Crowded trains: 'We are doing all we can', say rail bosses

The Bolton News: MP David Crausby, second right, talks to transport representatives at Bolton railway station MP David Crausby, second right, talks to transport representatives at Bolton railway station

TRANSPORT bosses have insisted they are doing all they can to help Bolton commuters during the rush hour crush.

Representatives from First Transpennine Express (FPTE), Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) and Bolton Council met MP David Crausby to see the situation first-hand at Bolton station.

They say that while train services running through Bolton are busy, they are no worse than other parts of Greater Manchester — and that there is a national lack of carriages for commuters.

The meeting follows the launch of The Bolton News’ Let’s Get Back on Track campaign, which is calling on train bosses and the Department for Transport to provide more carriages for peak-hour services.

Kathyrn O’Brien, head of franchise development at FTPE, said that over the past six weeks the company has closely monitored the number of passengers getting on trains.

She added: “We want to thank customers for their understanding and patience while the new timetable has been implemented.

“Our observations to date are that while train services are busy, on the vast majority of occasions all customers are able to board their intended train.

“Additional services have been provided from Preston to Manchester via Wigan and that is freeing up capacity from Bolton.

“We were delighted to welcome Mr Crausby and representatives from TfGM and Bolton Council to the station.

“We are pleased that we were not only able to discuss the situation with them, but they were also able to witness first-hand the successful passenger movements.

“We will continue to work with all parties and continue to lobby for increased capacity options.”

But Mr Crausby, who represents Bolton North East in Parliament, said more still needs to be done.

He added: “At the end of the day it’s not rocket science — there’s not enough carriages.

“I know that everybody is doing their best, but it’s not that complicated. There’s just not enough space and we want more carriages.

“People are entitled to a seat when the authorities have put the prices up.

“We are arguing that people should go to work and not be on benefits — but commuting like this makes life so difficult.

“This problem has been going on for years and years and it needs to stop.”

The Bolton News’ Let’s Get Back On Track campaign is calling for a dramatic improvement to the town’s “cattle truck” rail services.

To support the campaign, sign the petition in our town centre offices and in shops and newsagents around Bolton.

Return completed petitions to: Let’s Get Back On Track, Editorial Department, The Bolton News, The Wellsprings, Civic Centre, Bolton, BL1 1AR.

If you would like to have a petition in your shop, call 01204 537239.

Comments (18)

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6:12am Thu 16 Jan 14

oftbewildered2 says...

whilst I appreciate the comment that Bolton is no worse than other areas of Manchester was intended to be helpful, the fact is that we are campaigning for Bolton, nowhere else. The sentiment 'there are plenty worse off than you' really does not help.
whilst I appreciate the comment that Bolton is no worse than other areas of Manchester was intended to be helpful, the fact is that we are campaigning for Bolton, nowhere else. The sentiment 'there are plenty worse off than you' really does not help. oftbewildered2
  • Score: 12

7:05am Thu 16 Jan 14

Wigan Trotter says...

Will never improve as long as Northern Rail have the franchise!
Will never improve as long as Northern Rail have the franchise! Wigan Trotter
  • Score: 7

8:49am Thu 16 Jan 14

Smick30 says...

Put the prices up and reduce the services! What a great public transport system we have got. I have seen these so called 'representatives' at the station and offer no support whatsoever. The other week they were handing out chocolate muffins as some form of compensation for our inconvenience. What planet are they on!!!!
Put the prices up and reduce the services! What a great public transport system we have got. I have seen these so called 'representatives' at the station and offer no support whatsoever. The other week they were handing out chocolate muffins as some form of compensation for our inconvenience. What planet are they on!!!! Smick30
  • Score: 11

9:33am Thu 16 Jan 14

one_love says...

do you want to know how i managed to get past this problem, i bought a facking car and now drive to work, no cram, no lateness all is good now !
do you want to know how i managed to get past this problem, i bought a facking car and now drive to work, no cram, no lateness all is good now ! one_love
  • Score: -1

10:04am Thu 16 Jan 14

Jim271 says...

I got a letter many years I wish I still had which quoted.

"Crowding on Trains is a comfort issue, not a safety issue."

What can you do against that kind of attitude?
I got a letter many years I wish I still had which quoted. "Crowding on Trains is a comfort issue, not a safety issue." What can you do against that kind of attitude? Jim271
  • Score: 9

10:40am Thu 16 Jan 14

Love Bolton says...

Campaign to get virgin to provide services instead? They do a good job on main lines, I bet they would incentivise more passengers and give them the space to use the service frequently.
Campaign to get virgin to provide services instead? They do a good job on main lines, I bet they would incentivise more passengers and give them the space to use the service frequently. Love Bolton
  • Score: -2

10:41am Thu 16 Jan 14

steverock6@sky.com says...

