanator says...

Look, nearly all Northern Rail units (some need to be fixed) are used at peak times from NH depot (Manchester), these commuters need to realise that there are more rail lines in Greater Manchester than just the Bolton line! Lines like Liverpool-Manchester
, Manchester-Huddersfi
eld needs trains too!
Look, nearly all Northern Rail units (some need to be fixed) are used at peak times from NH depot (Manchester), these commuters need to realise that there are more rail lines in Greater Manchester than just the Bolton line! Lines like Liverpool-Manchester , Manchester-Huddersfi eld needs trains too! Bowmanator
  • Score: 0

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