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General => General Discussion => Topic started by: Emberman on December 16, 2011, 10:08:09 AM

 



Title: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Emberman on December 16, 2011, 10:08:09 AM
When SouthWest trains were asked if they could run a half hourly service from Waterloo to Hampton Court from 8.30pm onwards, Andy Pitt, their CEO replied "we simply don't have the funding to do so".

Surely a small portion of SW Trains' ample profits be diverted to pay for the three additional trains (which would in turn attract more passengers and therefore ticket revenue)?

Or SW Trains could plough back some of the fares charged for their grotesquely overcrowded peak trains - which passengers often cannot board because of sheer weight of numbers).

If you would like to campaign for a half hourly service from 8.30pm onwards to Thames Ditton & Hampton Court, email

Andy Pitt - apitt@swtrains.co.uk; or
Brian Souter at Stagecoach (rhona.gray@stagecoachgroup.com or ask our MP to write on your behalf:
Dominic Raab: Dominic.Raab@esherwalton.com & dominic.raab.mp@parliament.uk

As an MP Dominic can submit a formal application for a half hourly evening service into SW Trains next franchise agreement (apparently the current agreement only requires them to run an hourly service in the evening.


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Juninho on December 16, 2011, 10:38:05 AM
Hi Emberman,

The problem is I can't see this measure meaning increasing revenue for the train companies so unlikely they will be motivated in enacting it.

The train companies know we have no choice. Watch the fares rise again by above inflation for what is year on year an increasingly over crowded service.

For example: I am a season ticket holder and therefore although can see myself using the more frequent late trains:they will not get any additional revenue from it.

That said I have emailed all the parties  as you suggested.

I have made an additional suggestion to request a peak time (morning) 'fast' train from Surbiton... this would ease congestion massively and I have been told existed before.

On our slow trains often its only a few people who can get on/off after Berrlyands!! So train stations further down will also benefit if people going to Waterloo are not on the slow trains.

Also having the new fast train would ease the congestion on both the 7:26 and the 7:56 as well as on the current fast 7.38 and 8.08 trains.






Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Juninho on December 16, 2011, 10:43:36 AM
Before I forget our earlier risers perhaps we should ask for two 'fast' services running at about 6:45 and 7:45 am - that would run 'fast' from Surbiton to Waterloo ...

this would mean 3 trains an hour from 6am to 8am ...

This assuming SW trains can get the platform space on Waterloo that is.


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Rhodrich on December 16, 2011, 11:41:00 AM
That would be a good idea, but the trains should really only run fast from Berrylands, as Berrylands is only served by Hampton Court trains. 

The chances of getting any extra services in the morning sadly are close to zero however, as there is no additional capacity on the lines into Waterloo (despite there being 4 platforms that are scandalously not in use following the Eurostar move to Kings Cross St Pancras).

SW trains solution to overcrowding is to run 12 car trains, and yet when they tried to improve Thames Ditton station to take 12 car trains, they ran into so much opposition that they withdrew their plans.    They're hardly going to make additional investment in the line, when the message from the residents is 'not in my back yard'.


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Juninho on December 16, 2011, 11:55:40 AM
Good point re: Berrylands.

Though I think even with a new serviec -> they will still struggle to get on after Surbiton.

I actually thought that the fast (addtional service!) train would als obenefit Berrylands as it would ease people off the usual .26 and .56 allowing them to get on those but perhaps allowing one to run fast from there would be even better. So by the fast peak I meant an additional train not replacing our existing.

But yes you're right the lines are probably already too crowded in the mornings ...

I was not aware of SW's effort to increase the platform sizes at TD (and I presume Hampton Court and Berrylands) - in which case its annoying re: the people who took such a short term view to oppose it. Capacity issues takes years to address so should be years in planning.

As for the waterloo platforms are they not being used for the Railway Children show !! ;) !!


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Cuboid on December 16, 2011, 12:07:28 PM
For your information the proposed platform lengethening at TD was not opposed, the plans were merely asked to be reconsidered to provide adequate screening to afford a level of privacy for the residents of Basingfield Road! The scheme has certainly not been mothballed like some suggest.


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Emberman on December 16, 2011, 01:18:38 PM
One would think (hope) that the substantial increase in passengers in the last decade, coupled with above inflation fare increases, would result in more trains....or is the dosh just swelling SW Trains' profits ?    Clearly, as a company, they have to make a profit, but surely not at passengers' expense: ineffective regulation seems to be the root problem. 

Has anyone seen the published figures for SW Trains, or for Stagecoach, their parent company ?  There should be (but probably isn't!) some sort of ratio between the proportion of funds taken for profit, and funds ploughed back into improving the service.

The whole operation feels generally under resourced and sub-standard: regular delays and cancellations, infrequent trains, passenger congestion, poorly maintained and unattractive stations (neither 'heritage' nor contemporary), often no loos and/or station staff, basic rolling stock without air conditioning.   

SW Trains' main interest seems to be increasing fares and catching fare dodgers (has anyone else experienced being 'coralled' in the morning rush hour at Wimbledon?) - but they also have a duty to improve the service and the overall customer 'experience'. 

Compared to the UK, rail travel is much more enjoyable in other parts of Europe - whether mainline or local trains.


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Juninho on December 16, 2011, 01:22:22 PM
Thats fair enough then - its the first I had even heard it was under consideration.

Ok we can make this part of Embermans proposal to Dominic? i.e. to explore the expansion of the platforms to take 12 carriage trains?

I would not think too much needs to be done to be honest (looking at the current length at TD at least) but if it is - it should be done sympathetically to the houses and with as little disruption to the service as possible.

It should also be planned around a quieter time of year if possible.

I can imagine that during it it will lead to some pain as they will need to shut the service...


Quote from: Cuboid on December 16, 2011, 12:07:28 PM
For your information the proposed platform lengethening at TD was not opposed, the plans were merely asked to be reconsidered to provide adequate screening to afford a level of privacy for the residents of Basingfield Road! The scheme has certainly not been mothballed like some suggest.


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Cuboid on December 16, 2011, 02:07:31 PM
Speaking from my own experience there has certainly been no improvement in quality of service or the overall customer experience in the past 5 yrs despite the fact that millions must have been ploughed into their coffers! The only expenditure by SW Trains during that period I am aware of are the new lifts at Clapham Junction.


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Emberman on December 16, 2011, 02:40:44 PM
Quote from: Cuboid on December 16, 2011, 02:07:31 PM
The only expenditure by SW Trains during that period I am aware of are the new lifts at Clapham Junction.
  I

I think they were obliged to install the lifts to improve disabled access - but this work may have been done by Network Rail - another suspect money spinning organisation whose main interest is making money by selling off their (publicly owned) land for development - most of the profit goes into paying excessive salaries and bonuses to directors - there have been various news items about this. 


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Juninho on December 16, 2011, 03:20:39 PM
This is what is particularly galling.

In spite of no improvements and I would say zero investment spend (I don't count maintenance spend and the odd lift installed for access which they probably got funding from elsewhere) -> fares increase above RPI/CPI every year (in fact are big contributors to those numbers). Passenger numbers are also on the up... so two sources of increased revenue.

This in times where wages have stayed more or less static (if not retrenched) in most industries and the 'real' cost of public transport goes up massively.

I still believe one of the biggest mistakes is the privatisation of the rail networks. Public transport is a public service - and though I realise that British Rail was hardly perfect the solution was to fix that rather than the railways act.

Hey ho.


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Emberman on December 16, 2011, 05:39:01 PM
I agree.  South West Trains has a parent company called Stagecoach: perhaps I am being overly suspicious, but I wonder whether SWT's profit is tacitly channelled into Stagecoach, making it difficult to tell how much profit SWT actually makes ?   

They're perfectly entitled to make a profit of course, but not at the expense of providing a decent service for passengers.

Andy Pitts smugly said they don't run a half hourly service on this line because their franchise agreement doesn't require them to - that's a fairly  feeble state of affairs, I think - and no accountability to the customers they are meant to serve - we're just cash-cows.


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: speerroadres on December 19, 2011, 08:45:18 AM
The amount of money we have paid in taxis from Surbiton over the years doesn't bear thinking about.  Thames Ditton and Hampton Court are always sold short by SWT. The second there is a signal failure, our two stations turn into shuttle service. 8.30 is a ridiculously early time to cut trains to hourly intervals.  Maybe a petition in the Ticket Office would help? I would also like SWT to think outside the box sometimes and sell a weekend travel card up to London for a fiver.  It would get more people on the trains at the weekend, and would be good PR for them (not that they care).


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Emberman on December 19, 2011, 10:10:43 AM
A petition is a good idea, but I know SW Trains would not allow one in their waiting room.  Perhaps there's another way a petition could be organised
(online?) and then sent to SWT and to Dominic Raab ?

You are right - SWT always turns the TD?HC service into a shuttle from Surbiton if there are problems. 
And the departure board at Waterloo just shows the HC trains as cancelled - not mentioning the shuttle - so always take the first train to Surbiton.


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Juninho on December 19, 2011, 10:28:56 AM
For some reason I believe actual signed signatures/letters seem to have more impact than online petitions.

We could all start as Emberman suggested and email Dominic Raab?

I have and had an email back from his assistant Ursula Henry to confirm my address (i.e. to confirm that I was indeed a constituent).

Its a bit late in the year now but I am more than happy next year to walk up and down Alexandra Road and Queens road to drop off letters in each door... or perhaps we can include it as part of the next run out of the magazine.

Would it help though?

I seriously think Raab will have no sway over SWT. At the end of the day they are doing what they are contractually liable to do... even the increases they can charge year on year are in their terms and conditions.

So poor contracts to begin with and we are stuck with a poor service.

Soon the snow will kick in and we'll be lucky to have any trains running at all ...

Quote from: Emberman on December 19, 2011, 10:10:43 AM
A petition is a good idea, but I know SW Trains would not allow one in their waiting room.  Perhaps there's another way a petition could be organised
(online?) and then sent to SWT and to Dominic Raab ?

You are right - SWT always turns the TD?HC service into a shuttle from Surbiton if there are problems. 
And the departure board at Waterloo just shows the HC trains as cancelled - not mentioning the shuttle - so always take the first train to Surbiton.


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Admin on December 20, 2011, 09:36:21 AM
Rail fares to rise by 5.9% from January (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-16260872)

London Tube and bus fares to rise by 6% in 2012 (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-15927046)

And so it goes on...


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Emberman on December 20, 2011, 10:14:43 AM
? And the CEO of South West Trains says he doesn't have funds to run a half hourly service ?


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Juninho on December 20, 2011, 01:44:03 PM
I read this this morning and I almost sputtered my tea...

but then again its what we were expecting...


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Emberman on December 20, 2011, 08:07:47 PM
SW Trains' current Franchise agreement doesn't require them to run a half hourly service after 20.30 on this line.

However, Dominic Raab, as our MP, can formally ask for this aspiration to be added to the next South Western Trains Franchise service requirements. This is the most likely to succeed so please write to him - also asking him to keep the correspondence going with South West Trains/Stagecoach !

If Thames Ditton is the only suburban line to have an hourly evening service, it should be easy to argue to make it more frequent.

This seems a perfect example why an industry which provides a vital service to the country should be nationalised - then the service to passengers would not be compromised by profiteering and sheer greed....

We passengers will pay above inflation increases, with no improvement to the lamentable service, while salaries are frozen - a disgrace!
UK rail fares are the highest in Europe, but our rail system costs 40% more to run - why?

Listen to Sophie Allan's interview on http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-16260872

Other good recent articles are below.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/train-fares-set-to-rise-by-59-in-january-6279603.html

http://www.metro.co.uk/news/885430-train-fares-to-rise-by-as-much-as-9-in-new-year-passengers-warned

http://uk.news.yahoo.com/rail-fares-rise-average-5-9-074733774.html


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Juninho on December 20, 2011, 09:57:36 PM
Whats particularly crazy to me about this 'formula' - is that the gov't is effectively giving the rail companies the right to increase fares ABOVE RPI. They have said they will now cap this at 6% and act like they have scored points. BTW this does not mean your particular train journey is capped at a max 6% increase...

Two crazy things about the formula:

1. The 'circular' nature of this - RPI is made up of a basket of goods and services INCLUDING rail transport (so its self fulfilling that it will go up every year... )...

2. The real costs of rail travel is therefore GUARANTEED to be higher every year for us...

We also know passenger numbers are on the increase... no this is not a result of people switching to trains because of the better service but its a combination of an increasing population and also increasing costs in other forms of travel.

So rail companies are virtually guaranteed higher revenue through both increased fares and also numbers of customers.

And they are also supported with taxmoney...

AND all this I would be ok with - if the service was getting better but even the rail companies have admited trains are more over crowded etc...

Absolute farce.




Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Emberman on December 30, 2011, 08:46:23 PM
British commuters are paying nearly 10 times more in rail fares than passengers in Europe, a study has found.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/road-and-rail-transport/8982822/British-commuters-facing-western-Europes-dearest-fare-rises.html
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/uk-commuters-pay-more-for-trains-6283108.html
http://blogs.independent.co.uk/2011/12/22/the-rise-in-train-fares-is-simply-not-good-enough/

A French commuter travelling from Ballancourt-sur-Essonne to Paris faces an annual bill of £924.66.

Even this is proving too much for some, with Parisians threatening a fare strike.

Meanwhile a German going from Strausberg to Berlin has to find £705.85; an Italian commuting between Velletri and Rome is currently paying £336.17 and a Spaniard travelling from Collado-Villalba to Madrid is charged £653.74.

As the general secretary of the RMT said ""Here's more proof that UK passengers are getting robbed blind by a combination of train operator greed and Government incompetence that leaves the public paying through the nose for fragmented and overcrowded services."  For once one agrees with him...And South West Trains still say they cannot afford to give us a half hourly evening service from Waterloo to Hampton Court. ..



Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Emberman on December 31, 2011, 10:53:06 AM
Voters-could-get-say-in-local-train-services

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/road-and-rail-transport/8925552/Voters-could-get-say-in-local-train-services.html

This could give a glimmer of hope, especially if train operators are directly responsible and accountable to customers. 

Here are a few suggestions for targets:

a) Improved safety
b) Lower fares
c) More frequent and faster services (= less overcrowding)
d) Better rolling stock,
e) Staffed and better maintained stations
f) Cap on profits by train operators to provide funds for the above without above inflation fare increases.


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Emberman on January 02, 2012, 04:11:51 PM
The Campaign for Better Transport is organising a day of action on Tuesday 3 January against what it calls "rip-off rail fares".
The transport charity is urging people to tweet, text or call the Treasury in protest.


Details of to-day's web, twitter and text protest are on:    http://www.farefail.org/

Articles about above-inflation fare rises are on these links:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/jan/02/fare-rises-railway-nationalisation
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-16380479
http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2012/jan/02/fare-increases-2012-rail-commuters
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/uk-commuters-pay-more-for-trains-6283108.html

I've copied some excerpts and quotes from press articles below:

"In 2012 our overpriced rail fares have been hiked again. Our trains are already the most expensive in Europe.

In three years time ticket prices will be 24% more expensive than now, yet passengers continue to be stuck with overcrowded, unreliable trains, with less staff on trains and less staff at stations.

This Government is taking us further and further away from the value for money train service we all need"


Rail commuters preparing to return to work after the Christmas break face fare rises of up to 11% from Monday, watchdog Passenger Focus has said. Chief executive Anthony Smith said they should not have to keep paying for a "fractured, inefficient industry".

The annual rise will see the average price of regulated fares, such as season tickets, increase by 6%. Mr Smith said fare rises would make for a "frosty return to work" for passengers after the holiday period [some of whom's salaries are frozen for the next two years].

'Commuters clobbered'

Shadow transport secretary Maria Eagle said commuters already struggling with an increased cost of living were in for an "unwelcome new year surprise" when they saw the new price of their rail tickets. She said: "Commuters are being clobbered by train operating companies' vested interests, who are only interested in making as much money as possible and not in the interests of the passengers."