They are talking rubbish this has been going on for many years extra carriages where promised where are they its excuse after excuse platforms to long ect prices keep going up I have not got a seat on the train from Horwich to Manchester for years people should travel for less if there is no seats only way to make them do something hit them in the pocket!
They are talking rubbish this has been going on for many years extra carriages where promised where are they its excuse after excuse platforms to long ect prices keep going up I have not got a seat on the train from Horwich to Manchester for years people should travel for less if there is no seats only way to make them do something hit them in the pocket! steverock6@sky.com
  • Score: 1

10:50am Thu 16 Jan 14

MarkAllRead says...

steverock6@sky.com wrote:
They are talking rubbish this has been going on for many years extra carriages where promised where are they its excuse after excuse platforms to long ect prices keep going up I have not got a seat on the train from Horwich to Manchester for years people should travel for less if there is no seats only way to make them do something hit them in the pocket!
It's a good point, we should implement our own standing/seating tickets and pay them less when there are no seats
[quote][p][bold]steverock6@sky.com[/bold] wrote: They are talking rubbish this has been going on for many years extra carriages where promised where are they its excuse after excuse platforms to long ect prices keep going up I have not got a seat on the train from Horwich to Manchester for years people should travel for less if there is no seats only way to make them do something hit them in the pocket![/p][/quote]It's a good point, we should implement our own standing/seating tickets and pay them less when there are no seats MarkAllRead
  • Score: 1

11:29am Thu 16 Jan 14

Darren1951 says...

Jim271 wrote:
I got a letter many years I wish I still had which quoted. "Crowding on Trains is a comfort issue, not a safety issue." What can you do against that kind of attitude?
Interesting - who sent it?

This is obviously not a new problem, and things were never perfect, even in the "good old days", but it's one which has almost certainly been made a good deal worse by the the stupid way in which the railway system was fragmented in such a piecemeal manner under privatisation, in particular the fact that rolling stock has to be leased from yet another, different, PRIVATE company, and can't be moved at short notice to where it's most needed,
[quote][p][bold]Jim271[/bold] wrote: I got a letter many years I wish I still had which quoted. "Crowding on Trains is a comfort issue, not a safety issue." What can you do against that kind of attitude?[/p][/quote]Interesting - who sent it? This is obviously not a new problem, and things were never perfect, even in the "good old days", but it's one which has almost certainly been made a good deal worse by the the stupid way in which the railway system was fragmented in such a piecemeal manner under privatisation, in particular the fact that rolling stock has to be leased from yet another, different, PRIVATE company, and can't be moved at short notice to where it's most needed, Darren1951
  • Score: 4

11:49am Thu 16 Jan 14

Darren1951 says...

BTW, interesting, innit, that there's no mention of any Northern Rail representives being present in para 2? A true indication of THEIR concern?
BTW, interesting, innit, that there's no mention of any Northern Rail representives being present in para 2? A true indication of THEIR concern? Darren1951
  • Score: 4

1:15pm Thu 16 Jan 14

Justcommuting says...

“Our observations to date are that while train services are busy, on the vast majority of occasions all customers are able to board their intended train."

NOT TRUE

I no longer go for the 7.35, as I can't get on it.
I no longer go for the 7.56, as I can't get on it.
The 8.08 is touch and go depending on where one stands on the platform
Usually can get on the 8.12, generally no seat
8.35 is fine a vast majority of the time

In summary, between the 7.08 and 8.08, I generally am unable to get a train to Oxford Road.
“Our observations to date are that while train services are busy, on the vast majority of occasions all customers are able to board their intended train." NOT TRUE I no longer go for the 7.35, as I can't get on it. I no longer go for the 7.56, as I can't get on it. The 8.08 is touch and go depending on where one stands on the platform Usually can get on the 8.12, generally no seat 8.35 is fine a vast majority of the time In summary, between the 7.08 and 8.08, I generally am unable to get a train to Oxford Road. Justcommuting
  • Score: 13

5:15pm Thu 16 Jan 14

BWFC71 says...

Wigan Trotter wrote:
Will never improve as long as Northern Rail have the franchise!
Nor after!!!!

Northern Rail was given no option to buy new carriages as it was LABOUR that put the caveat into the franchise.

But saying that The CONSERVATIVES have been just as bad and not helped the situation!!!

