Dale Haslam's train blog: Train travel not much fun

Dale Haslam

Dale Haslam

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

REPORTER Dale Haslam continues his regular blog about his daily train commute in and out of Bolton 

TRAIN travel around my neck of the woods is not much fun at the moment.

When the working day nears its end, I know that if I do not make the 5.18pm train home, I have to wait until 6.23pm for the next one, and then there is only a rail replacement coach which seems to take forever.

So it was probably not surprising that rail bosses were reluctant to compound passengers’ misery by announcing a shake-up of the fare system halfway through six weeks of annoying (albeit necessary) engineering works.

With just three weeks to go before the fare changes take effect, Northern Rail was planning to wait another week before telling people but The Bolton News thought it was fairer to tell people now.

As reported on this page, Northern is scrapping its cheap evening ticket and banning off-peak ticket holders from travelling in the evening rush hour — a move critics claim will hit some of the poorest passengers.

Students, parents will childcare needs, and people working outside of normal hours will be out of pocket or be left watching the clock on the platform until their ticket is valid again.

Northern blames the government. The government says Northern should not be losing so much cash, but, ultimately, it is the customer who suffers.

In my view, the Department of Transport is naive in thinking Northern’s vast network — the most rural network in England – is going to make much money, and punishing poor passengers is simply not fair.

But, it could be argued, equally as bad is the fact that Northern did not consult passengers directly about these changes.

It asked ‘local stakeholders” Transport for Greater Manchester and Passenger Focus for their views, but did not speak to passengers at stations or consult via its own website, for example.

Bringing in any change like this is never going to be easy for those in charge, but it just seems like one blow after the other for train users at the moment.

Comments (2)

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12:25pm Mon 11 Aug 14

nigella farrage says...

Actually it was first announced both on their website and the facebook page as it was part and parcel of the franchise extension, to try to alleviate the rush-hour commute in the evenings, whilst the cheaper evening fares are being withdrawn due to the fact that the TfGM have had the budget slashed and need to make svanings somehwre - especially as the evenings fars are heavily subsidised by TfGM in Greater Manchester!!!
Actually it was first announced both on their website and the facebook page as it was part and parcel of the franchise extension, to try to alleviate the rush-hour commute in the evenings, whilst the cheaper evening fares are being withdrawn due to the fact that the TfGM have had the budget slashed and need to make svanings somehwre - especially as the evenings fars are heavily subsidised by TfGM in Greater Manchester!!! nigella farrage
  • Score: -3

1:20pm Mon 11 Aug 14

FreedomOfSpeech1945 says...

Dale, all you do is moan about the Trains. Can you do some proper reporting for once?!
Dale, all you do is moan about the Trains. Can you do some proper reporting for once?! FreedomOfSpeech1945
  • Score: 0

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