"Commuters finding that their rail fares have rocketed by up to 11% will want to know why the chancellor gave the clear impression in his autumn statement that he had limited ticket price hikes to just 1% above inflation. The reality is that the government chose to quietly reverse the decision of the last Labour government to enforce the fare cap and instead gave back to train companies the right to hike fares by much more.

"The fact that David Cameron has chosen to side with the powerful private train operator lobby against commuters and passengers shows he is desperately out of touch with the spiralling cost-of-living crisis facing so many hard-working families. If this year's 11% fare hikes were not bad enough, the government has told the train companies they can increase fares by up to a staggering 13% in 2013 and 2014, meaning three years in a row of eyewatering price hikes."

BBC correspondent Graham Satchell said big questions are now being asked about why it costs 30% more to run the railway in Britain than elsewhere in Europe.

Mr Smith said passengers would face fare rises of inflation plus 3% for each of the next two years.

"Report after report - the government's own McNulty review into the rail industry's costs - show we have a very inefficient rail industry. The industry costs a lot to run. Those costs are being dumped on passengers, year after year, and we can't keep on doing this," he said.
But he said rising car parking charges were piling more pressure on commuters' finances.

And Bob Crow, general secretary of the transport union RMT, said:

"‘The great rail fares privatisation swindle is still rocking along, with the train operating companies laughing all the way to the bank.’

Today's increase in rail fares is daylight robbery on the tracks and will do nothing more than pump up the profits of the private train operators.
"This is the scandal of rail privatisation writ large.

"Fat profits for the train companies while the public pay through the nose to travel on creaking and overcrowded cattle trucks."




Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: craigvmax on January 03, 2012, 08:21:44 AM
I'm currently on the train from td to Waterloo, I haven't used it in quite a while, the oyster machine didn't seem to be working so there were queues out of the door of the ticket office, no option but to manually buy a ticket... Have they really gone up from a fiver to over £6 for a single into london??


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: midibob on January 05, 2012, 06:32:10 PM
Bought a Zone 1 travel card yesterday in the afternoon and that's gone up from £8 to £8.50.

Midibob


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Emberman on January 05, 2012, 07:06:05 PM
Message received from Stagecoach

I note your request for the information you seek regarding fares
between Thames Ditton and London Waterloo. The information you
require is as follows:

a) The Peak Return fare in 2011 for the above journey was £10.80.
b) The Peak Return fare for 2012 for the above journey is £11.90.
c) The percentage increase from 2011 is 10.2%.
d) The percentage increase over the current rate of inflation is
5% (based on November 2011 RPI)

Thank you again for taking the time to write to us.


So fares have increased by 10.2%....and are likely to increase by the same amount for the next two years - an eyewatering 30% over three years.  Expensive for those who have had their salaries frozen for the next two years.

Meanwhile there were delays this morning, no trains back to Thames Ditton yesterday afternoon, a signal failure the day before that, and the Oyster machine not working, meaning passengers had to buy more expensive tickets.

Fare increases should surely result in an improved service. 

The UK Rail Division of Stagecoach achieved £48.4 million profit from its South West Trains and East Midlands franchises as well as a further £28.4 million from its involvement with the Virgin Rail Group;

Perhaps we might ask the CEO Brian Souter what percentage pay rise he awarded himself last year, and to provide a half hourly evening train service from Waterloo to Hampton Court ?   His email address is rhona.gray@stagecoachgroup.com





Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Juninho on January 09, 2012, 09:46:46 AM
I got my response back for my two suggestions.

My two suggestions were:
1. half hourly from 8:30 pm (as discussed on here) and
2. an additional peak service fast train (between our regular trains) in the mornings

This is the response back:

'value for money' test would fail as it would not increase the numbers ...

This is why in my opinion 'services' - such as public transport should not be privatised. We, as commuters, have limited choice hence the value for money argument does not hold.

----------------------

Hampton Court Enhancement Suggestions

Thank you for your two service enhancement suggestions.

Under our current Franchise Agreement we provide the service levels that we are contracted to by the Department for Transport who set out a service level commitment (SLC) when we were bidding for the Franchise.  We currently pay the DfT a considerable premia (last year around £160m) for operating these services.  Our current service levels comply with this requirement.  The proposals that you have suggested are not part of our SLC and would therefore need to be commercially viable.  Although we are always keen to be able to offer commercially driven enhanced services, given the nature of the contract we have with the DfT, unfortunately I do not see that either of your suggestions would be commercially viable.  Additionally, there also could be practical issues with implementing your second suggestion because I am not sure that a robust train path exists to enable us to deliver it reliably.

The alternative way forward at least for your first suggestion would be for you to convince the Department for Transport to specify the additional services. I assume that this would need to pass the Department’s affordability and value for money tests.

I realise that this response will be disappointing to you but I hope that you will understand our position which is that under current arrangements, service level specification is essentially a matter for the DfT.

Yours sincerely




Andy Pitt
Managing Director

c.c. Dominic Raab MP
s.c. Rhona Gray
----------------------


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Juninho on January 09, 2012, 10:18:22 AM
I have followed up and said that I believe the response is not acceptable and that I will be canvassing other residents to garner support.

How do we proceed ?

The additonal trains in my first suggestion means 3 trains (9:06 pm, 10:06 pm and 11:06 pm), the additional peak service trains means an additional 2 trains...



Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Emberman on January 09, 2012, 07:23:47 PM
Surely there is a formal contractual relationship between SWT and its passengers, since it is the latter who are paying them to provide a service - i.e. to travel on their trains ?


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: midibob on January 09, 2012, 08:01:33 PM
The issue to me seems to be that we are under the illusion that SWT are supposed to deliver a service dictated by their customers, as in most businesses. In this case their only responsibility is to the DfT. Isn't that what Nationalisation is all about  ;)

Midibob


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Emberman on January 11, 2012, 08:20:49 PM
e-petition

https://submissions.epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/13382/signature/new

Stop the unjustified Train fare increases


Responsible department: Department for Transport

As the hard-working commuters around the country get squeezed more and more with higher taxes, high inflation, higher gas and energy prices - the train companies have now announced massive increases in train fares of 8-13% per annum. Will the train service be 8-13% better? No. Will the trains be 8-13% less crowded? No. Will the punctuality improve by 8-13%? No. What are we actually getting from these rises? What do we ever get from these annual rises? Nothing. Wages are not increasing at the rate of inflation, they aren't increasing at all. Trains fares absolutely should not increase above the rate of inflation and should not increase at all. We want the government to debate in the houses to consider not allowing these rises to occur, rather than unilaterally forcing this upon us. We will not riot - but we will do the next best thing - petition.



Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: peter on January 26, 2012, 10:27:23 AM
Hi fellow TD residents,

This is my first post - I only discovered the forum last night after a bit of googling having just missed my annoyingly "hourly" service to TD and found that others are also annoyed by this.

I can't believe that the Hampton Court line only has an hourly service after 8.30pm - there must be hundreds of people affected by this (in TD, Hampton Court and East Molesey).   It's not as if there is a bus service that regularly runs along the route from Surbiton - the amount of money I have wasted on taxis whilst my annual season ticket continues to go up above inflation.

I have already written to SWT but will do so again.  I like the idea of a coordinated campaign to get this issue addressed - (could an article be written in the TD magazine?).  The rail company should be serving its customers!   All we are requesting is 3 extra services in the evening - it can't be that difficult to implement.

Other things that would greatly improve commuting from TD:
1) An extra service in the morning peak from TD (fast from Surbiton or Berrylands) or failing that, making one of the existing half hourly services fast - so many people change at Surbiton and wait for the next fast which is very overcrowded from Surbiton.
2) increase the carriage length to 10-12 - I believe this is under consideration.

I really hope that SWT will do something about this, esp the half-hourly evening service,  and improve the transport connections from TD.

Howard

P.S. Is this forum advertised (e.g. in the TD Magazine?) - great discovery.


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Admin on January 26, 2012, 10:50:29 AM
Quote from: howard on January 26, 2012, 10:27:23 AM
P.S. Is this forum advertised (e.g. in the TD Magazine?) - great discovery.



It certainly is - the website url is given twice at least in every issue of the quarterly "Thames Ditton Today" and the forum is frequently mentioned.  Welcome, Howard !  Spread the word.


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Juninho on February 03, 2012, 08:23:55 AM
Hi Howard - I also wrote to SWT and the reply I got was effectively a fob off.

Essentially its not in the service agreement so unless SWT can find a way to make money from the extra trains (unlikely) then it won't work.

Happy to have a coordinated effort though on this.



Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Emberman on February 03, 2012, 05:59:17 PM
The best bet is to email Dominic Raab, at Dominic.Raab@esherwalton.com to ask him to take it up with Stagecoach/South West Trains and with the Minister for Transport on behalf of his constituents.  

Clearly Southworst trains are reluctant to provide a better service for fear it might slightly reduce their massive multi million pound annual profit.

Brian Souter, CEO of Stagecoach (South West Trains' parent company) ignores customers' emails - which shows a complete disinterest for his clients (us).   His p.a's email is rhona.gray@stagecoachgroup.com . Phone (01738) 442111

You will only get fobbed off from Southworst trains' ceo: apitt@swtrains.co.uk


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: jonquil on February 05, 2012, 07:27:47 PM
Quote from: Emberman on December 31, 2011, 10:53:06 AM
Voters-could-get-say-in-local-train-services

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/road-and-rail-transport/8925552/Voters-could-get-say-in-local-train-services.html

This could give a glimmer of hope, especially if train operators are directly responsible and accountable to customers. 

Here are a few suggestions for targets:

a) Improved safety
b) Lower fares
c) More frequent and faster services (= less overcrowding)
d) Better rolling stock,
e) Staffed and better maintained stations
f) Cap on profits by train operators to provide funds for the above without above inflation fare increases.


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: jonquil on February 08, 2012, 01:07:32 AM
An essential target should be a vast improvement in the collection and dissemination of travel information when a breakdown occurs.  The most abysmal feature of SWT services is the way in which the information system goes into meltdown as soon as a problem arises.  We're lucky in this area in that a variety of services make it possble to reach nearby alternative stations  on different lines eg Kingston, Thames Ditton, Esher, and Hinchley Wood.  These would allow some options for walking, catching a bus or being picked up by car.  Sadly, however, when SWT's information system goes into meltdown, despite expensive computers, mobile phones, etc re-planning a journey becomes virtually impossible, adding to the nightmare of congestion, confusion and frustration which occurs all too often on Waterloo concourse!!


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Emberman on February 15, 2012, 08:19:15 AM
Dominic Raab's response to a request to tackle the poor service and huge fare increases imposed by Stagecoach - South West Trains:

SWT  have explained the present parameters they are working to. Unless fares go up or the government gives more money, the situation will not be remedied in the short term.


'Unless fares go up' - come on Dominic - they've already rocketed by 10.2% last month, while many passengers' salaries are now frozen for two years.   While Stagecoach is making £millions profit and Brian Souter (the CEO who doesn't trouble to reply to his customers) rakes in a huge salary.    Who's side are you on Dominic ? 

If you wish to respond, Dominic's email is Dominic.Raab@esherwalton.com



Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Juninho on February 15, 2012, 09:46:53 AM
At least you got a response from him - I didn't though still chasing.


The thing is, much as I hate to admit it, his hands are somewhat tied.

They are (arguably) performing to the paramaters of the contract they got. Just shocking whomever negotiated that contract.


I honestly think services, and I include _public_ transport, should be run - well publically.




Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Emberman on February 15, 2012, 06:47:03 PM
Having been selected as our MP, in preference to strong local candidates at the Open Primary, this is Dominic's opportunity to demonstrate that he supports his constituents by resolving the Stagecoach/Southwest Train scandal effectively.


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: craigvmax on February 15, 2012, 07:00:51 PM
I don't see how he can be expected to overturn the contract that they have.


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Emberman on February 17, 2012, 11:51:11 PM
Stagecoach/SouthWest Train and bus operator announces payouts – including £88m to founder Sir Brian Souter and his sister – just days after rail passengers learned they face record fare increases of up to 13%

Yet SouthWest Trains they say they have no money to run a half hourly service on the Waterloo - Hampton Court line...

http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2011/aug/19/stagecoach-hands-shareholders-payout


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: rytheman on February 27, 2012, 02:57:07 PM
Just had a good look through this thread.

At the root of the problem is, I think, that commuting makes no money for anyone. If SWT ran only our service with no subsidy, it would soon go bust.

The reason commuters travel more cheaply in other European countries is that they are massively subsidised.

It is taken for granted here  that it is in the public interest that taxpayers everywhere, including Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, should subsidise public transport in South East England.

So the people to lobby are  not SouthWest Trains the people setting the minimum service (Passenger Service Obligation?) via our MP. Curiously, the 07:26 to Surbiton, fast to Waterloo, was never in the written timetable so was never a minimum requirement. ;)

As for going from hourly to half-hourly - it's been done on Sundays! was that a change in the requirement? Off-peak, no new trains or tracks are needed, just more pay to operational staff (creates jobs!)


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Emberman on February 27, 2012, 06:15:05 PM
Quote from: Juninho on February 15, 2012, 09:46:53 AM
At least you got a response from him - I didn't though still chasing.


The thing is, much as I hate to admit it, his hands are somewhat tied.

They are (arguably) performing to the paramaters of the contract they got. Just shocking whomever negotiated that contract.


I honestly think services, and I include _public_ transport, should be run - well publically.





Did you ever get a response from Dominic Raab ?  I heard he rarely replies to emails or letters from constituents.


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: rytheman on February 27, 2012, 07:22:00 PM
Quote from: Emberman on February 27, 2012, 06:15:05 PM
Did you ever get a response from Dominic Raab ?  I heard he rarely replies to emails or letters from constituents.
I wrote to Dominic about VED in the budget. His secretary replied that he had received the e-mail.

Curiously enough, Ian Taylor did send me a letter when I protested about the planned Tesco on the Milk Marketing Board.


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Rhodrich on February 29, 2012, 07:58:59 AM
Quote from: Emberman on February 28, 2012, 05:28:03 PM
Is there any effective way to persuade Dominic Raab to take this up on behalf of constituents ?


I could see this being a similar battle to that fought by Ed Davey (MP for Kingston and Surbiton) over getting Surbiton reclassified into Zone 5 - i.e. an ultimately fruitless affair. 

Politicians pick their fights wisely.....


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Juninho on February 29, 2012, 08:49:04 AM
Unfortunately (as always) I was in a rush yesterday when I got to Surbiton station only just managing to hop onto my train but I noticed two people handing out questionaires/surveys re: I assume train services?

This was at the bottom of the stores - I half caught the words 'unable to get a seat' on one of the brochures but I had to run on to get onto my train.

Did anyone else pass through Surbiton yesterday morning? And if so pick one of these up?


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: peter on February 29, 2012, 10:47:05 PM
Quote from: Juninho on February 29, 2012, 08:49:04 AM
Unfortunately (as always) I was in a rush yesterday when I got to Surbiton station only just managing to hop onto my train but I noticed two people handing out questionaires/surveys re: I assume train services?

This was at the bottom of the stores - I half caught the words 'unable to get a seat' on one of the brochures but I had to run on to get onto my train.

Did anyone else pass through Surbiton yesterday morning? And if so pick one of these up?


I overheard someone talking about this as I was in Surbiton yesterday but didn't see the survey.  If they want more frequent services at Surbiton so people can get seats, the best place to start these services is on the Hampton Court line so that the train arrives to Surbiton seats still available.  Imagine a 4 train per hour peak service with at least 2 of these trains fast from Surbiton and 12 coaches... all do-able if SWT set their minds to it but wishful thinking on my part....?


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: rytheman on March 01, 2012, 12:30:05 AM
Quote from: howard on February 29, 2012, 10:47:05 PM
Imagine a 4 train per hour peak service with at least 2 of these trains fast from Surbiton and 12 coaches... all do-able if SWT set their minds to it but wishful thinking on my part....?


what other peak time trains would you cancel on the main line? is there the capacity to turn the trains round at Hampton Court? (I don't know)

I think the main problem is that the subsidy for this would have to come from the Treasury so to get it, we would have to prove it was worthwhile, e.g. removing traffic from the roads.


