SUMMER is here, which can mean only one thing for rail users — engineering works.
July and August would just not be the same without transport bosses announcing measures seemingly designed to make it as hard as possible to get to work, and this year is no different.
Most regular passengers begrudgingly tolerate delays due to engineering works, but it is essential the agencies give timely, accurate and concise information.
On my way to work last Monday I saw a banner at Chorley station saying: ‘Due to engineering works from July 19 to August 31, buses will replace trains between Chorley and Preston’ — but then it all changed.
The next day, people were handing out leaflets at Bolton station about the works and the two-sided information sheet completely confused me.
Putting aside the spelling mistakes, the leaflet made a complete pig’s ear of explaining what will happen.
For example, it says Manchester to Blackpool and Windermere trains will be diverted away from Wigan towards Bolton but will not stop at Horwich Parkway, Chorley or Buckshaw Parkway.
That is confusing because some trains already run on that route via Bolton.
Do these changes apply to those trains too? And then it mentions a cut-off point of 6.05pm on weekdays, after which buses will replace Northern Rail trains between Bolton and Preston.
Does that mean the last train will leave Manchester at 6.05pm...or Bolton? Or the moon?
I have been made aware that a four-page leaflet has also been drawn up and is clearer, but there has so far been no sign of it in Bolton.
Luckily, my colleague Elaine O’Flynn was able to clear it up, with clearer information printed in last Friday’s Bolton News.