Dale Haslam's train blog: ‘Keep to the left for sake of my sanity’

Dale Haslam

Dale Haslam

First published in News The Bolton News: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

I WILL start by apologising. This column will consist almost entirely of me whinging, so look away now if you want to avoid my take on Mr Angry.

This week’s subject is that age-old favourite that gets everyone’s goat —– manners.

TransPennine Express recently tweaked an evening rush-hour service from Bolton to Preston, meaning it leaves Bolton a few minutes earlier.

The change is good for me as it means I get home earlier . . . if I make it.

Where possible, I leave work slightly earlier than I did before, giving me just as much time to board as I used to.

However, the train in question arrives into Bolton earlier than it used to and waits for four minutes before leaving, creating a problem.

As I arrive at the station, an army of passengers emerges from the train and blocks the entire breadth of the stairs, making it almost impossible for me and a few others to reach the platform.

This could be avoided if people would stay on the left of the stairs, but that appears to be asking too much.

A couple of times I have had to take the lift down to the platform in a desperate and failed attempt to make the train.

Missing the train does not really bother me — it is the principle of people not showing good manners.

As I have said in this column before, it is sad when we reach the point where adults need a sign to tell them to avoid being selfish.

But there are ‘keep to the left’ signs at Preston station and people seem to follow the request.

For my own sanity, I think it is time the signs were brought in at Bolton.

Then at least you will not have to read my whingery.

Comments (10)

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9:58am Mon 14 Apr 14

The Righteous One says...

The difference being is that Preston is a Mainline station, as in it is a WCML stop and not just an express/local station stop!

Preston station is managed by Virgin Trains, whereas Bolton station is managed by Northern Rail and both have different ways of operating their stations!
The difference being is that Preston is a Mainline station, as in it is a WCML stop and not just an express/local station stop! Preston station is managed by Virgin Trains, whereas Bolton station is managed by Northern Rail and both have different ways of operating their stations! The Righteous One
  • Score: 0

10:40am Mon 14 Apr 14

Ernagy2 says...

The Righteous One wrote:
The difference being is that Preston is a Mainline station, as in it is a WCML stop and not just an express/local station stop!

Preston station is managed by Virgin Trains, whereas Bolton station is managed by Northern Rail and both have different ways of operating their stations!
It doesn't stop them putting signs up saying keep to the left. Also, as I'm sure you are aware, Wigan has tow stations one with a Virgin ticket office (North Western) and on with a Northern Ticket Office (Wallgate). People still keep to the left at Wallgate so that blows your theory out of the water.

There is no partition on the stair way, i.e. hand rail in the middle and maybe that is the reason people don't keep to the left, whereas there is at Wallgate and Preston stations.
[quote][p][bold]The Righteous One[/bold] wrote: The difference being is that Preston is a Mainline station, as in it is a WCML stop and not just an express/local station stop! Preston station is managed by Virgin Trains, whereas Bolton station is managed by Northern Rail and both have different ways of operating their stations![/p][/quote]It doesn't stop them putting signs up saying keep to the left. Also, as I'm sure you are aware, Wigan has tow stations one with a Virgin ticket office (North Western) and on with a Northern Ticket Office (Wallgate). People still keep to the left at Wallgate so that blows your theory out of the water. There is no partition on the stair way, i.e. hand rail in the middle and maybe that is the reason people don't keep to the left, whereas there is at Wallgate and Preston stations. Ernagy2
  • Score: 0

10:48am Mon 14 Apr 14

The Righteous One says...

Ernagy2 wrote:
The Righteous One wrote:
The difference being is that Preston is a Mainline station, as in it is a WCML stop and not just an express/local station stop!

Preston station is managed by Virgin Trains, whereas Bolton station is managed by Northern Rail and both have different ways of operating their stations!
It doesn't stop them putting signs up saying keep to the left. Also, as I'm sure you are aware, Wigan has tow stations one with a Virgin ticket office (North Western) and on with a Northern Ticket Office (Wallgate). People still keep to the left at Wallgate so that blows your theory out of the water.

There is no partition on the stair way, i.e. hand rail in the middle and maybe that is the reason people don't keep to the left, whereas there is at Wallgate and Preston stations.
Not really because Bolton has no signs whatsoever and as such are "normalised" into walking where ever they want, plus with the car park being at the wrong end of Platform 4 (until it closes later this year for good). Also look at Manchester Piccadilly (Virgin managed) - they have "keep left" signs and they are ignored, but don't have them at Victoria (Northern managed) and yet people do keep to the left!