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Rhodrich on March 01, 2012, 08:16:38 AM
It's not like Network Rail/ SWT haven't already looked at the problems of capacity.  The full 226 page Rail Utilisation Strategy for London and the South East is here:

http://www.networkrail.co.uk/browse%20documents/rus%20documents/route%20utilisation%20strategies/rus%20generation%202/london%20and%20south%20east/london%20and%20south%20east%20route%20utilisation%20strategy.pdf

No problem with turning the trains round at Hampton Court, but there is the problem that the lines into Waterloo are already at full capacity. 
Quote:
the RUS analysis identifies that the fast lines are capacity constrained over the whole of the Surbiton to London Waterloo corridor, not just at the London terminal


Network Rail/SWT's interim solution is to run longer 10 car trains to make more effective use of the existing line capacity (although all has gone quiet on the extending the platforms at Thames Ditton front since they had to go back to the drawing board following residents' objections)

They're also thinking of building an extra track from Waterloo to Surbiton:
Quote:
3.3.53 In response to main line capacity concerns significant further development has now taken place. An interim scheme could potentially enable additional trains through major enhancements, including works at Woking and on the London Waterloo approaches, with the aim of running up to 28 trains in the busiest peak hour inwards of Surbiton on the Up Main Line. However, this level of service would be insufficient to fully resolve the gap, it would represent a significant risk to robust performance (so is unproven operationally, based on the existing signalling system) and it would not enable long standing aspirations for some peak time main line calls at Clapham Junction to be met.
3.3.54 In order to potentially address all of the above in the longer term the RUS has identified a major upgrade for the Surbiton – London Waterloo corridor, with an additional track as far inwards as Clapham Junction. Outline design work has taken place, with the current status provided in Chapter 7.....

....The cost of this option is estimated at £1.0 billion at 2011 prices. No economic appraisal has been undertaken at this stage.


You do get the feeling that they're thinking about this, and trying to come up with a solution.


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Admin on March 01, 2012, 08:41:05 AM
Quote from: Rhodrich on March 01, 2012, 08:16:38 AM
all has gone quiet on the extending the platforms at Thames Ditton front since they had to go back to the drawing board following residents' objections..


We're still waiting for them to revert as promised with the modifications they volunteered would be forthcoming.  I would expect that to go through - they don't actually require planning permission, as I recall, but do have to meet certain regulations for the works.  Commendably, NR want to do the best they can to meet the concerns of residents who would conceivably be affected.


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Emberman on March 02, 2012, 05:46:51 PM
Is there any way to galvanise Dominic Raab into action ?    He seems to have lost interest in this issue, nor does he reply to emails from constituents.    Surely this could be the ideal opportunity for him to demonstrate he is an effective MP, involved in local issues, and who follows up his constituents' concerns ?

I don't buy the idea Stagecoach/Southworst trains has no money to run a decent service, while it makes milllions of pounds annual profit, and could afford to pay founder Sir Brian Souter and his sister £88 million last year....just days after rail passengers learned they face record fare increases of up to 13%...is this really acceptable ?


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Flex on March 14, 2012, 10:52:27 PM
Emberman, your chance to have a dialogue with SWT management: web chat (http://www.southwesttrains.co.uk/webchat-march2011.aspx)  on Thursday 15 March between 2pm–4pm with Tim Shoveller, Managing Director.  Submit question in advance on http://www.southwesttrains.co.uk/submit-question.aspx

Tell us how it goes.


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Juninho on March 15, 2012, 09:37:32 AM
Thanks for that Flex - posted a question.


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Admin on March 15, 2012, 10:06:19 AM
Quote from: Juninho on March 15, 2012, 09:37:32 AM
Thanks for that Flex - posted a question.


What was it (I am curious)?


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Juninho on March 15, 2012, 10:37:33 AM
I wanted to know if the plans for extending the trains are still going ahead - or if not would they consider an additional peak time train service.

My preference would be the additonal service but just asking the question for now.

Lately - I've noticed that on both the 7:26 and 7:56 morning trains not everyone is able to get a seat at Thames Ditton. Considering the train starts at Hampton Court - that to me constitutes an over crowded service.

By the time we get to Clapham Junction (in spite of all the trains that service that busy station) - I would estimate only 5-10% of passengers on the platform are able to get on.

An additional peak time train (say at 7:45 ish) that ran fast from Surbiton would reduce the congestion on the other trains. Further would probably require less investment than extending the trains / platforms on our line. The tricky part would be to find the platform space in Waterloo but we still have the old Euro star platforms that are not being used.


Waterloo has seen some investment recently but this is focussed on the concourse rather than increasing the number of platforms.

Call me cynical but I can't help but think that the investment is all around increasing the retail space for shops/food outlets etc.


This is great for them as they can now sell more stuff to passengers who are stuck at Waterloo as they either cannot get on their train or their train is delayed/cancelled.

Oh yes and we get a bit more space to mill around whilst staring at the boards...


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Juninho on March 15, 2012, 04:18:22 PM
Was anybody on the web chat then?

I was not able to log on during this but there is a full transcript of the chat online now which I am trawling through. No sign of my question but some similar enough.

Interestingly someone else asked about the Eurostar train platforms and the response was to re-open by Dec 2013 at the latest! Sorry correction 'at least one platform by dec 2013' ... what just under 2 years to make use of ONE of those platforms?

One of the biggest issues appear to be the number of trains that can get in/out of Waterloo @ peak times - if I was a planning person I would prioritise opening platforms over the concourse changes.

I am now miffed at myself for not re-arranging my diary to attend the chat.

Am I the only sceptic that thinks the 'chat' could've been arranged at a more convinient time - ie. lunchtime?


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Emberman on March 15, 2012, 05:28:11 PM
Dominic Raab is our best hope for putting pressure on Stagecoach/Southwest trains to provide a decent service, and to reduce their fares.

The more of us who email or write to him about this, the more likely he is to help.


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Juninho on March 15, 2012, 05:40:46 PM
I tried that as well and never got a response (just one from his assistant to confirm my address).

Ian Pendlington responded and told me that Dominic has written to Andy Pitt on several occasions.

Not sure there is much he can do.

SW Trains have people like myself stuck between a rock and a hard place.

I have often considering trying to negotiate some work from home days - but aside from the fact I actually prefer to be in a working environment -> it would not actually save anything on my travel costs.

I don't even grudge the cost per se (as I accepted that when I chose to live in Thames Ditton).

I do however object to the higher than inflation rises on what is effectively a diminishing service (i.e. with more passengers and same # of trains).


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Emberman on June 11, 2012, 07:52:52 PM
http://www.surreycomet.co.uk/news/9754679.Commuters_face_delays_on_trains_this_evening/

Another difficult journey this evening, as commuters face delays of up to 50 minutes, with only a shuttle service between Surbiton and Hampton Court, courtesy Southworst trains (aka Stagecoach)




Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Emberman on June 13, 2012, 12:14:22 AM
Oh dear! The Thames Ditton station waiting room is locked when the ticket office closes, presumably because of the perceived threat of vandalism. There are still no loos. The coffee bar is shut. The lengthened platforms in a year or so will hopefully see more forethought, but when are we going to see the quieter and more comfortable 'Desiro' trains used on so many other SWT suburban/outer suburban services but not yet on the non-mainline route to Hampton Court ?  Or a half hourly service in the evening ?   Or fares not increasing by 13% a year ?


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Emberman on June 27, 2012, 03:34:29 PM
It would be worth asking our MP Dominic Raab to support constituents and to put government pressure on SouthWest Trains to improve the dismal train service and to reduce fares.  These rose by more than 13% in January.  This is four times the rate of inflation - while passengers' are probably getting a very small payrise if they are getting one at all.

A reliable and frequent train service is essential to support the local economy - the regular delays, cancellations, poor communications and once-an -hour service from 20:30 onwards is completely unacceptable on a busy line close to London.   Surely the ticket revenue from the grotesquely overcrowded peak services be ploughed back into improving the service, rather than swelling the huge profits SouthWest Trains and its parent company Stagecoach make, and the massive payouts its director Brian Souter awards himself, at passengers' expense. 

Southwest Trains' unconvincing excuse is that they have no funds to improve the service...

Brian Souter, boss of the Stagecoach Group, the parent company of South West Trains, took a 35 per cent rise taking his wages to £1.2 million.  The pay rises, before bonuses, pension contributions and share-options, come as taxpayer subsidies to rail top £4billion a year.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2165781/Railway-bosses-average-salaries-1million-passengers-face-fare-hikes.html

http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2011/aug/19/stagecoach-hands-shareholders-payout

http://www.surreycomet.co.uk/news/9754679.Commuters_face_delays_on_trains_this_evening/


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Emberman on July 03, 2012, 11:06:07 PM
One reason our train fares rose by over 13% this year:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/journalists/rowena-mason/9373658/Network-rail-bosses-in-new-650000-bonuses-row.html

Infrequent, unreliable and overcrowded trains; antiquated rolling stock, rocketing fares...we really are getting a raw deal.

Does anyone have a suggestion how best to tackle this, and place pressure on Southworst to improve the 'service' they currently provide ?



Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Juninho on July 03, 2012, 11:08:34 PM
Well it wasn't for more trains on our line I know that much...
Quote from: Emberman on July 03, 2012, 11:06:07 PM
One reason our train fares rose by over 13% this year:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/journalists/rowena-mason/9373658/Network-rail-bosses-in-new-650000-bonuses-row.html


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Ratty on August 10, 2012, 03:15:53 PM
What LOCOG could learn from SW Trains (http://www.newsbiscuit.com/2012/07/31/south-west-trains-hail-200th-day-of-zero-empty-seats/)  ;)


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Admin on August 14, 2012, 01:20:18 PM
Captive commuters milked again - inflation-busting fare rises every year since 2004 are set to continue, with this year's average 6 percent increase to be followed by a similar one in Jan 2013    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-19198342


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: peter on August 14, 2012, 01:39:43 PM
Quote from: Admin on August 14, 2012, 01:20:18 PM
Captive commuters milked again - inflation-busting fare rises every year since 2004 are set to continue, with this year's average 6 percent increase to be followed by a similar one in Jan 2013     http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-19198342

So the milking continues... with no improvements to our service - the Thames Ditton/Hampton Court line still only has a half-hourly service (inc peak hours) with just an hourly service during the evenings after 8. 


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: craigvmax on August 15, 2012, 09:40:48 AM
any idea why the coffee bar didnt work out there guys?


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Juninho on August 15, 2012, 09:51:13 AM
Thats a very good question!

Someone (I think) bought out the small business that used to run in Surbiton - this is just a guess as its now a Nero franchise.

The coffee shop at Surbiton is the same one that had an operation at TD station.

I am guessing that whomever bought the Surbiton one - did not want TD station little coffee hut... and I guess it was not viable to run without the Surbiton business? this is all guess work on my part so if someone knows more please enlighten us.

But then I am sure I saw some sort of request from an independant person (this might have been on this forum or some random googling on another forum) asking for someone to help draw up plans for a small coffee shop at TD station?

What happened there?


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Thames Dittonite on August 15, 2012, 11:46:25 AM
The guy who owned the lease at Surbiton and TD emigrated to Sydney and my understanding is that Nero were only interested in Surbiton.  Such a shame as they used to do great bacon rolls at Surbiton and now all Nero offer is hermetically sealed £4 paninis.
I don't think the TD venture could have made very much money.  There is such a short window of time between people generally arriving at the station and the arrival of the train, unlike Surbiton where people change trains and have to hang around for a few minutes.
Real shame but, like othere, I am usually legging it down Station Road as the train pulls across the bridge so definitely not time for coffee!


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Juninho on August 15, 2012, 01:48:25 PM
This is the link to the guy looking for help for a coffee shop:

http://www.peopleperhour.com/job/cad-drawing-of-a-thames-ditton-coffee-shop-fit-out-119943

I googled to find it but not sure how I stumbled on it the first time ? Might have been on here somewhere!??

Anyways on the link it sounded like he(she?) wanted to open something soon! But that was 6 months ago...

I agree with your assesment Thames Dittonite... the problem is how many people per train you could serve? The peak trains are 7:26 and 7:56 - though I suppose we could throw in 6:56 and 8:26 as having enough people. Then a smattering in the morning. What could that amount to at most? 50 coffees/teas per morning? If that...

A shame as it was a nice treat en route to work occasionally...


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Thames Dittonite on August 15, 2012, 02:49:41 PM
I've thought about it and think that preorder and premaking would be the only way to make it viable.  Most people get the same TD train every day (and stand in the same place on the platform and sit in the same seat on the train!) and so might work provided still fresh and hot.
Think you could make some £££ in the evenings too if you sold ready meals and milk etc.
Presumably there might also be some trade from the 6th formers (you'd make a fortune if you sold fags but how would you sleep at night??).
Come on somebody - rise to the challenge................


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Juninho on August 15, 2012, 03:05:50 PM
Through the power of the internet... (aka no one is anonymous here!)

I think I have found 'Keya' in the link I posted!

http://www.peopleperhour.com/people/keya/-/271271

And here is Keya!!!
http://www.chadpur-press.com/The_Lick_Website/Welcome_to_The_Lick.html

So they already run a small coffee van!!

Please Keya ! Come to Thames Ditton station!! Mind you I only use TD when I have been out the night before and left my bike at Surbiton ... but those are the mornings I most need my coffee...

Nero @ Surbiton is ok but not as good as one of our own!!


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Ratty on August 15, 2012, 04:03:46 PM
Yes, I miss Richard and Cafe Chaud. He always used to recognise me with a smile back from the days when I could afford to commute into London every day.

Nero is quite handy for the free WiFi though.


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Juninho on August 15, 2012, 04:23:32 PM
I emailed Keya !

Sadly she is not opening up at TD station but she said she thought someone else was. Fingers crossed!

I really can't see it viable as a business unless its owner operated though... and even the latter well its hardly going to generate much revenue? But like I said - fingers crossed!


The idea of ready meals on the way home is a good one - but would people go up the platform to pick it up? I doubt it somehow...


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Emberman on August 22, 2012, 06:04:00 PM
Quote from: peter on August 14, 2012, 01:39:43 PM
Quote from: Admin on August 14, 2012, 01:20:18 PM
Captive commuters milked again - inflation-busting fare rises every year since 2004 are set to continue, with this year's average 6 percent increase to be followed by a similar one in Jan 2013     http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-19198342

So the milking continues... with no improvements to our service - the Thames Ditton/Hampton Court line still only has a half-hourly service (inc peak hours) with just an hourly service during the evenings after 8. 


And just recently the government has agreed to let train operators increase fares by up to 11% at the end of this year.  Added to the 13% increase for the fare from Thames Ditton to London in January, fares will have risen by 24% in only two years - at a time when many salaries have  been frozen for two years.

Incidentally, has anyone been in touch with Dominic Raab about the train situation ? As our MP, he can make a specific request for changes and improvements in the renewed franchise.


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Rhodrich on August 23, 2012, 10:47:20 AM
What do suggest in regards to improvements that haven't already been looked at in detail here (http://www.networkrail.co.uk/browse%20documents/rus%20documents/route%20utilisation%20strategies/rus%20generation%202/london%20and%20south%20east/london%20and%20south%20east%20route%20utilisation%20strategy.pdf)?  And where do you suggest the money comes from, apart from increasing general taxation (remembering that we already have an increasing deficit between what comes in, and what goes out), or putting up fares even more?  Yes, SWT make profits from the franchise, but these profits pale into significance compared with the sort of investment that is needed to increase capacity on the lines into Waterloo, which is the problem that they're up against.  When you're already at full capacity, there's not much you can do.