So stop blaming NR for what was, yet again, a Government ****-up!
[quote][p][bold]Wigan Trotter[/bold] wrote: Will never improve as long as Northern Rail have the franchise![/p][/quote]Nor after!!!! Northern Rail was given no option to buy new carriages as it was LABOUR that put the caveat into the franchise. But saying that The CONSERVATIVES have been just as bad and not helped the situation!!! So stop blaming NR for what was, yet again, a Government ****-up! BWFC71
  • Score: 1

5:18pm Thu 16 Jan 14

BWFC71 says...

one_love wrote:
do you want to know how i managed to get past this problem, i bought a facking car and now drive to work, no cram, no lateness all is good now !
Just traffic jams on Manchester Road or East Lancs Road or the side-streets inbetween..... Having to leave earlier due to amount of traffic. Paying for extra usage of petrol/diesel, parking prices - yes driving is far better!!!!!! :-O
[quote][p][bold]one_love[/bold] wrote: do you want to know how i managed to get past this problem, i bought a facking car and now drive to work, no cram, no lateness all is good now ![/p][/quote]Just traffic jams on Manchester Road or East Lancs Road or the side-streets inbetween..... Having to leave earlier due to amount of traffic. Paying for extra usage of petrol/diesel, parking prices - yes driving is far better!!!!!! :-O BWFC71
  • Score: 1

5:27pm Thu 16 Jan 14

BWFC71 says...

Price rises, to be fair, is NOT the fault of ant Train Operating Company. NR has had to rise them by the most minimum they are allowed.

Price rises are a Legal ruling which the Government controls - hence it is set by RPI+x% set by the JJuly RPI figures (which are usually the highest of the year).

Also, within Greater Manchester the fares are heavily subsidised by TfGM. If we didn't have that subsidy from TfGM the prices would be at least 25% higher than what they currently are!!!

To be fair it is more of an issue of First TPE than Northern Rail as it is the FTPE service that has been re-routed and left Bolton with the problem- they do have a spare vehicle, which they use on the 8.08 service every morning - so why can't they use that spare train all day?
Price rises, to be fair, is NOT the fault of ant Train Operating Company. NR has had to rise them by the most minimum they are allowed. Price rises are a Legal ruling which the Government controls - hence it is set by RPI+x% set by the JJuly RPI figures (which are usually the highest of the year). Also, within Greater Manchester the fares are heavily subsidised by TfGM. If we didn't have that subsidy from TfGM the prices would be at least 25% higher than what they currently are!!! To be fair it is more of an issue of First TPE than Northern Rail as it is the FTPE service that has been re-routed and left Bolton with the problem- they do have a spare vehicle, which they use on the 8.08 service every morning - so why can't they use that spare train all day? BWFC71
  • Score: 1

6:27pm Thu 16 Jan 14

Darren1951 says...

BWFC: Northern Rail was given no option to buy new carriages as it was LABOUR that put the caveat into the franchise.

Has amyone ever given a reason for that that you know of?
BWFC: Northern Rail was given no option to buy new carriages as it was LABOUR that put the caveat into the franchise. Has amyone ever given a reason for that that you know of? Darren1951
  • Score: 1

11:12pm Thu 16 Jan 14

Frogger123 says...

Justcommuting wrote:
“Our observations to date are that while train services are busy, on the vast majority of occasions all customers are able to board their intended train."

NOT TRUE

I no longer go for the 7.35, as I can't get on it.
I no longer go for the 7.56, as I can't get on it.
The 8.08 is touch and go depending on where one stands on the platform
Usually can get on the 8.12, generally no seat
8.35 is fine a vast majority of the time

In summary, between the 7.08 and 8.08, I generally am unable to get a train to Oxford Road.
All true in my experience too.

The last 2 weeks on the 8.08 we've had to cram into 1st class to allow everyone to board, despite their being announcements that " 1st class is for 1st class ticket holders only" , there simply isn't enough room on these trains full stop and without doing this people would be left on the platform everyday, so saying the vast majority of people can board isn't strictly true.
I came home from Salford Central tonight and it did not escape me that the train to Clitheroe at 6.03 pm has as many carriages as the main peak time train to Oxford Road from Bolton in the morning. Pathetic.
[quote][p][bold]Justcommuting[/bold] wrote: “Our observations to date are that while train services are busy, on the vast majority of occasions all customers are able to board their intended train." NOT TRUE I no longer go for the 7.35, as I can't get on it. I no longer go for the 7.56, as I can't get on it. The 8.08 is touch and go depending on where one stands on the platform Usually can get on the 8.12, generally no seat 8.35 is fine a vast majority of the time In summary, between the 7.08 and 8.08, I generally am unable to get a train to Oxford Road.[/p][/quote]All true in my experience too. The last 2 weeks on the 8.08 we've had to cram into 1st class to allow everyone to board, despite their being announcements that " 1st class is for 1st class ticket holders only" , there simply isn't enough room on these trains full stop and without doing this people would be left on the platform everyday, so saying the vast majority of people can board isn't strictly true. I came home from Salford Central tonight and it did not escape me that the train to Clitheroe at 6.03 pm has as many carriages as the main peak time train to Oxford Road from Bolton in the morning. Pathetic. Frogger123
  • Score: 2

11:26pm Thu 16 Jan 14

BWFC71 says...