Problem is each company have different ideas of operating stations and at some stations they work and at some they don't!!

The same can be said for stations that are managed by First TPE they have a different approach to controlling people.

But that is what you get with so many different companies managing various stations!!! If anything it should be one company controlling all the stations and rail infrastructure (such as Network Rail) whilst the TOC's concentrate on operating their franchises!!!
[quote][p][bold]Ernagy2[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]The Righteous One[/bold] wrote: The difference being is that Preston is a Mainline station, as in it is a WCML stop and not just an express/local station stop! Preston station is managed by Virgin Trains, whereas Bolton station is managed by Northern Rail and both have different ways of operating their stations![/p][/quote]It doesn't stop them putting signs up saying keep to the left. Also, as I'm sure you are aware, Wigan has tow stations one with a Virgin ticket office (North Western) and on with a Northern Ticket Office (Wallgate). People still keep to the left at Wallgate so that blows your theory out of the water. There is no partition on the stair way, i.e. hand rail in the middle and maybe that is the reason people don't keep to the left, whereas there is at Wallgate and Preston stations.[/p][/quote]Not really because Bolton has no signs whatsoever and as such are "normalised" into walking where ever they want, plus with the car park being at the wrong end of Platform 4 (until it closes later this year for good). Also look at Manchester Piccadilly (Virgin managed) - they have "keep left" signs and they are ignored, but don't have them at Victoria (Northern managed) and yet people do keep to the left! Problem is each company have different ideas of operating stations and at some stations they work and at some they don't!! The same can be said for stations that are managed by First TPE they have a different approach to controlling people. But that is what you get with so many different companies managing various stations!!! If anything it should be one company controlling all the stations and rail infrastructure (such as Network Rail) whilst the TOC's concentrate on operating their franchises!!! The Righteous One
  • Score: 0

11:03am Mon 14 Apr 14

Ernagy2 says...

The Righteous One wrote:
Ernagy2 wrote:
The Righteous One wrote:
The difference being is that Preston is a Mainline station, as in it is a WCML stop and not just an express/local station stop!

Preston station is managed by Virgin Trains, whereas Bolton station is managed by Northern Rail and both have different ways of operating their stations!
It doesn't stop them putting signs up saying keep to the left. Also, as I'm sure you are aware, Wigan has tow stations one with a Virgin ticket office (North Western) and on with a Northern Ticket Office (Wallgate). People still keep to the left at Wallgate so that blows your theory out of the water.

There is no partition on the stair way, i.e. hand rail in the middle and maybe that is the reason people don't keep to the left, whereas there is at Wallgate and Preston stations.
Not really because Bolton has no signs whatsoever and as such are "normalised" into walking where ever they want, plus with the car park being at the wrong end of Platform 4 (until it closes later this year for good). Also look at Manchester Piccadilly (Virgin managed) - they have "keep left" signs and they are ignored, but don't have them at Victoria (Northern managed) and yet people do keep to the left!

Problem is each company have different ideas of operating stations and at some stations they work and at some they don't!!

The same can be said for stations that are managed by First TPE they have a different approach to controlling people.

But that is what you get with so many different companies managing various stations!!! If anything it should be one company controlling all the stations and rail infrastructure (such as Network Rail) whilst the TOC's concentrate on operating their franchises!!!
You have just contradicted your original point. You said originally it was because Preston was run by virgin that people kept to the left, yet manchester Piccadilly you say they don't, but this is also controlled by Virgin - the company you were praising.