The only improvement I could think of would be to add some extra trains in the evening, which wouldn't cost that much.  Extra trains in the morning wouldn't be possible without major infrastructure improvement (extra lines into Waterloo)

Incidentally, I see that permission has now been granted to increase platform lengths at TD for 10 car trains....


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Ratty on August 23, 2012, 12:15:33 PM
Quote from: Emberman on August 22, 2012, 06:04:00 PM
Incidentally, has anyone been in touch with Dominic Raab about the train situation ? As our MP, he can make a specific request for changes and improvements in the renewed franchise.


For anyone interested, here's your chance: click here (http://domraab.blogspot.co.uk/2012/08/interview-your-mp.html)


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: peter on August 23, 2012, 02:25:24 PM
Quote from: Rhodrich on August 23, 2012, 10:47:20 AM
What do suggest in regards to improvements that haven't already been looked at in detail here (http://www.networkrail.co.uk/browse%20documents/rus%20documents/route%20utilisation%20strategies/rus%20generation%202/london%20and%20south%20east/london%20and%20south%20east%20route%20utilisation%20strategy.pdf)?  And where do you suggest the money comes from, apart from increasing general taxation (remembering that we already have an increasing deficit between what comes in, and what goes out), or putting up fares even more?  Yes, SWT make profits from the franchise, but these profits pale into significance compared with the sort of investment that is needed to increase capacity on the lines into Waterloo, which is the problem that they're up against.  When you're already at full capacity, there's not much you can do.

The only improvement I could think of would be to add some extra trains in the evening, which wouldn't cost that much.  Extra trains in the morning wouldn't be possible without major infrastructure improvement (extra lines into Waterloo)

Incidentally, I see that permission has now been granted to increase platform lengths at TD for 10 car trains....


- Extra trains in the evening - at least a half-hourly service into Waterloo - this is possible at present with some investment.  An hourly service after 8pm is ridiculous.
- For the morning peak, I've emailed SWT and they've responded saying it isn't possible due to being at-capacity in morning peak from Raynes Park to Waterloo.  I haven't read the report in detail yet but surely improvements to technology could assist with the at-capacity problem - e.g. improving the signaling to allow trains to run with less gap, allowing trains to run faster...  Option 5 talks about an extra line from Hampton Court juntion into Waterloo - if this was developed, then we could increase the morning peak services.
- If the capacity problems are from Raynes Park inwards, 2 extra services per hour in morning peak could run as a shuttle service to Surbiton allowing people to change.  This would give people more options for getting to work. 

I do wonder if Boris ever took over the suburban lines (as is reported) as he has done with London Overground whether he could push through changes to improve the Hampton Court service and make it as regular as the London Overground services.


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: midibob on August 23, 2012, 08:15:53 PM
Even a 1/2 hour shuttle service after 8pm to Surbiton would be of benefit and surely it wouldn't cost that much more?

Midibob


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: craigvmax on August 23, 2012, 11:26:50 PM
Private  one be workable?


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Juninho on August 24, 2012, 09:00:33 AM
Interesting idea...

Wondering the ways to work that. Would it get a cut of season tickets etc? Or charge extra? In which case not very fair on commuters with season tickets! And the barriers etc.

But still a very interesting idea...

If they allowed that - wouldn't that also be an admission that the current 'system' is flawed... i.e. if a private one could make money out of providing the service then why shouldn't the providers?

Quote from: craigvmax on August 23, 2012, 11:26:50 PM
Private  one be workable?


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Thames Dittonite on August 24, 2012, 10:27:34 AM
I've always thought that it would be good to organise some kind of taxi sharing arrangement for TD residents at Surbiton.  It now costs about £7 to TD station from Surbiton but between 5 that would be good value.  English reserve dictates that few of us are willing to shout out and ask if anyone wants to share.  When I lived in Sydney they had taxi wardens who grouped people together who were going in the same direction.

Maybe we could agree that any TD sharers meet outside the cobblers at the station.  If we were to put up some posters at TD station maybe word would spread.

Just an idea.


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: craigvmax on August 24, 2012, 10:38:43 AM
If you wanted to put something together a fair few people here and I can I've a push on the About TD Facebook page too, 400 odd residents there


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Juninho on August 24, 2012, 11:00:22 AM
I like the idea. Perhaps even an informal 'sign'/place to meet up with fellow thames dittoners before going to the station cars?

Hampton Court too I guess?

Has it gone up to £7? I've been quite lucky in that I have not needed a taxi from Surbiton for a few months but I used to pay £6 from station cars?


Quote from: Thames Dittonite on August 24, 2012, 10:27:34 AM
Just an idea.


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Deborah on August 24, 2012, 12:28:01 PM
Great idea. I have obviously been ripped off. I was charged £12 last time I used a taxi!!


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Emberman on August 24, 2012, 12:52:33 PM
Quote from: craigvmax on August 23, 2012, 11:26:50 PM
Private  one be workable?


A 15 minute shuttle throughout the day between Hampton Court, TD and Surbiton, timetabled between the half hourly through HC-Waterloo services, would be a good idea too. 


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Juninho on August 24, 2012, 01:49:17 PM
:o

Is that a black cab? If so then its understandable as they're stupidly expensive - but Station Cars (out the back entrance of Surbiton) should have fixed fares?

I've never had to wait more than 5 minutes for one of their taxis and generally its available straight away.



Quote from: deborahtosler on August 24, 2012, 12:28:01 PM
Great idea. I have obviously been ripped off. I was charged £12 last time I used a taxi!!


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Emberman on August 24, 2012, 06:15:41 PM
Any suggestions for easiest and cheapest way to reach Heathrow ?   A minicab is £40 each way (including car park charge).  One alternative is a minicab to Teddington/Kingston (Cromwell Road), or train to New Malden to pick up the X26 express Heathrow bus, but it's a roundabout route to Teddington in the evening when Bushy Park is closed.  The direct 111 bus from Hampton Court Green to Heathrow is very slow....


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: craigvmax on August 24, 2012, 08:29:33 PM
Think abbi taxi is about £30 to heathrow, for faff value I'd do that


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Ratty on August 24, 2012, 09:51:36 PM
I normally use Mogul - £28


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Juninho on September 05, 2012, 07:13:51 AM
Ah she was right!!

Cafe Noir has opened at TD station! I tried sampling their coffee yesterday but then the train was pulling in.

Has anyone tried it yet?

I'll try again tomorrow as I am taking the train from TD (rather than my usual cycle to Surbiton)!

(#I get excited by little things these days! ;) )

Quote from: Juninho on August 15, 2012, 04:23:32 PM
I emailed Keya !

Sadly she is not opening up at TD station but she said she thought someone else was. Fingers crossed!

I really can't see it viable as a business unless its owner operated though... and even the latter well its hardly going to generate much revenue? But like I said - fingers crossed!


The idea of ready meals on the way home is a good one - but would people go up the platform to pick it up? I doubt it somehow...


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Thames Dittonite on September 05, 2012, 08:05:36 AM
Woo hoo!  And my coffee machine is broken at the moment.
Didn't even notice it this morning but was legging it up the ramp as train pulled in (as usual).  I can almost taste that Friday bacon roll.........


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Juninho on October 12, 2012, 07:14:27 PM
Hope no one was too badly delayed today. My train was just over 20 min late into TD so not too bad all things considering.


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Emberman on November 28, 2012, 11:50:13 PM
Commuters' fury at rail fare rises that will see annual season tickets go up by as much as £400

http://www.standard.co.uk/news/transport/commuters-fury-at-rail-fare-rises-that-will-see-annual-season-tickets-go-up-by-as-much-as-400-8364126.html


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Emberman on December 06, 2012, 08:09:09 PM
No train services to Waterloo for most of yesterday "due to adverse weather conditions" (a light sprinkling of snow that soon thawed).  Will SW Trains refund the cost of a minicab to Surbiton (£10) ?



Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Juninho on December 07, 2012, 10:13:50 AM
Probably not...
What annoys me is I just bought a monthly travel card and was either expecting an extra day or a discount on account of the fact there is no service on xmas day ....

Quick Q re mini cab: - I live on Alexandra road (clsoe to the Albany) and a mini cab from Surbiton is £6 to mine...

I use Station cars (at the back entrance)... £10 sounds expensive (depending on where you live) - closer to black cab fare.

Quote from: Emberman on December 06, 2012, 08:09:09 PM
No train services to Waterloo for most of yesterday "due to adverse weather conditions" (a light sprinkling of snow that soon thawed).  Will SW Trains refund the cost of a minicab to Surbiton (£10) ?




Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Emberman on December 07, 2012, 11:09:30 PM
Hmm - I used Headway Cars at Hampton Court - their fare was actually £9 + £1 tip.   Does seem rather high for a relatively short journey from Embercourt Road to Surbiton station - tho' that's slightly longer than from Alexandra Road.


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Juninho on December 08, 2012, 07:05:30 AM
If you get out t Surbiton - I recommend station cars. They are usually very quick (ie taxis available) and if not very accurate on how long the wait will be!

9 vs 6 sounds like a lot for only a couple of hundred metres up the road...


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Juninho on December 18, 2012, 09:33:03 PM
Anyone else stuck today at waterloo? I was on the 17.53 fast until they decided to reroute... Got home at 21.20 in the end.

Ok a person under the tracks is not sw trains fault - but the poor management after the fact was all down to them.

The poor communication and in fact misinformation was appalling...


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Emberman on December 18, 2012, 10:04:56 PM
Southworst trains "will not compensate you for delays beyond our control, which includes: security alerts, poor weather conditions, fatality or suicide, or vandalism".

http://www.southwesttrains.co.uk/compensation.aspx


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: peter on December 18, 2012, 10:29:16 PM
I was caught in it too at Waterloo - no trains at all down the mainline between Clapham and Wimbledon.  Ended up getting a train that went fast (well it stopped frequently) to Teddington via Richmond and then on to Kingston where I was picked up.  Took just over an hour and train was rammed.


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Juninho on December 19, 2012, 06:20:26 AM
You know what - in most cases I would not even bother but I am going to try and get some sort of compensation in this case. I'll lose but who cares.

The fatality was not there fault, accepted. The appalling communication and mismanagement at Waterloo was.

I appreciate its tough but this is not the first time this sort of event has happened and they should have a contingency plan in place in my opinion (horrible though the thought is).

My journey would have been easier if the 'passenger assistants' on the ground either
a) gave somewhat correct information on what train is there
b) did not give any information at all... and just admitted they were as clueless as the passengers (actually probably more clueless than some of the passengers)


On b - ridiculous as it sounds it I really do reckon I would have been better off randomly guessing which trains were leaving next and just jumping on.

My favourite bit - was when I was on a Shepperton train (as I got told that I would have no chance of gettign to Surbiton) only to hear the next train would leave from platform 6 and would be a hampton court train... rush over there (along with others) only to find there was no train there...!

And one simple thing as people are running around trying to catch the next train- why not open all the barriers instead of forcing people to funnel through at open gate choke points???
Quote from: Emberman on December 18, 2012, 10:04:56 PM
Southworst trains "will not compensate you for delays beyond our control, which includes: security alerts, poor weather conditions, fatality or suicide, or vandalism".

http://www.southwesttrains.co.uk/compensation.aspx


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Emberman on December 19, 2012, 08:02:29 AM
I learnt recently that the train companies do in fact usually provide compensation, even if the reason for a delay is covered by their exclusion list, so definitely worth a try. 

Poor management does seem to be factor as the degree and length of the disruption often seems out of proportion to the initial cause - eg the light sprinkling of snow a couple of weeks ago caused problems to persist throughout most of the rest of the day.

For some reason announcements and departure boards rarely mention the shuttle from Surbiton to Hampton Court, which often runs when there are problems on the network.


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: peter on December 19, 2012, 10:43:50 AM
I went to the ticket office at Waterloo this morning - I managed to get a refund for the "severe weather" that occurred earlier this month - remember those few snow flakes in the early morning?  The train service was totally ruined from mid morning onwards - I remember literally no trains leaving Waterloo that evening rush-hour so retreated to the pub.  The refund this morning, a little over £8.00 - contributed a little to my bar bill.. but not much!  The ticket refund reason was listed as 'inclement weather'.  They should see how Switzerland manages to continue to run trains in all weathers - and on time too!

I was too early for yesterday's refund - will have to try again in a week or so.



Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Emberman on December 19, 2012, 06:48:22 PM
*The 07:32 South West Trains Woking to London Waterloo is the second most crowded train in the UK - load factor 164%
The Hampton Court to Waterloo trains cannot be far behind!

How could we persuade Southworst to run more trains - despite the fact they claim they have no funds to do so ? 

This is not very convincing, given the Stagecoach group's massive annual profits, not to mention the even more massive fare increases they will impose on us from next month....

And the more crowded the trains are, the more profit generated by Southwest Trains.

A pertinent article here: http://togetherfortransport.org/content/companies-profit-expense-passengers

12,209 people signed the most recent e-petition to re-nationalise the railways on on the No.10 website, which closed on 4 August 2012.

Bring Back British Rail will be launching a new petition in 2013

http://www.bringbackbritishrail.org/


*Source: Department for Transport, autumn 2011


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Emberman on December 30, 2012, 03:44:42 PM
Train fares have risen by 50 percent in the last decade, but with no improvement of the service.

The BBC and Independent articles are the most informative - I've included the others to give a fuller picture!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-20881684

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/england-has-the-priciest-train-tickets-in-europe-8434671.html

http://www.standard.co.uk/news/transport/row-as-london-commuters-face-uks-biggest-train-fare-rises-8392542.html

http://www.standard.co.uk/incoming/rail-fares-tenth-aboveinflation-increase-in-row-but-no-improvement-in-service-8433529.html

http://www.standard.co.uk/panewsfeeds/rail-fares-up--but-no-improvement-8433540.html

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/transport/9771507/Rail-fares-have-gone-up-50-per-cent-in-last-decade.html

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2012/dec/30/rail-fare-rise-service

railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson said: "Yet again, rail fares go up with no perceptible improvement in service. Over the last 10 years, fares have increased by more than 50% - much more than people's incomes."
"Annual increases should be limited to no more than the rate of inflation, and that should be CPI not RPI, because that's the lower figure and pensions benefits and salaries are all linked to CPI.

Most people's fares are going up anywhere between 4% and 11% or 12%.


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Juninho on January 04, 2013, 08:47:02 AM
Yes ours up by just over 4%...

£213 vs £205 for a 1-6 and similar increase for London terminals ticket...

Blood boils ...


Quote from: Emberman on December 30, 2012, 03:44:42 PM
Most people's fares are going up anywhere between 4% and 11% or 12%.


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Evergreen on January 04, 2013, 09:50:01 AM
The government published line is that services used to be half subsidised by the taxpayer and half paid for by the travelling customer, but now it is 30% tax subsidy and 70% customer.  You can work out that if this party economic principle is pursued to the point where the customer pays all and the taxpayer nothing,  the monthly would today be £304.

If this principle was extended to health, drains, sewage, roads (tolls), rubbish collection, parking, education..... 


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Juninho on January 04, 2013, 09:54:56 AM
Interesting is that across all board?

As the travel card zone 1-6 covers rail, tube and buses. I would've thought the subsidy for buses is higher ?

Anyways the whole privatisation of the rail has proved to be a mistake in my mind...

I thought the purpose of privatisation is that 'for profit' companies would generally be more efficiant than gov't but the whole way it was done (with the subsidy) is shambolic. If it needs a subsidy (and as a public _service_ I believe it does) it should have remained in the public sector.

I could go on but its Friday...

Quote from: Evergreen on January 04, 2013, 09:50:01 AM
The government published line is that services used to be half subsidised by the taxpayer and half paid for by the travelling customer, but now it is 30% tax subsidy and 70% customer.  You can work out that if this party economic principle is pursued to the point where the customer pays all and the taxpayer nothing,  the monthly would today be £304.

If this principle was extended to health, drains, sewage, roads (tolls), rubbish collection, parking, education..... 