Darren1951 wrote:
BWFC: Northern Rail was given no option to buy new carriages as it was LABOUR that put the caveat into the franchise.

Has amyone ever given a reason for that that you know of?
The so-called story - whether its true or not, is because they didn't see any rise in numbers of rail users during the length of the franchise contract.

In fact since the start of the franchise contract the number of rail users just from Bolton Station, alone, has increased by 84%

Other Bolton station are:
Bromley Cross - increased by 86%
Hall I'th Wood - increased by 129%
Blackrod - increased by 146%
Horwich Parkway - increased by 170%
Westhoughton - increased by 131%
Lostock - increased by 107%
Moses Gate - increased by 70%
Farnworth - increased by 107%
Kearsley - increased by 138%
Daisy Hill - increased by 144%

But size of coaches have decreased and number of trains per hour have also decreased - therefore the question to the Government and DfT is WHY REDUCE WHEN ALL FIGURES SHOW AN AVERAGE INCREASE OF OVER 100%!!!
[quote][p][bold]Darren1951[/bold] wrote: BWFC: Northern Rail was given no option to buy new carriages as it was LABOUR that put the caveat into the franchise. Has amyone ever given a reason for that that you know of?[/p][/quote]The so-called story - whether its true or not, is because they didn't see any rise in numbers of rail users during the length of the franchise contract. In fact since the start of the franchise contract the number of rail users just from Bolton Station, alone, has increased by 84% Other Bolton station are: Bromley Cross - increased by 86% Hall I'th Wood - increased by 129% Blackrod - increased by 146% Horwich Parkway - increased by 170% Westhoughton - increased by 131% Lostock - increased by 107% Moses Gate - increased by 70% Farnworth - increased by 107% Kearsley - increased by 138% Daisy Hill - increased by 144% But size of coaches have decreased and number of trains per hour have also decreased - therefore the question to the Government and DfT is WHY REDUCE WHEN ALL FIGURES SHOW AN AVERAGE INCREASE OF OVER 100%!!! BWFC71
  • Score: 1

11:37pm Thu 16 Jan 14

BWFC71 says...

Frogger123 wrote:
Justcommuting wrote:
“Our observations to date are that while train services are busy, on the vast majority of occasions all customers are able to board their intended train."

NOT TRUE

I no longer go for the 7.35, as I can't get on it.
I no longer go for the 7.56, as I can't get on it.
The 8.08 is touch and go depending on where one stands on the platform
Usually can get on the 8.12, generally no seat
8.35 is fine a vast majority of the time

In summary, between the 7.08 and 8.08, I generally am unable to get a train to Oxford Road.
All true in my experience too.

The last 2 weeks on the 8.08 we've had to cram into 1st class to allow everyone to board, despite their being announcements that " 1st class is for 1st class ticket holders only" , there simply isn't enough room on these trains full stop and without doing this people would be left on the platform everyday, so saying the vast majority of people can board isn't strictly true.
I came home from Salford Central tonight and it did not escape me that the train to Clitheroe at 6.03 pm has as many carriages as the main peak time train to Oxford Road from Bolton in the morning. Pathetic.
I was on the 1546 from Piccadilly to Blackpool service and it was standing room only - and that is an off-peak journey! The train also called at Oxford Road, Deansgate and Salford Crescent and by the time we left Salford Crescent it was worse than a tin of sardines!!!!!!!
[quote][p][bold]Frogger123[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Justcommuting[/bold] wrote: “Our observations to date are that while train services are busy, on the vast majority of occasions all customers are able to board their intended train." NOT TRUE I no longer go for the 7.35, as I can't get on it. I no longer go for the 7.56, as I can't get on it. The 8.08 is touch and go depending on where one stands on the platform Usually can get on the 8.12, generally no seat 8.35 is fine a vast majority of the time In summary, between the 7.08 and 8.08, I generally am unable to get a train to Oxford Road.[/p][/quote]All true in my experience too. The last 2 weeks on the 8.08 we've had to cram into 1st class to allow everyone to board, despite their being announcements that " 1st class is for 1st class ticket holders only" , there simply isn't enough room on these trains full stop and without doing this people would be left on the platform everyday, so saying the vast majority of people can board isn't strictly true. I came home from Salford Central tonight and it did not escape me that the train to Clitheroe at 6.03 pm has as many carriages as the main peak time train to Oxford Road from Bolton in the morning. Pathetic.[/p][/quote]I was on the 1546 from Piccadilly to Blackpool service and it was standing room only - and that is an off-peak journey! The train also called at Oxford Road, Deansgate and Salford Crescent and by the time we left Salford Crescent it was worse than a tin of sardines!!!!!!! BWFC71
  • Score: 2

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