Manchester Piccadilly again is more modern and generally doesn't have hand rails / a partition whereas Manchester Victoria has partitions. People tend to respond to partitions, whether hand rails or even a temporary aisle.
[quote][p][bold]The Righteous One[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Ernagy2[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]The Righteous One[/bold] wrote: The difference being is that Preston is a Mainline station, as in it is a WCML stop and not just an express/local station stop! Preston station is managed by Virgin Trains, whereas Bolton station is managed by Northern Rail and both have different ways of operating their stations![/p][/quote]It doesn't stop them putting signs up saying keep to the left. Also, as I'm sure you are aware, Wigan has tow stations one with a Virgin ticket office (North Western) and on with a Northern Ticket Office (Wallgate). People still keep to the left at Wallgate so that blows your theory out of the water. There is no partition on the stair way, i.e. hand rail in the middle and maybe that is the reason people don't keep to the left, whereas there is at Wallgate and Preston stations.[/p][/quote]Not really because Bolton has no signs whatsoever and as such are "normalised" into walking where ever they want, plus with the car park being at the wrong end of Platform 4 (until it closes later this year for good). Also look at Manchester Piccadilly (Virgin managed) - they have "keep left" signs and they are ignored, but don't have them at Victoria (Northern managed) and yet people do keep to the left! Problem is each company have different ideas of operating stations and at some stations they work and at some they don't!! The same can be said for stations that are managed by First TPE they have a different approach to controlling people. But that is what you get with so many different companies managing various stations!!! If anything it should be one company controlling all the stations and rail infrastructure (such as Network Rail) whilst the TOC's concentrate on operating their franchises!!![/p][/quote]You have just contradicted your original point. You said originally it was because Preston was run by virgin that people kept to the left, yet manchester Piccadilly you say they don't, but this is also controlled by Virgin - the company you were praising. Manchester Piccadilly again is more modern and generally doesn't have hand rails / a partition whereas Manchester Victoria has partitions. People tend to respond to partitions, whether hand rails or even a temporary aisle. Ernagy2
  • Score: 0

11:28am Mon 14 Apr 14

oftbewildered2 says...

when I was young, all the department stores had sighs saying 'please keep to the right' on the staircases. I think this also happened on escalators in Underground stations. I still keep to the right - so this must be where I am going wrong!!!!!. Joking apart, it does make sense for everyone to follow the same code, whether it be to the left or the right of staircases and corridors.
when I was young, all the department stores had sighs saying 'please keep to the right' on the staircases. I think this also happened on escalators in Underground stations. I still keep to the right - so this must be where I am going wrong!!!!!. Joking apart, it does make sense for everyone to follow the same code, whether it be to the left or the right of staircases and corridors. oftbewildered2
  • Score: 1

1:23pm Mon 14 Apr 14

The Righteous One says...

The Righteous One wrote:
The difference being is that Preston is a Mainline station, as in it is a WCML stop and not just an express/local station stop!

Preston station is managed by Virgin Trains, whereas Bolton station is managed by Northern Rail and both have different ways of operating their stations!
Ernagy,

Please re-read my original comment and is something I have not contradicted myself on!!!

Preston is a mainline station and is operated by Virgin and they have signs

Bolton is a suburb station (that also has express trains) and is operated by Northern and they do not have signs.


I said nothing about people acknowledging nor ignoring the signs. I just pointed out that the 2 stations are operated by different companies who have differing styles on managing their stations!

Again my examples of Piccadilly and Victoria are still valid as Victoria doesn't have signs but people are sensible and keep to the left, whereas Piccadilly do have signs and virtually everyone ignores the signs!
[quote][p][bold]The Righteous One[/bold] wrote: The difference being is that Preston is a Mainline station, as in it is a WCML stop and not just an express/local station stop! Preston station is managed by Virgin Trains, whereas Bolton station is managed by Northern Rail and both have different ways of operating their stations![/p][/quote]Ernagy, Please re-read my original comment and is something I have not contradicted myself on!!! Preston is a mainline station and is operated by Virgin and they have signs Bolton is a suburb station (that also has express trains) and is operated by Northern and they do not have signs. I said nothing about people acknowledging nor ignoring the signs. I just pointed out that the 2 stations are operated by different companies who have differing styles on managing their stations! Again my examples of Piccadilly and Victoria are still valid as Victoria doesn't have signs but people are sensible and keep to the left, whereas Piccadilly do have signs and virtually everyone ignores the signs! The Righteous One
  • Score: 1

3:02pm Mon 14 Apr 14

Sparkle47 says...

Manchester Piccadilly is actually operated by Network Rail, so it's three different companies operating those stations being discussed.

Personally I've never experienced the problem being referred to in the article, but then I've never seen the crushes in a morning that everyone else seems to go on about. OK, so if you get on from Bolton you have to stand up as far as Salford Crescent and maybe further, but I've never seen anyone left on the platform in a morning, which has been a previous complaint.