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Admin on January 04, 2013, 10:51:52 AM
Yes I saw that too, along with a government statement that there had been great investment in infrastructure (I suppose that includes station extensions around here) with more to come - I am not enamoured of the new high speed rail project from London to Birmingham, which will surely be too expensive for any travellers other than the rich and those whose companies are paying (offset against tax) and will cut the journey time from London to Birmingham by just ten minutes.

But as with so many other things to do with taxes, as Emberman prompts the thought, I do wish that instead of party ideologies left and right there was proper, objective discussion and consultation with the electorate on what the essential role of government was in ensuring infrastructure, the extent to which that should be met through taxation, and how to link taxation more closely with expenditure e.g. part of motor fuel tax revenues to be spent on rail as  mass transport etc.  So that we taxpayers would find it easier to consent to specific taxes that we knew were being spent for specific purposes.


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Emberman on January 04, 2013, 11:43:05 AM
A front page article in the current issue of the Surrey Advertiser states that, at 4.1%, SW trains fares have risen by more than the national average of 3.9%.   

That may not seem a lot, but considering that the Hampton Court service is the first to be sacrificed when there are problems anywhere on the network, together with the infrequent service, it is very much a step in the wrong direction !   

How can rises more than inflation or salaries be justified?   What direct benefit do passengers get for these fare rises?

The franchise agreement is clearly weighted in the train operators' favour; there is no correlation between quality of service and above inflation fare increases, and no effective monitoring of the train operators' fares, frequency or reliability of services.  Appeals to our MP have had no effect on the service or fares.

Stagecoach/SWT have no incentive to improve the service or run more trains - in fact the reverse, as it would use up some of their profit.
What proportion of the fares we pay goes on company profit and/or directors' salaries ?

Incidentally, things are going to get even worse, as Network Rail will rule out Hampton Court station being closed during at least part of the three-year Jolly Boatman overscale development construction period. 

Might an online petition be effective in achieving an improvement ?


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: peter on January 04, 2013, 12:16:33 PM
Last night, there was a broken down train at Berrylands causing delays of 20 mins or more.  There was a lot of anger on twitter @SW_Trains about the high fare increases and how only a day or two in to the New Year, already there are problems.  Passengers are unable to see the investment they get.

In the case of Thames Ditton, the Hampton Court line is always the first to be sacrificed if there are problems.  There is no alternative bus service in the evening for getting home so you're forced to get a taxi which is galling on top of the fare increases we already pay. 

I have said it before but .... I would love to see:

1) 3 additional services from WAT->Hampton Court after 8.30p.m. - I can't believe it runs as a hourly service after 8.30p.m. on a weekday.  (I just checked and it seems there is more service on a Sunday after 8.30pm - is this true?)

2) 2 extra trains an hour during morning peak and evening peak, ideally semi-fast.  I emailed SWT about this and there is no capacity apparently from WAT->Raynes Park at the moment to do this.  There is a proposal for installing an extra line added from Surbiton to Clapham but this is probably years away (if it will ever happen).  So an interim solution would be to run a shuttle for these extra peak trains from Hampton Court to Surbiton.

Longer term, it would be great if the service could increase to every 15 minutes - or better with some of these services running fast.  I doubt this would ever happen with SWT.  The London Overground when it took over several SE stations has improved frequency of services on these lines so perhaps if Boris ever managed to take over the suburban parts of SWT network, this could be a possibility.  There's spare platform capacity at Hampton Court.


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Keith on January 04, 2013, 12:35:37 PM
Quote from: Emberman on January 04, 2013, 11:43:05 AM
Might an online petition be effective in achieving an improvement ?

It might - why not start one up?  e.g. http://www.change.org/en-GB/start-a-petition?utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=GST_USER_GBRT1_SCHT1_start_online_petition

Without going much out of your way, you might also get quite a few signatures on a hard copy one hawked round at the stations and on the train.  I'm sure you would also get good coverage in the local media (including on our home page)


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Keith on January 05, 2013, 10:52:28 AM
http://www.elmbridgeguardian.co.uk/news/10139777.Surrey_rail_strategy_aims_to_end_overcrowding_on_second_busiest_train/

I see that Arup will be preparing a study for SCC.

This wants close watching: may we ask Emberman and peter to monitor it closely & let us know of any watchpoints for Thames Ditton and Weston Green?  Mention of "train access to heathrow" always makes me wary - former plans for rail connection threatening the common &c. &c..  There might also be opportunity for judicious input from residents and the Association.


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: peter on January 07, 2013, 10:44:05 AM
Quote from: Keith on January 05, 2013, 10:52:28 AM
http://www.elmbridgeguardian.co.uk/news/10139777.Surrey_rail_strategy_aims_to_end_overcrowding_on_second_busiest_train/

I see that Arup will be preparing a study for SCC.

This wants close watching: may we ask Emberman and peter to monitor it closely & let us know of any watchpoints for Thames Ditton and Weston Green?  Mention of "train access to heathrow" always makes me wary - former plans for rail connection threatening the common &c. &c..  There might also be opportunity for judicious input from residents and the Association.

Interesting.  Hopefully some improvements will come of it.  Thanks for bringing this to my attention and yes, I'll keep an eye on it.  Maybe, I may even write to Arup!

What were the plans for Heathrow?  Was it extending the Hampton Court line to Heathrow?  Haven't heard about those.


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Keith on January 07, 2013, 01:19:42 PM
From my potted history of the Association (2009):
"The publicly-owned commons are an obvious easy route for any strategic planner charged with building a road or railway link from South-West London, crossing the Thames by the reservoirs to link up with roads now established on the north bank and connecting with Heathrow and the motorway system. There were such proposals in 1966 ('Link Road') and again in 1971 ('Ringway 3') and 1975: the 'inner orbital route' - a four lane highway to relieve the river crossings at Hampton Court and Walton. Again in the early 1990s, the HASQUAD (Heathrow and Southwest London Quadrant) proposals to build a new motorway to Heathrow would have destroyed the  commons round Weston Green and made Thames Ditton's roads worse rat-runs. Each time such proposals were aired, the Association spent an enormous amount of effort working in conjunction with like-minded organisations to research, consult the public, expose Surrey's Chief Engineer to public meetings and lobby against. To date,
that these efforts have succeeded owes as much to the enormous costs of the projects, and occasionally timely economic recession, as to the consideration of officials and
Ministers.  Plans for a third runway at Heathrow are likely, sooner or later, to place a through route across the commons back in the frame."


See also:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heathrow_Airtrack  This also wants watching.


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Keith on January 07, 2013, 04:10:54 PM
.... and note from today's renewal of marriage vows between Cameron and Clegg:  "more changes to planning rules to make it easier to build roads and other infrastructure projects."  Sounds to me as though residents of the areas affected might be even more likely to get 'railroaded.' !


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Evergreen on January 13, 2013, 08:03:26 PM
Oh, look ----- Network Rail executives in line for £900,000 bonuses (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/road-and-rail-transport/9799123/Network-Rail-executives-in-line-for-900000-bonuses.html)

And, look ----- "Next year, executives at Network Rail will benefit from three different bonus schemes. Three directors at the company will get payments of £300,000 each just for turning up to work. "


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Deborah on January 17, 2013, 04:01:47 PM
No trains tomorrow

http://www.getsurrey.co.uk/news/s/2127378_train_services_cut_as_snow_forecast_for_region


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Juninho on January 17, 2013, 04:51:18 PM
Ah thanks Deborah!!

Hmmm looks like there will be a reduced service according to this - looks like a sunday timetable...

http://www.southwesttrains.co.uk/alerts.aspx

Here we go again.


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: nurseryparker on January 17, 2013, 05:09:21 PM
Thanks Deborah for flagging up.

Part of me thinks I should be happy that they are actually putting in some thought and planning for it to be difficult to run trains on the network rail managed track.  But then I remember that ours is always the first to get cut to a shuttle (for which the timing of connections never work coming away from London), we have a shocking service after 8pm and when we eventually get to surbiton on the way in on days like tomorrow the station is so packed that its train 4 or 5 after you get there before you can squeeze into a spare inch of space.


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Juninho on January 18, 2013, 09:45:52 AM
Oh joyful travel this morning... packed like a sardine.

Ok I can just about accept the rationale of running a reduced service... but in days when they are a reduced service surely its just common sense to run 12 coach trains????

On the Surbiton platform as a train load of people are attempting to get on the slow train a fast train, half full 12 caoch train whizzes past... and we wait for the 8 coach train...

It was worse further down the line - people just could not get on.

hey ho


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Emberman on January 18, 2013, 03:34:53 PM
The shuttle started running before any snow fell.  It was then virtually impossible to get on a London train at Surbiton, with everyone packed like Sardines.    Why not run 12 coach trains to deal with the congestion ?   There was also hazardous overcrowding on the stairways.

There were then no trains at all back to Hampton Court in the middle of the day.

Why does Stagecoach / Southworst always sacrifice the Hampton Court service first ?  Colleagues from other destinations travelled in without any probles at all.    SW Trains was the only operator to change reduce its schedules in advance. 

It all sounds like excuses, excuses.   Travellers suffer, and their work is jeopardised because of late or cancelled trains.  Meanwhile the directors of Stagecoach enjoy massive salaries and payouts....and aren't forced to travel on Southworst TRains

http://www.surreycomet.co.uk/news/topstories/10172080.Snow_covered_commuters_anger_at_Surbiton_station_overcrowding/?ref=rss  


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Emberman on January 19, 2013, 09:00:06 PM
From the Evening Standard:

"Well it is run by Stagecoach need I say more!...."

We are eight or nine miles from the centre of one of the largest cities, and we now have only a single train each hour. For 59 minutes, that's 'at a standstill'.

Can someone explain why South West Trains started a restricted service on the Shepperton line, less than an hour to Waterloo, 4 hours before the first snow?
Reply
4 replies
0



Reply
+4


martnal21 day ago
Can someone explain why South West Trains started a restricted service on the Shepperton line, less than an hour to Waterloo, 4 hours before the first snow?
Reply
1 reply
+1


Anonymous1 day ago
Well it is run by Stagecoach need I say more!
Reply
+1



Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Juninho on January 21, 2013, 08:23:49 AM
No trains at all this morning from TD.

???

I did see some staff working on the lines between Hampton Court and TD (at the summer road crossing) so I had hoped they would clear it but not to be.


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Emberman on January 21, 2013, 08:30:12 AM
A glance at Southworst's website reveals that the Hampton Court line is the only service suspended today.    This is surprising, as there has been no snow overnight, so they had ample time to clear the line.     And why has Southworst not provided replacement buses to Surbiton ??

The result (for me at least) is a day's lost work and income.

I think there is a difference in perception and goals: Stagecoach / Southworst's priority is financial gain.  Residents' priority is a frequent and reliable train service.

For instance, there were ticket inspectors on both trains, yet it was virtually impossible to board a train at Surbiton due to the shuttle, which started hours before any snow fell.

I suggest residents email Brian Souter, the CEO, direct.  His personal assistant's email is: rhona.gray@stagecoachgroup.com


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: craigvmax on January 21, 2013, 08:33:16 AM
Im told the line is blocked and the only solution is to bus to kingston and get to waterloo from there. Its frankly shocking that thier shuttle service between hc and surbiton isnt running due to poor weather, the roads are completely clear!


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Juninho on January 21, 2013, 08:45:47 AM
I had to take a taxi to Surbiton...

I may be slightly naive in my comments here and my understanding of the insaneley complicated privatisation network rail and companies structures and various minimum service levels agreements ya de yada.

But speaking abstractly: this is where the privatisation of a public service falls over.

What incentive does a profit making company have to either pay over time or hire in contractors in order to clear the rails to run a service in which they already have the money for the tickets?

If I read the terms and conditions correctly - we are not even due a refund (and don't get me started on how offensive I find it that a massive delay or worse a cancellation simply means a refund in the journey... I don't want a refund - I just want the trains which I pay an excessive amount for to run vaugely on time).

Quote from: Emberman on January 21, 2013, 08:30:12 AM
The result (for me at least) is a day's lost work and income.

I suggest residents email Brian Souter, the CEO, direct.  His personal assistant's email is: rhona.gray@stagecoachgroup.com


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: craigvmax on January 21, 2013, 08:49:19 AM
i just posted a pic on the ATD FB page, apparently a train is frozen to the rails at HC station. i cant post it here from work but imagine a train standing still, liiks a bit like that :D



Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Emberman on January 21, 2013, 09:17:05 AM
From the Independent:

Sir Brian [Souter] took a £51 million pay-out last year after the company unveiled a £340 million cash hand-out - its second in four years. His sister Ann Gloag got almost £37 million for her 10.9% stake.

The group reported today that underlying revenues at its rail and regional bus businesses in the UK rose 6.8% and 4.1% respectively in its first quarter.   

(And our fares rise by over 4% every year).

The Souter family own a 25pc stake in Stagecoach/Southworst.   If only their talents lay in running a train service, rather than in lining their own pockets.


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Keith on January 21, 2013, 10:50:23 AM
If you think they're raking it in hand over fist, you could always choose to take a piece of the action......  I see Stagecoach shares have topped 305p today, which was Nomura's target price when recommending them last June.  They've shown a total annualised return of 13.93% over the past three years, comfortably beating the index.  On a PE ratio of 11.79 against a sector average of 14.18 and yielding about 2.4% there may be some upside still, with at least four brokers currently recommending a buy, one a hold and none recommending a sell.  However, earnings for 2014 were forecast to be down: at least, before the announcement a week ago that they've bought bus operations in Merseyside, Cheshire and North Wales

Souter has exercised (11 Dec) an option to sell  £1,114,585 of his shares in the company.



Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Keith on January 21, 2013, 10:55:13 AM
And yes, the various downsides of the private sector running public services are becoming more evident than they were in the late 1980s.  More efficiency of a sort, perhaps; but efficient at extracting money for shareholders from the public, not at running a good service.  And (as with the various sagas over potholes, road markings, Thames Water) we see as much incompetence as we were used to seeing when services were run by the public sector.


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: craigvmax on January 21, 2013, 11:01:51 AM
big pothole coming off the r/bout onto st leonards rd isnt there


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: peter on January 21, 2013, 11:15:53 AM
Total joke!  I can't believe that they have provided NO service today and suggest using 'London buses'.  They do realise that there are no London buses from Thames Ditton station?  What a joke!   The should have provided a replacement bus service.  How much money is this costing residents of TD and HC/East Moseley in taxis or lost income?  And here's me wanting a more frequent service from TD...!  They can't even maintain the current infrequent timetable.

And even if there is a train stuck at Hampton Court, there are two platforms so that's no excuse.

On top of ridiculous inflated fees.....  Grrrrrr...


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Emberman on January 21, 2013, 01:15:45 PM
Perhaps the worst thing about the train scandal is the sense that there is nothing we, residents and regular train users, can do to compel Southworst to improve it. 

Whether it is the ever rising fares, infrequent services, unreliability, or poor communications.

Stagecoach have cynically doctored their timetables so the trains run slower, simply to avoid being fined for delayed services - yet again they are running the trains for their benefit and profit, not the customers the exist to serve.

The conditions of the franchise are clearly very weak and not fit for purpose. 
Stagecoach, the parent company, seems to hide behind Southworst, Brian Souter does not answer letters, even our MP says there is nothing he can do.  Meanwhile Souter is awarded a knighthood....why?


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: tdres on January 21, 2013, 01:27:55 PM
The South West trains twitter feed is enlightening http://twitter.com/SW_Trains

The SWT tweeter is getting very frustrated with people banging on about Thames Ditton.
His response to a query about how people were to get back from Surbiton given that there are no replacement buses was that if they couldn't get out this morning then they wouldn't need to get back! Funny if it wasn't so awful.

BTW in case people don't know, there are buses from the stop outside Vera Fletcher hall that go to Surbiton Station every half hour  ish (514 and 515). First bus out 6.15 am, last bus back 8.10 pm. Not suggesting this lets SWT off the hook AT ALL but may be useful for some to know. Whether they will accept SWT tickets is not known, but I would have thought unlikely.


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: tdres on January 21, 2013, 01:32:15 PM
And Hampton Court/Surbiton shuttle has apparently just resumed.


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: peter on January 21, 2013, 01:36:38 PM
Quote from: tdres on January 21, 2013, 01:27:55 PM
The South West trains twitter feed is enlightening http://twitter.com/SW_Trains

The SWT tweeter is getting very frustrated with people banging on about Thames Ditton.
His response to a query about how people were to get back from Surbiton given that there are no replacement buses was that if they couldn't get out this morning then they wouldn't need to get back! Funny if it wasn't so awful.

BTW in case people don't know, there are buses from the stop outside Vera Fletcher hall that go to Surbiton Station every half hour  ish (514 and 515). First bus out 6.15 am, last bus back 8.10 pm. Not suggesting this lets SWT off the hook AT ALL but may be useful for some to know. Whether they will accept SWT tickets is not known, but I would have thought unlikely.

Yes useful to know.  I've tried it before though and as it is not a red London bus, they won't accept it.  And the other frustrating thing is, they finish service around 6.30pm so no good if you are commuting back from London after this time!


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: peter on January 29, 2013, 07:57:22 AM
Looks like the shuttle is in operation again! How many times so far this year?

Oh and no notice or announcements .... And late!


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Admin on January 29, 2013, 08:15:59 AM
Twitter is an excellent place to voice justified complaints, I'm thinking.  The spin-control experts in the media offices of such organisations pick it up immediately, and try to 'manage' it.

Stagecoach shares are up 12.4% over twelve months and surged last week when, in the same market sector, First Group announced significant increases in rail and bus passenger numbers.  However,  Stagecoach are mired in an anti-competition lawsuit in New York where they are accused of taking advantage of their leverage to hike tourist bus fares to unreasonable levels.  See http://www.business7.co.uk/business-news/scottish-business-news/2012/12/12/stagecoach-facing-legal-challenge-to-new-york-tour-bus-joint-venture-106408-23946441/

PS: just wait until the years when Gladedale and NR are developing the Hampton Court Station / Jolly Boatman site.  Our problems will be multiplied and shared with frustrated residents of Molesey, whose cars will be parked around the village.  I'm sure that SW Trains' PR machinery will be cranked up to tell us how much they "care" for customers.


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: peter on January 29, 2013, 08:22:31 AM
So we made it to Surbiton on a packed train. Apparently the probs are overrunning engineering works.  The next fast service was short formation - as you can imagine, rammed! No explanations from SWT.


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Juninho on January 29, 2013, 09:09:04 AM
I have to say - I have pretty much given up on our local train service... and now only use it as a backup...

Too often (especially in times of snow / bad weather) - its just a nightmare... and then I don't want to get into how stranded one is when they have problems on the track (points, person on track, etc etc)...

And then even when it is running normally the once hourly service in the late evenings is a bit of a joke.

So for the past couple of years I have resorted to cycling to Surbiton and I recommend this as an alternative solution? I am halfway between Hampton Court and TD and it takes me about 12-15 minutes (going slowly to get to Surbiton) - i.e. the same amount of time it takes me to walk to TD.

No longer do I have to leave 'fat' when leaving work to aim for a half hourly train on the way home - besides a funny 'gap' at about 6:02 to 6:23pm (rush hour so go figure) - its generally 10 minutes at most for a fastish train to Surbiton...



Quote from: peter on January 29, 2013, 07:57:22 AM
Looks like the shuttle is in operation again! How many times so far this year?

Oh and no notice or announcements .... And late!


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Emberman on January 29, 2013, 05:31:06 PM
The Hampton Court and Thames Ditton line will be closed for five months during the construction period of the Jolly Boatman development while Hampton Court Station is closed.


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: peter on January 29, 2013, 07:14:58 PM
Quote from: Juninho on January 29, 2013, 09:09:04 AM
I have to say - I have pretty much given up on our local train service... and now only use it as a backup...

Too often (especially in times of snow / bad weather) - its just a nightmare... and then I don't want to get into how stranded one is when they have problems on the track (points, person on track, etc etc)...

And then even when it is running normally the once hourly service in the late evenings is a bit of a joke.

So for the past couple of years I have resorted to cycling to Surbiton and I recommend this as an alternative solution? I am halfway between Hampton Court and TD and it takes me about 12-15 minutes (going slowly to get to Surbiton) - i.e. the same amount of time it takes me to walk to TD.

No longer do I have to leave 'fat' when leaving work to aim for a half hourly train on the way home - besides a funny 'gap' at about 6:02 to 6:23pm (rush hour so go figure) - its generally 10 minutes at most for a fastish train to Surbiton...



Quote from: peter on January 29, 2013, 07:57:22 AM
Looks like the shuttle is in operation again! How many times so far this year?

Oh and no notice or announcements .... And late!

I gave up on it last summer too and cycled.  Do you park at the front or back of the station?  At the back adds a bit of extra mileage - although I found it was taking me about 12-15 mins too. 

But in winter, in rain and wind and snow, not really what you need.  Also a bit annoying when you pay for a rail service from Thames Ditton!


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: peter on January 29, 2013, 07:16:05 PM
Quote from: Emberman on January 29, 2013, 05:31:06 PM
The Hampton Court and Thames Ditton line will be closed for five months during the construction period of the Jolly Boatman development while Hampton Court Station is closed.

GREAT! Why can't they run the service starting at Thames Ditton.  There are cross over points between the stations! 


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: new_local on January 29, 2013, 07:37:51 PM
Quote from: Emberman on January 29, 2013, 05:31:06 PM
The Hampton Court and Thames Ditton line will be closed for five months during the construction period of the Jolly Boatman development while Hampton Court Station is closed.


Can you tell me where you got this information from?


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Emberman on January 29, 2013, 08:20:19 PM
It is in the Jolly Boatman planning application.


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Emberman on January 29, 2013, 08:58:17 PM
South West Trains is rated joint worst for value for money train operator in the UK

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2270241/Less-half-rail-passengers-believe-value-money-operators-celebrate-record-satisfaction-poll-results.html



Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Rhodrich on January 30, 2013, 08:15:51 AM
I've just read the method of construction statement under application 2012/3430, and it mentions nothing of the sort! Where in the planning application do you see this?


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Thames Dittonite on January 30, 2013, 08:19:28 AM
Simply sounds wrong to me.


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Emberman on January 30, 2013, 08:51:52 AM
It's here: Gladedale's Planning Potential Environmental Statement: 2008  (apologies for cross posting with Jolly Boatman thread):


3.2.3 It should be noted that whilst it is intended to keep the Railway Station open
throughout the works, this may not be possible during some piling works.




3.3.2
Table 0.1: Indicative Demolition and Construction Activities and Duration
Activity, Approximate Duration of Works
(in months)
Enabling / Preparation Works 1
Piling 5
Excavations and Construction of new basement structure 13
Superstructure 10
External envelop and cladding 6
Services and interior fit out 10
Overall Construction Period 36


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Thames Dittonite on January 30, 2013, 09:19:53 AM
On my reading that doesn't mean that it will be closed during the duration of the 5 months piling but that there might be days where the station might be closed during this period.
I can only imagine that if this were to happen the service would be terminated at TD.  Surely?


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Admin on January 30, 2013, 09:54:23 AM
I haven't looked at the details for a few years but my conclusion then was that Hampton Court station would almost certainly be closed for some time (builders are more likely to overrun than to meet initial schedules, in my own experiences); and that during the period trains would be run from TD.  This would have an impact on parking in the area of TD station during the works.  Aside from the possible closure of HC station for "a few months" the question of car-parking there for the duration of the Gladedale development work is another issue.  I believe that many of those now using their cars to get to HC station will instead use them to get to TD station because they can park on the surrounding streets.  This would be bound to cause irritation.


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Juninho on January 30, 2013, 10:28:25 AM
Ah I generally park in front and look for a free 'slot' in one of the few bike racks - I was going to put my name down for the 'cage' but got told the wait list was long and then I spoke to someone who locked his bike in front and thought it was safer... !

I have also gone to the back - its a bit of a more pleasant cycle (as then I take the back roads, i.e. effingham etc) but I find it takes me a lot longer and it can be a bit hectic with cars and taxis parked up blocking the way!

I've seen and met other people from the village that do the same. Bit of a shame but considering the speed of the service it really does save me time on the way home.

If its any consolation - the rail fare to surbiton is the same price... not much of a consolation I know but there is some there.

As for rain/snow/etc-  I quite enjoy it - but it does add faf. For example because of lights, gloves, jacket etc - I find it tkaes a few minutes extra over winter than the summer!


Quote from: peter on January 29, 2013, 07:14:58 PM
I gave up on it last summer too and cycled.  Do you park at the front or back of the station?  At the back adds a bit of extra mileage - although I found it was taking me about 12-15 mins too. 

But in winter, in rain and wind and snow, not really what you need.  Also a bit annoying when you pay for a rail service from Thames Ditton!


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Ratty on January 30, 2013, 05:21:29 PM
Quote from: Thames Dittonite on January 30, 2013, 09:19:53 AM
I can only imagine that if this were to happen the service would be terminated at TD.  Surely?


I'm not so sure. I suspect that the same "operational reasons" that mean shuttle services only run from platform 2 at TD station would also prevent terminated trains returning back down the right line to Waterloo?


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Rhodrich on February 02, 2013, 07:26:33 PM
Trains were possibly the worst I've ever seen them last night.  Took over 2 hours to get home from work!


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: peter on February 02, 2013, 08:15:04 PM
Quote from: Rhodrich on February 02, 2013, 07:26:33 PM
Trains were possibly the worst I've ever seen them last night.  Took over 2 hours to get home from work!

Yup. Same for me.  Took about 45 mins to get from Waterloo to Vauxhall.  Prob about 2 hours overall for me too and I was in such a bad mood!


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Keith on February 03, 2013, 11:50:16 AM
I see that Stagecoach share price went up 2.16% that day.

How about setting up a TD investment circle?  We would buy shares in companies whose customers believe they are not getting fair value or are otherwise thought to be rip-offs. The logic would be that their profit margins were high & shareholders laughing.    We could call it the Fund of Misery.  A rough calculation on the back of an envelope suggests we would have done rather well following this policy over the past two years, beating the index by about 70%.....!


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Juninho on February 04, 2013, 09:21:58 AM
Friday was particularly bad...

It was a person on the tracks at Wimbledon - so although not the rail companies fault I still think the communciation could be better.

Tbh - its little things that the train company could do to show they actually are trying... for example at Surbiton its always a complete horde to get out of the 4 barriers (100s of people into 4 exit barriers does not go). Fine on a normal day (well actually its not fine but I digreess) BUT on a day when people are already well over a couple of hours late home can't you at least save them 2/3 minutes by just opening the barriers?????

But no - we all have to queue for 5 minutes to exit the station in case there is a fare dodger on the train???



Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Emberman on February 04, 2013, 04:25:18 PM
When the Surbiton / Hampton Court shuttle runs, it is rarely, if ever, announced.  The indicator displays at Clapham Junction and Wimbledon just state that the next Hampton Court 'service' has been cancelled.


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: peter on February 14, 2013, 10:44:33 AM
Terrible journey this morning.  Emergency engineering works at Wimbledon - one line totally blocked into London for about 1 hour.  I sat at New Malden for about 45 mins.  And the usual, Hampton Court->Surbiton is reduced to shuttle service and Dorking service is cancelled.   

It was only about just over a week that there were also major delays at Wimbledon due to problems with the track.

So far, has been a horrendous year on South West Trains.


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: craigvmax on February 14, 2013, 10:50:26 AM
and I dont suppose they have offered any reimbursement for your inconvenience?!


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: peter on February 14, 2013, 11:03:16 AM
Quote from: craigvmax on February 14, 2013, 10:50:26 AM
and I dont suppose they have offered any reimbursement for your inconvenience?!

Of course not! 


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Juninho on February 14, 2013, 01:34:34 PM
Yeah I was hit by this too - and it sounded like an identical issue a few weeks back.

Re: compensation - they used to apply this on season ticket renewals but I have now gone for a zone 1-6 tcard on my oyster so I expect I will have to apply for this seperately.

The problem is - compensation is not enough. Its almost a slap in the face... getting my journey cost refunded is not what I want - I just want a train to run on time... and not have to face ridiculous fare increases each year on an ever increasingly poor service.


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Emberman on February 14, 2013, 06:23:03 PM
Agree the trains were appalling today, yet again.  Fares increase while the service worsens

Email Brian Souter, chairman of SWT's parent company Stagecoach.  His pa's email address is:

rhona.gray@stagecoachgroup.com



Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Emberman on February 17, 2013, 09:43:24 PM
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/road-and-rail-transport/9875652/
Fat-Cat-rail-bosses-six-figure-salaries-revealed-by-FOI-requests.html

NR's chief executive Sir David Higgins was on an annual basic salary of £560,000 as of March 31 2012, while finance director Patrick Butcher was on £382,000.

NR's network operations chief Robin Gisby was on £360,000, as was infrastructure director Simon Kirby.

In addition to their salaries, the NR chiefs stand to be paid performance-related bonuses running into hundreds of thousands of pounds.

NR's network operations chief Robin Gisby was on £360,000, as was infrastructure director Simon Kirby.

In addition to their salaries, the NR chiefs stand to be paid performance-related bonuses running into hundreds of thousands of pounds.

Clearly the government is completely ineffective in regulating the railways' profits, performance and fare increases.


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Keith on February 17, 2013, 10:29:17 PM
Yes, although for companies with revenues of that size the salaries do not appear to be wildly out of kilter with other fat felines.  Compared with the remuneration packages of bankers, for example, and even the CEO of Surrey County council where the budget's roughly 1.5bn and he is on a salary scale to £231,000

Buy some Stagecoach (it's in the Misery Fund)...

I see the Go-Ahead Group is mentioned.  Their interim results are due on 25 Feb and my real-world shares are doing nicely in the run-up !  +14% not counting a yield of over 6% when bought: the raisons d'achat being excellent cash generation, commitment to dividend, cost reduction programme  and the logic that in hard times with the cost of motoring high, there will be more passengers on public transport.

So expect some dismal statement and they will go down.......


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Keith on February 18, 2013, 08:37:22 AM
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-21494270 "More than half of train companies have a customer satisfaction score of 50% or lower, a survey by the consumer group Which? has found.  Only 22% of the 7,500 rail users in the survey felt their service was improving - despite big fare rises last month."


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Juninho on February 18, 2013, 09:02:34 AM
Over running engineering works again so the 7.57 from Surbiton was cancelled meaning the 7.53 was packed even more than normal.

Thats for people aiming for the 7:57 who got there early... if you timed it a minute or two late OR you could not get onto the 7:53 (happened to a few people) the next fast train was not until 8:08... (which would also probably be rammed).

Such a joke.

Hope the trains from TD were ok.


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: rytheman on February 18, 2013, 11:06:06 AM
Quote from: Juninho on February 18, 2013, 09:02:34 AM
Over running engineering works again...

So that's Notwork Rail - and in turn their con-Tractors. You'll not get SWT to apologise for that!

It's the system to blame, guv...


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Juninho on February 18, 2013, 05:00:21 PM
I would still expect some sort of refund as I am sure there are SLA's in place between NR and SW Trains involving a payout from the former to the latter when they are not met...

Hence this should be passed onto the customer...


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Admin on February 20, 2013, 06:49:12 PM
More evidence that influential people follow this forum...

Rail bosses were under pressure to forego “eye-watering” bonuses after a watchdog launched a scathing attack on their performance. (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/9883084/Rail-bosses-face-calls-to-drop-bonuses-after-scathing-attack-on-their-performance.html)


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Emberman on February 20, 2013, 08:41:46 PM
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/9883084/Rail-bosses-face-calls-to-drop-bonuses-after-scathing-attack-on-their-performance.html

NR chief executive Sir David Higgin's salary as at March 31 2012 was £560,000, with finance director Patrick Butcher on £382,000 and operations and customer services director Robin Gisby on £360,000.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/road-and-rail-transport/9882938/Network-Rail-facing-30million-fine-as-performance-levels-deteriorate-further.html

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/road-and-rail-transport/9848008/Rail-fares-outstrip-cost-of-living-rises.html

"Private rail firms were given a licence to print money in the 1990s and they have been ripping off passengers ever since," said Manuel Cortes, the union’s general secretary.