There should be more trains at peak times definitely, but if we all start inflating the actual problems, then fewer people will listen to us.
Manchester Piccadilly is actually operated by Network Rail, so it's three different companies operating those stations being discussed. Personally I've never experienced the problem being referred to in the article, but then I've never seen the crushes in a morning that everyone else seems to go on about. OK, so if you get on from Bolton you have to stand up as far as Salford Crescent and maybe further, but I've never seen anyone left on the platform in a morning, which has been a previous complaint. There should be more trains at peak times definitely, but if we all start inflating the actual problems, then fewer people will listen to us. Sparkle47
  • Score: 0

4:51pm Mon 14 Apr 14

Ernagy2 says...

Sparkle47 wrote:
Manchester Piccadilly is actually operated by Network Rail, so it's three different companies operating those stations being discussed.

Personally I've never experienced the problem being referred to in the article, but then I've never seen the crushes in a morning that everyone else seems to go on about. OK, so if you get on from Bolton you have to stand up as far as Salford Crescent and maybe further, but I've never seen anyone left on the platform in a morning, which has been a previous complaint.

There should be more trains at peak times definitely, but if we all start inflating the actual problems, then fewer people will listen to us.
You are right of course, all the stations are operated by network rail.
[quote][p][bold]Sparkle47[/bold] wrote: Manchester Piccadilly is actually operated by Network Rail, so it's three different companies operating those stations being discussed. Personally I've never experienced the problem being referred to in the article, but then I've never seen the crushes in a morning that everyone else seems to go on about. OK, so if you get on from Bolton you have to stand up as far as Salford Crescent and maybe further, but I've never seen anyone left on the platform in a morning, which has been a previous complaint. There should be more trains at peak times definitely, but if we all start inflating the actual problems, then fewer people will listen to us.[/p][/quote]You are right of course, all the stations are operated by network rail. Ernagy2
  • Score: 0

4:58pm Mon 14 Apr 14

Ernagy2 says...

The Righteous One wrote:
The Righteous One wrote:
The difference being is that Preston is a Mainline station, as in it is a WCML stop and not just an express/local station stop!

Preston station is managed by Virgin Trains, whereas Bolton station is managed by Northern Rail and both have different ways of operating their stations!
Ernagy,

Please re-read my original comment and is something I have not contradicted myself on!!!

Preston is a mainline station and is operated by Virgin and they have signs

Bolton is a suburb station (that also has express trains) and is operated by Northern and they do not have signs.


I said nothing about people acknowledging nor ignoring the signs. I just pointed out that the 2 stations are operated by different companies who have differing styles on managing their stations!

Again my examples of Piccadilly and Victoria are still valid as Victoria doesn't have signs but people are sensible and keep to the left, whereas Piccadilly do have signs and virtually everyone ignores the signs!
"Preston station is managed by Virgin Trains, whereas Bolton station is managed by Northern Rail and both have different ways of operating their stations!"

That seems to me to read that you are saying because it's Virgin who control Preston station, that is why people keep to the left. Because Bolton is controlled by Northern Rail that is why no one bothers and there aren't any signs. That is how I read your second paragraph.

Your first paragraph makes the point about mainline stations. However Victoria station is controlled by Network Rail and a Northern ticket office and people keep to one side there. Piccadilly station is a mainline station is controlled by Network Rail and people don't keep to one side.

I think most people would say you contradicted yourself.
[quote][p][bold]The Righteous One[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]The Righteous One[/bold] wrote: The difference being is that Preston is a Mainline station, as in it is a WCML stop and not just an express/local station stop! Preston station is managed by Virgin Trains, whereas Bolton station is managed by Northern Rail and both have different ways of operating their stations![/p][/quote]Ernagy, Please re-read my original comment and is something I have not contradicted myself on!!! Preston is a mainline station and is operated by Virgin and they have signs Bolton is a suburb station (that also has express trains) and is operated by Northern and they do not have signs. I said nothing about people acknowledging nor ignoring the signs. I just pointed out that the 2 stations are operated by different companies who have differing styles on managing their stations! Again my examples of Piccadilly and Victoria are still valid as Victoria doesn't have signs but people are sensible and keep to the left, whereas Piccadilly do have signs and virtually everyone ignores the signs![/p][/quote]"Preston station is managed by Virgin Trains, whereas Bolton station is managed by Northern Rail and both have different ways of operating their stations!" That seems to me to read that you are saying because it's Virgin who control Preston station, that is why people keep to the left. Because Bolton is controlled by Northern Rail that is why no one bothers and there aren't any signs. That is how I read your second paragraph. Your first paragraph makes the point about mainline stations. However Victoria station is controlled by Network Rail and a Northern ticket office and people keep to one side there. Piccadilly station is a mainline station is controlled by Network Rail and people don't keep to one side. I think most people would say you contradicted yourself. Ernagy2
  • Score: 0

5:21pm Mon 14 Apr 14

The Righteous One says...