"This demolishes the Tories' claim when they sold off British Rail-namely that fares would get cheaper.

*What we have seen is little more than legalised day daylight trobbery on a grand scale," added the union leader.

"Passengers have suffered all the pain while private operators have seen all the gains. Now we are number one in Europe for the highest fares.”

So southworst and Network Fail's directors salaries continue to rocket at the expense of passengers whose salaries are either frozen or have risen by 3% per annum at the highest, while the 'service' for which they pay increasing fares continues to deteriorate...why doesn't the government do something about it ?




Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Emberman on February 20, 2013, 11:07:17 PM
http://www.yourlocalguardian.co.uk/news/local/elmbridgenews/10239782.Network_Rail__failed_to_deal_with_snow_and_rain__over_Christmas/

Network Rail is failing to deal with snowfall and heavy rain on London and south east lines, according to an independent report released today.

The Office of Rail Regulation (ORR) criticised train punctuality in London as falling ‘even lower than thought previously’, between October 14 last year and January 5.

Network Fail and Southworst are good at making money for themselves and putting up fares.  No good at running a railway.


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Keith on February 21, 2013, 10:05:54 AM
Quote from: Keith on February 17, 2013, 10:29:17 PM
I see the Go-Ahead Group is mentioned.  Their interim results are due .....

So expect some dismal statement and they will go down.......

Out today.  Well, not too bad, and although down they are down less than the market.  Interesting that their rail division (SE - operate in Kent etc) contrary to the mood of this thread has been fairly stagnant while the bus division, especially the deregulated part, is growing well (Transport for London etc).  Cash-generating, yielding 5.9%, some insurance against inflation......  I'm holding.

While the adverse publicity about salaries, missed targets, fares is merited I don't see many signs that the companies themselves are raking it in hand over fist  in these difficult times, even when use of collective public transport would be expected to increase while individual private transport costs are higher.


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: craigvmax on February 21, 2013, 10:07:38 AM
have to say, tragically due to the joys of a week of industry booze ups meetings, I have used the trains from TD, always on time and always got a seat, so i can't complain too much.


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Juninho on February 21, 2013, 10:58:00 AM
meh wheres the fun in that?

;)
Quote from: craigvmax on February 21, 2013, 10:07:38 AM
so i can't complain too much.


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: craigvmax on February 21, 2013, 11:28:13 AM
i know, trains in running on time shocker!


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Juninho on February 21, 2013, 11:36:33 AM
to be fair I took the TD train for the first time in a while yesterday and the morning one was on time and the evening one was only 5 minutes late coming back to TD.

and I got a seat both ways

Not getting a seat on the TD train from TD is pretty rare tbh - I think only really happens on the 7:56 train (which I rarely take) and seeing as its half term right now I would assume even that one would be fine

getting a seat on the way back can sometimes be tricky - especially if you don't leave time to get to the front of the train

Quote from: craigvmax on February 21, 2013, 11:28:13 AM
i know, trains in running on time shocker!


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Emberman on February 21, 2013, 01:50:39 PM
Please respond to this Which? survey on the trains, which will be passed to the Department of Transport:   

http://www.which.co.uk/home-and-garden/leisure/reviews-ns/best-and-worst-uk-train-companies/your-train-stories/?cmp=em=campaign

It covers

Ticket machines
Buying tickets at ticket office
Buying tickets online
Buying tickets over the phone
Price rises and ticket prices
Types of ticket sold
Reliability/punctuality of service
Frequency of the service
Penalty fares and ticket inspectors
Other



Best and worst UK train companies Your train stories

Have you ever had a problem with a train, a train company or a ticket machine? This could be along the lines of your train being late, the way your complaints were handled or even how clean your station is.

If you’ve got something to say about trains, train companies, stations or tickets, share it using the Which? trains story share tool.

We’ll pass on our findings about what’s wrong with trains to the Department for Transport and the train operating companies to show them the extent of the problems passengers are having.



Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Juninho on March 19, 2013, 11:34:33 AM
This morning the staff at SW trains were giving out leaflets apologising for the delays over the last few weeks...

And kindly they timed the distribution on a day with erm - well more delays - to give us all time to read it!


Oh the irony...




Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Ratty on March 22, 2013, 03:14:31 PM
Elmbridge Guardian reports that local MP Dominic Raab has secured a parliamentary debate on South Worst Trains (click here for full story (http://www.elmbridgeguardian.co.uk/news/10307605.Train_pain_taken_to_Parliament/?ref=twtrec))

“Frankly, it is difficult for me to stand on the platform with commuters and residents to tell them they are getting values for money. I am just not convinced that they are.”, he says.


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Emberman on March 22, 2013, 07:01:13 PM
You can read or watch the debate here http://domraab.blogspot.co.uk/2013/03/are-fares-fair.html

Dominic speaks very well; Norman Baker's response (Minister for transport) is weak and unconvincing as he struggles to defends Southworst (is he a shareholder)?

Baker was appointed Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the Department for Transport.
In 2013 he was quoted in saying that rail fares are "not that expensive" despite them having risen by more than 50 per cent in the past decade.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/road-and-rail-transport/9775309/New-rail-fares-not-as-expensive-as-they-seem-says-Norman-Baker.html


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Emberman on May 26, 2013, 02:30:15 PM


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Juninho on May 29, 2013, 09:07:12 AM
What happened to Embermans last post?

Was this a victim of the code upgrade?

I liked the 'letter' that he had linked to and wanted to show it to someone else at work (who also takes south west trains but from Haslemere).


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Juninho on July 09, 2013, 11:19:15 AM
Anyone else get caught up in the delays yesterday evening?

For once our line was not hit too bad (Hampton Court line)... but I am hearing nightmare stories from people who live in Norbiton/Kingston and Walton on Thames ...

Apparantly it was 'too hot' yesterday!!

Thats the first time I have heard that one? Were they short staff because of the good weather?



Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: nurseryparker on July 09, 2013, 11:45:31 AM
Was very slow and painfully hot on the one I got out of Waterloo (nominally the 6.36) and was 25 mins late to TD, although train had cooled by then as had speeded up after Clapham.

Problem was the stress on the rails from the heat (SWT said - presumably because Network rail told them - that rail temperature was 50 degrees C) which meant that to avoid damage but still run a service they had to run slow between Waterloo and Clapham.

Have some sympathy as we all know that rail line is very busy and the rail system in this country has to cope with extreme heat and extreme cold over the course of a year.  But the problem remains that a lack of investment in rail infrastructure over the last 30 years means we get more and more of these issues each year until they are able to get round to work on that section.  But the privatised companies (not network rail who just have very little money to make repairs) still make money...


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Juninho on July 09, 2013, 12:10:32 PM
Thats a fair point - its easy to criticize when we don't fully understand the situation.

That said we are actually quite fortunate in this country that we don't have quite the extremes that other European countries and for that matter a lot of American states have to deal with.

Then you could also say we are unique in terms of the sheer number of commuters but Tokyo is even more extreme (and have to deal with temperatures of up to 40 in the highs of summer!).

But you have nailed it - its down to the lack of investment over the last 30 years... and there is no short term solution...
Quote from: nurseryparker on July 09, 2013, 11:45:31 AM
Have some sympathy as we all know that rail line is very busy and the rail system in this country has to cope with extreme heat and extreme cold over the course of a year.  But the problem remains that a lack of investment in rail infrastructure over the last 30 years


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Emberman on July 10, 2013, 12:01:35 PM
I am afraid I have little patience with Network Rail and Southworst.  They make huge profits, pay their directors lavish salaries at the expense of their cashcow customers; do not invest in the system; while the government does nothing, and the minister for transport even defends Southworst.

I once received a email from Southworst making the excuse that they had no funds with which to run a half hourly service to Hampton Court from 20.30pm....


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Admin on July 10, 2013, 08:01:12 PM
One of the (then government's) aims in privatisations was that the private sector would invest in renewing the ageing British infrastructure.  That was naive.  They will not invest until they are forced to.  We see the same with the likes of Thames Water.  If they renewed the ageing pipework, they would save enough on leaks to meet forecast water requirements in their area.  But that is expensive, so they prefer to wait until leaks appear and patch the ageing pipes, while they extract revenue streams from householders which are inflation-proofed and then some on top, and call for householders to restrict consumption to offset the leaks.  And to enforce that, they want to get everyone required to switch to metered water.

I was just watching the FT correspondent in Holland commenting on how Mail privatisation had gone over there.  He emphasised that shareholder pressure had resulted in profitable parts being split off, and less profitable parts being run down.  This of course is the efficiency of the private sector - however, he noted that the social requirement to deliver mail within a reasonable time everywhere had gone by the board in this process.

The efficiency of the private sector when deployed on public services is the efficiency that extracts maximum value for shareholders at the expense of, rather than for the benefit of, the public.  The answer - pay your ever-increasing bills and buy shares in these companies to share in the profits...


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Juninho on July 16, 2013, 01:51:38 PM
Another hot day and another mare on trains... personally it was not as bad as other days but interested to hear of other experiences.

last nights issues were also down to hot tracks...

Apparantly we have not designed our rail infrastructure to cope with temps of above 25 degrees...
(i.e. summer)

or below 5 when the tracks are freezing / snow
(i.e. winter)

or when there are leaves
(i.e. autumn)

So we should be ok in spring right?


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Keith on August 13, 2013, 10:03:50 AM
So - RPI up 3.1% which means rail fares are likely to rise by 4.1% next January.  Stagecoach (SW Trains etc)shares  up 6.32% since last January.  Their annual report shows Earnings per share up 18.9% to 30.2p and divi up 10.3% .  From CEO's statement:

"A year ago, Stagecoach formed an alliance with Network Rail at South West Trains. How has that performed?
The alliance has delivered a huge amount in a short space of time.  We have put in place new processes, improved the management of the railway infrastructure and enhanced the train service. The efficiency of track maintenance work has increased by 25% and delay minutes per incident have reduced by 11%. We are more efficient, more joined up and more customer focused. The alliance set-up means we have far better insight into the condition of the infrastructure. It also means we have been able to look holistically at how we address the challenge of growth on the network, which is one of the busiest commuter railways in Europe. We are working on some
exciting plans for the future and are also set to introduce new carriages over the next six months or so to create space for thousands more peak time passengers. Our work over the past year shows we are at the forefront of new thinking and I’m convinced what we have learned will give us a competitive advantage in the future."



Customer satisfaction with SW Trains continues to slide (to "81%" however they estimate that)

Outlook statement 12 July: "...look forward to the next chapter of the Stagecoach journey with confidence"
Broker recommendations: 1 sell, 4 neutral, 1 buy, 2 strong buy.



Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Emberman on August 13, 2013, 10:40:42 AM
News items on the next rail fare rise:

Rail fares to rise by average of 4.1% in January 2014
Above-inflation increases, which could result in 9% rises for some passengers, are met with protests across country

http://www.theguardian.com/money/2013/aug/13/rail-fares-rise-january
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/high-inflation-means-rail-fares-will-rise-by-41-per-cent--and-91-per-cent-in-some-areas-8758530.html
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-23677173

The TUC and the Action for Rail campaign group are staging demonstrations at almost 50 stations, warning that the cost of train travel will have leapt by 40% in six years by January, far outstripping the rise in wages.

Is this something to ask Dominic Raab to take up, as so many of his constituents are train commuters ?


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Emberman on August 17, 2013, 09:26:48 PM
A Twitter analysis has revealed Southworst as Britain's most unpopular train operator - article below. 

This comes as no surprise....but will the government now place pressure on Southworst to improve their service and reduce their fares?

Britain's 'worst train operators' named by Twitter users
Britain’s worst train operators have been named and shamed by a study of complaints by passengers on Twitter. 

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/road-and-rail-transport/10244898/Britains-worst-train-operators-named-by-Twitter-users.html


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: mark.hawkins on August 20, 2013, 01:56:44 AM
Quote from: Emberman on August 13, 2013, 10:40:42 AM
News items on the next rail fare rise:

Rail fares to rise by average of 4.1% in January 2014
Above-inflation increases, which could result in 9% rises for some passengers, are met with protests across country

http://www.theguardian.com/money/2013/aug/13/rail-fares-rise-january
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/high-inflation-means-rail-fares-will-rise-by-41-per-cent--and-91-per-cent-in-some-areas-8758530.html
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-23677173

The TUC and the Action for Rail campaign group are staging demonstrations at almost 50 stations, warning that the cost of train travel will have leapt by 40% in six years by January, far outstripping the rise in wages.

Is this something to ask Dominic Raab to take up, as so many of his constituents are train commuters ?



Wrote to Dominic and the transport minister last year following the 2012 inflation busting rise. Got a sympathetic reply from the MP (but no further action). Nothing from the Minister as she was moved to DFiD


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Emberman on October 29, 2013, 08:47:18 AM
Southworst should surely have provided a replacement bus service from Thames Ditton to Surbiton yesterday: the first trains to Waterloo left Surbiton at 11am, yet the first train left Thames Ditton at 12.57 - two hours later. 

Effectively, Thames Ditton rail users were delayed by two hours - or incurred a taxi fare. 

Then trains were still disrupted at Waterloo at 6pm - ten hours after the storm abated. At least one commuter had no alternative but to take a train to Kingston.

Given the above inflation fare increases each January, surely Southworst can do better than this ?


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Cuboid on November 06, 2013, 04:47:58 PM
Its nice to see Network Rail finally invest some money in Thames Ditton for a change. Seem to be repointing the railway bridge & removing those ghastly buddlea bushes growing out of the brickwork. Hopefully they will also remove that unsightly decapitated wooden telegraph pole adjacent to the bridge support whilst they are at it!!! Be nice if they could develop some sort of planting scheme for the station entrance & exit verges rather than looking at scrub/weeds. Is that too much to ask......


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Juninho on November 06, 2013, 05:10:19 PM
Sadly probably is...

As a slight tangent-  does anyone know who put together the wheel barrows (and maintained them) on our platform?

Quote from: Cuboid on November 06, 2013, 04:47:58 PM
Is that too much to ask......


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Ratty on November 06, 2013, 06:15:21 PM
The wheelbarrows were an initiative by the much missed Ron Cox.

I recently sprinkled poppy seeds on the exit verges which may spring forth next year and add some colour with a bit of luck.


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Juninho on November 08, 2013, 10:26:14 AM
Hope so too re: teh poppy seeds.

The wheelbarrows -> lovely initiative... hmmm I have an idea!

Ratty I will pm you to get your thoughts on my idea (before starting any discussion on it here)!
Quote from: Ratty on November 06, 2013, 06:15:21 PM
The wheelbarrows were an initiative by the much missed Ron Cox.

I recently sprinkled poppy seeds on the exit verges which may spring forth next year and add some colour with a bit of luck.


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Juninho on November 11, 2013, 10:49:47 AM
Right - my idea was that we could between a few residents 'adopt' a wheel barrow each.

BUT - no need!

I went to the station on Saturday (I generally use Surbiton weekdays) - and spoke to Ali and the SW trains station master on the day (not our usual one) to get the low down on what was happening with the wheel barrows:

Lucy of Lucy's Shed (based at Hampton Court station) has taken them on and is going to replant them all for Spring.

I believe she was approached by SW trains and has taken them on. She will get some advertising out of it (I assume put the name on the barrows) but I think she is doing it more as a project and well because she can!

So I for one am grateful and look forward to seeing the new barrows in Spring!

We have a wonderful florist in our own village but I will also try and buy some flowers from there from time to time as my own thanks !

Ratty - still very impressed with your initiative on the poppy seeds so look forward to seeing if they grow!