Ernagy2 wrote:
The Righteous One wrote:
The Righteous One wrote:
The difference being is that Preston is a Mainline station, as in it is a WCML stop and not just an express/local station stop!

Preston station is managed by Virgin Trains, whereas Bolton station is managed by Northern Rail and both have different ways of operating their stations!
Ernagy,

Please re-read my original comment and is something I have not contradicted myself on!!!

Preston is a mainline station and is operated by Virgin and they have signs

Bolton is a suburb station (that also has express trains) and is operated by Northern and they do not have signs.


I said nothing about people acknowledging nor ignoring the signs. I just pointed out that the 2 stations are operated by different companies who have differing styles on managing their stations!

Again my examples of Piccadilly and Victoria are still valid as Victoria doesn't have signs but people are sensible and keep to the left, whereas Piccadilly do have signs and virtually everyone ignores the signs!
"Preston station is managed by Virgin Trains, whereas Bolton station is managed by Northern Rail and both have different ways of operating their stations!"

That seems to me to read that you are saying because it's Virgin who control Preston station, that is why people keep to the left. Because Bolton is controlled by Northern Rail that is why no one bothers and there aren't any signs. That is how I read your second paragraph.

Your first paragraph makes the point about mainline stations. However Victoria station is controlled by Network Rail and a Northern ticket office and people keep to one side there. Piccadilly station is a mainline station is controlled by Network Rail and people don't keep to one side.

I think most people would say you contradicted yourself.
Well that is just your opinion of what I wrote!!!

I have not contradicted myself at all!!!!

Sign or no sign people do whatever they want, but I was just pointing out that the two stations that Dale mentioned are managed by two different companies who have two different styles of managing their stations, so their policies about managing the stations will not be the same - one goes for signs the other doesn't!

Oh and by the way not all stations are owned by Network Rail - Horwich Parkway is owned by TfGM and Northern Rail manage it!
[quote][p][bold]Ernagy2[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]The Righteous One[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]The Righteous One[/bold] wrote: The difference being is that Preston is a Mainline station, as in it is a WCML stop and not just an express/local station stop! Preston station is managed by Virgin Trains, whereas Bolton station is managed by Northern Rail and both have different ways of operating their stations![/p][/quote]Ernagy, Please re-read my original comment and is something I have not contradicted myself on!!! Preston is a mainline station and is operated by Virgin and they have signs Bolton is a suburb station (that also has express trains) and is operated by Northern and they do not have signs. I said nothing about people acknowledging nor ignoring the signs. I just pointed out that the 2 stations are operated by different companies who have differing styles on managing their stations! Again my examples of Piccadilly and Victoria are still valid as Victoria doesn't have signs but people are sensible and keep to the left, whereas Piccadilly do have signs and virtually everyone ignores the signs![/p][/quote]"Preston station is managed by Virgin Trains, whereas Bolton station is managed by Northern Rail and both have different ways of operating their stations!" That seems to me to read that you are saying because it's Virgin who control Preston station, that is why people keep to the left. Because Bolton is controlled by Northern Rail that is why no one bothers and there aren't any signs. That is how I read your second paragraph. Your first paragraph makes the point about mainline stations. However Victoria station is controlled by Network Rail and a Northern ticket office and people keep to one side there. Piccadilly station is a mainline station is controlled by Network Rail and people don't keep to one side. I think most people would say you contradicted yourself.[/p][/quote]Well that is just your opinion of what I wrote!!! I have not contradicted myself at all!!!! Sign or no sign people do whatever they want, but I was just pointing out that the two stations that Dale mentioned are managed by two different companies who have two different styles of managing their stations, so their policies about managing the stations will not be the same - one goes for signs the other doesn't! Oh and by the way not all stations are owned by Network Rail - Horwich Parkway is owned by TfGM and Northern Rail manage it! The Righteous One
  • Score: 1

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