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Ratty on November 11, 2013, 01:31:28 PM
Thanks, and that great news about the wheelbarrows.


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Emberman on December 29, 2013, 05:05:19 PM
There was further disruption to the train service on Christmas Eve, and also in the days before that, one occasion residents could only catch a train to Kingston, then walk back to Thames Ditton.

Supposing the Southworst franchise was removed from Stagecoach and became a partnership owned by the passengers who could purchase shares in the company ?  Rather like the John Lewis model ?   

That way, the priority would be a more reliable and a more frequent service, as ticket revenue would be ploughed back, rather than swelling the massive profits Southworst, its parent company Stagecoach, owned by Brian Souter make.  (Both he and his sister have bought Scottish castles - nothing wrong with that in itself - but it shouldn't be at our expense in terms of rocketing ticket prices and a deteriorating service,

Just a thought !


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: midibob on December 29, 2013, 06:24:01 PM
This all reminds me somewhat of the Titfield Thunderbolt, which I watched this afternoon.
Now that's the way to run a railway but unfortunately for us we're stuck with the present incumbent.

Midibob


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Emberman on January 17, 2014, 08:10:23 PM
On Tuesday morning there were only four coaches on the 7.56 train to Waterloo.  No-one could board on intermediate stations, and the train ran late, resulting in a missed appointment. There was no explanation and no apology. 

Southworst is clearly not fit for purpose - one can only speculate as to why the government does not remove its franchise ?


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Redders on January 17, 2014, 11:44:48 PM
I let that one go on Tuesday at Surbiton as it was packed and went to Waterloo and back out to Clapham.

I use the train for work a lot during the week, and if I'm honest SWT are better (but still poor), than Southern, South Eastern and First Capital connect. I can guarantee that during a trip when I need to take 2 connecting services one provider will be late especially this time of the year.


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Keith on January 18, 2014, 12:08:02 PM
Trains not working at all this morning (Sat)....roadworks at Winter's bridge....Surbiton station forecourt closed for works....potholes everywhere....should have stayed in again!


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Juninho on January 19, 2014, 10:03:18 AM
When we first starting looking at where to live (outside the tube!) one big factor was the train service and in my research south west + waterloo was definitely better than some of the southern services + London bridge... First capital connect in particular was woeful on my 'trial runs'.

So I agree with Redders that south west are indeed better than some of their rival train companies.

But that said - in my four years living in td my feeling is that the service has gotten worse and communication is pretty woeful. With constant technological improvements one aspect I expect to improve is communication.

I have an app that tells me live departure times and when all is working - it's amazing. The problem is when things start going wrong it falls apart - in fact I have made decisions based on what the app, plus website etc have said that have turned out worse than no information at all.

And why do we all as commuters get the umph? It's because each year we pay for above inflation fare rises for a decreasingingly poor service...


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Emberman on January 19, 2014, 06:16:57 PM
Also wondering when 12 coach trains will be provided - the platforms have been lengthened, but we still only get 8 coach trains (or 4 if unlucky...)

There used to be three trains an hour in the morning peak period, and two trains an hour during the evening.   Now it is two and one respectively, and yet the fares have gone up way above inflation.

5% goes in profit - perhaps so Brian Souter and his sister Ann Gloag, (who jointly own SW Trains), can save up to buy themselves another castle in Scotland (they own one each).   Surely the 5% would be better invested on improving the service and reducing the fares we pay ?


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: craigvmax on January 20, 2014, 09:25:46 AM
i've just found since moving offices to the city that whenever I need to take the train rather than driving I always without exception have some sort of an issue on the outward or return journey which delays me. Just shouldnt be like that.


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Juninho on January 20, 2014, 09:34:05 AM
Its part of the fun that makes life interesting as a commuter.

The thing is - I have read all the reasons/excuses but the fact is we pay more for our rail than say for example Germany where not only is it better run, more efficient - its also a lot cheaper.

The fact is - privatisation has not resulted in a better service... at least not for commuters to London.

And the gov't has not really won out as we are still subsidising the rail companies massively.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-19914219

Quote from: craigvmax on January 20, 2014, 09:25:46 AM
i've just found since moving offices to the city that whenever I need to take the train rather than driving I always without exception have some sort of an issue on the outward or return journey which delays me. Just shouldnt be like that.


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Emberman on January 20, 2014, 09:28:25 PM
Chaos on the trains again this evening with half hour delays etc. Keep writing to Dominic Raab - the solution is in the hands of his party....


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: peter on January 20, 2014, 10:28:50 PM
Really does seem like they've been having multiple problems of late.  Tonight a broken train at Surbiton was causing chaos.  As Keith mentions, the weekend service was awful with no trains running - that coupled with the roadworks and the potholes makes it difficult to get anywhere.  And then last week, multiple delays due to signalling problems at Waterloo.  We need a better service to Thames Ditton - more frequent trains - they can't even manage the current service.


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Juninho on January 21, 2014, 08:01:15 AM
Yeah wishful thinking of 12 coaches- I am on the 7:55 on cattle class as they only have 4 coaches today.

Should've cycled to surbiton... Again if there was information to this effect I could have done this (as do so most mornings )- though why I should have to use a station further from my house just because the service to
Thames Ditton is so poor is another question.



Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Keith on January 21, 2014, 08:09:20 AM
I have always thought that the service on our branch line was not very profitable for the operator.  Indeed the viability of TD station might be marginal (something that worries me in the background of residents' desires to restrict or prevent parking for the station).  So I was encouraged when the platform extension plans were put forward - but still unsurprised that TD seems low down among the operator's priorities.


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Juninho on January 21, 2014, 09:08:10 AM
I 'tweeted' (check me out!!) to have a moan about the reduced carriages even though the web said 'good service'.

SW Trains actually responded!

Their response...

An apology? no...
An excuse/reason for the shortened carriages? oh no not at all
A 'circumstances outside of our control' type message? no chance

No - in fact their response was that shortened carriages does NOT count as service disruption so all ok as far as they are concerned.

Wow


I am pretty sure people were not even able to get on at TD and definately not at Surbiton/Berrylands... but as far as South West trains are concerned this is just fine and dandy.

What next? They will start running a one coach train and count that as a 'good service'.

The mind boggles.


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: craigvmax on January 21, 2014, 09:27:30 AM
was it any better today?


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Juninho on January 21, 2014, 09:32:45 AM
No today we had 4 coaches instead of 8 for the 7:55 peak  (I think you missed my above post/rant!!)

I should've cycled to surbiton like I normally do but I fanciced just sitting down and reading some documents for 35 minutes

that'll teach me

had to change at surbiton to remove myself from the cattle class of a train that SW think is perfectly acceptable and a 'good service'

Quote from: craigvmax on January 21, 2014, 09:27:30 AM
was it any better today?


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: craigvmax on January 21, 2014, 09:33:44 AM
nightmare


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Keith on January 21, 2014, 12:34:00 PM
Maybe if many others tweet and FB on the SWT pages they'll remember their hollow pledges about customer care.  If a train that is normally 8 cars runs without enough space for the regular no of passengers wanting to catch it, as per timetable, that is surely a disruption of service!


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Juninho on January 21, 2014, 12:46:23 PM
I could not agree more...

what next? a one car train but that runs on time is a 'good service'... !

tbh the 8 coach train is no longer a 'good service' if on the second stop people cannot get seats...


Quote from: Keith on January 21, 2014, 12:34:00 PM
Maybe if many others tweet and FB on the SWT pages they'll remember their hollow pledges about customer care.  If a train that is normally 8 cars runs without enough space for the regular no of passengers wanting to catch it, as per timetable, that is surely a disruption of service!


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Emberman on January 21, 2014, 08:42:23 PM
It was hell on the four coach 07:56 this morning.  Between Surbiton and Wimbledon I was very tightly squashed between several other passengers.  It was unpleasant, and no doubt also transgresses health and safety rules.  It was impossible to read, or even browse or read messages on a mobile.

There was no explanation or apology.  Messages to Brian Souter, owner of Stagecoach, are left unanswered.

Why were the platforms lengthened for 12 coach trains ??

The government seems unable, or unwilling, to do anything about the appalling service passengers are obliged to endure.



Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: craigvmax on January 21, 2014, 08:58:06 PM
Sounds a very stressful start to the day, I decided to drive and It took forever!


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Juninho on January 21, 2014, 09:40:58 PM
Why do they need an apology- it's perfectly acceptable as far as south west are concerned and they told me such...

Good service my a!!!!
Quote from: Emberman on January 21, 2014, 08:42:23 PM
It was hell on the four coach 07:56 this morning.  Between Surbiton and Wimbledon I was very tightly squashed between several other passengers.  It was unpleasant, and no doubt also transgresses health and safety rules.  It was impossible to read, or even browse or read messages on a mobile.

There was no explanation or apology.   Messages to Brian Souter, owner of Stagecoach, are left unanswered.

Why were the platforms lengthened for 12 coach trains ??

The government seems unable, or unwilling, to do anything about the appalling service passengers are obliged to endure.




Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: craigvmax on January 22, 2014, 05:13:05 PM
were trains any better today? Might have to train it tomorrow


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Juninho on January 22, 2014, 07:29:18 PM
I don't know about td trains - I cycled to Surbiton this morning do took the train from there (and back) - no issues.
Quote from: craigvmax on January 22, 2014, 05:13:05 PM
were trains any better today? Might have to train it tomorrow


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: craigvmax on January 23, 2014, 08:57:11 AM
took train today, horrendous


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Juninho on January 23, 2014, 09:13:38 AM
Yeah I was at Surbiton to take the 8:08 fast and only barely got on that...

the TD train was 9 minutes late to Surbiton alone and looked pretty busy from Surbiton onwards.

Welcome to our world of pain craig...


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: craigvmax on January 23, 2014, 09:14:12 AM
I got off the slow train to change to the fast one at 7.38, then they cancelled it, arrrgh!


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Juninho on January 23, 2014, 09:24:57 AM
Ah that would explain why it was so busy on the platform.
Quote from: craigvmax on January 23, 2014, 09:14:12 AM
I got off the slow train to change to the fast one at 7.38, then they cancelled it, arrrgh!


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: craigvmax on January 23, 2014, 09:42:47 AM
yup then the train was utterly rammed


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Ratty on January 23, 2014, 09:47:02 AM
Quote from: Juninho on January 22, 2014, 07:29:18 PM
I don't know about td trains - I cycled to Surbiton this morning do took the train from there (and back) - no issues.


Yesterday I bumped into another Dittonite at Surbiton station who like me had driven there and parked rather than risk travelling from and to TD station. It's a sad reflection when driving to the next town and paying for parking is more convenient than using the local station within walking distance.


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: craigvmax on January 23, 2014, 09:50:06 AM
agreed


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: peter on January 23, 2014, 09:57:34 AM
To be honest, I've pretty much given up on traveling from TD station too.  The service is so infrequent and unreliable that it's just not worth it.  I really wish they'd improve it.


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: peter on January 23, 2014, 10:00:55 AM
This Sunday, there is maintenance work being carried out and this time in our line's favour - we actually have a regular 15 minute service (assuming no delays).  Oh to have this all the time!!!


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Juninho on January 23, 2014, 12:43:23 PM
ah a one off I take it?

where do you see this though? I just checked the south west website and I can't fnd out this info - hmm probably an issue with me really!!

Quote from: peter on January 23, 2014, 10:00:55 AM
This Sunday, there is maintenance work being carried out and this time in our line's favour - we actually have a regular 15 minute service (assuming no delays).  Oh to have this all the time!!!


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: peter on January 23, 2014, 01:52:23 PM
Alas just a one-off.  Difficult to find on their website - you have to click engineering, then January Summary and scroll down.

Here is the timetable URL for Sunday:  http://www.southwesttrains.co.uk/uploads/140126hcourt.pdf


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Dictun Mearc on January 31, 2014, 04:05:10 PM
Looks like the trains are looking dire again today, with 'Major disruption on most South West Trains routes"

http://www.southwesttrains.co.uk

With the apocalyptic rain forecast for this evening as well, it's not looking good for getting home......


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Juninho on January 31, 2014, 04:58:40 PM
It was fun and games this morning.

Fire at raynes park I believe - shuttle to surbiton and good luck getting on a train there...


finally got on one - and then held outside waterloo for 15 minutes becuase of signalling problems

and ... then the guard also mention 'oh and i think we have had a person under teh track somewhere'.

Edit to add - hit by all today: "We have had a number of incident affecting the train service today including a person hit by a train at Putney, a line side fire near Wimbledon, a customer incident at Motspur Park and a problem with the signalling at Salisbury."




Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: midibob on January 31, 2014, 07:08:38 PM
I can just imagine Reggie Perrin telling all this to Joan!!

Seriously though you have my sympathy. Glad I don't have to do it any more.

Midibob


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Emberman on January 31, 2014, 11:25:02 PM
Trains chaotic again today - shuttle to Surbiton, then trains to London slow and very crowded; missed appointment as a result.

All apparently due to a small lineside fire out of this area - not sure why the Thames Ditton service was changed to a shuttle ?

Then multiple cancellations on the way home - was told 17.05 running, then it was announced it would be 25 minutes late.  I just gave up at Surbiton and accepted a shared taxi to Thames Ditton.

Southworst is simply not fit for purpose.

As passengers, we seem powerless to bring about any improvement - perhaps the appalling 'service' is just something we will have to put up with - at least until a change of government ?


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Juninho on February 03, 2014, 11:45:00 AM
And no warning and another short carriage on the 7:56 peak time shuttle train this morning (only four carriages).

I make that twice in two weeks teh 7:56 has been a 4 carriage vs 8 carriage train...

Is it really in the terms of their 'agreement' that a shortened carriage train does not count as a disruption to the service?

The mind boggles...

when I first moved into TD - there was talk of the 8 coach train becoming a 12 one... at the moment we should consider ourselves lucky if we get teh scheduled 8 coach train...


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Emberman on February 03, 2014, 06:26:33 PM
I think we have collectively complained to southworst and written to our mp Dominic Raab.  However both with no discernable effect.  If anything, the 'service' is deteriorating further (if such a thing were possible!)

Does anyone have a suggestion for what we *could* do to bring about an improvement ?


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Juninho on February 04, 2014, 10:34:02 AM
To be fair to Dominic Raab - he has been raising this as an issue:

http://www.theyworkforyou.com/whall/?id=2013-03-19a.215.0

Reading the above his arguments are well presented. Not sure I agree with the 'response' and the closign of the debate but there you go.



If anyone has any suggestions - I am all ears.


Quote from: Emberman on February 03, 2014, 06:26:33 PM
I think we have collectively complained to southworst and written to our mp Dominic Raab.   However both with no discernable effect.  If anything, the 'service' is deteriorating further (if such a thing were possible!)

Does anyone have a suggestion for what we *could* do to bring about an improvement ?


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Emberman on February 04, 2014, 08:51:21 PM
Dominic Raab did organise a debate on the train service in March 2013, but nearly a year later, there has still been no improvement - if anything the service has unfortunately deteriorated further.


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Juninho on February 09, 2014, 09:04:14 AM
Just looked at the timetable and they are running loads of trains today from td... Four an hour as far as I can tell.

Oh if only we could get this all the time ...


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: peter on February 10, 2014, 03:26:43 PM
Quote from: Juninho on February 09, 2014, 09:04:14 AM
Just looked at the timetable and they are running loads of trains today from td... Four an hour as far as I can tell.

Oh if only we could get this all the time ...


The same happened a few weekends ago - due to maintenance.  Was yesterday's also due to maintenance? 
Or could they be testing out a decent service timetable - imagine - a regular daily every-15 minute service into London!!  That's what we need in my opinion (plus improved bus service to Kingston).



Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Cuboid on February 10, 2014, 03:34:31 PM
Is it possible to petition TfL to get TD serviced with a regular oyster card accepting London bus to Kingston - all our other neighbours have this service (HWood/Esher/Claygate/Hampton Court) but yet again we are overlooked of such a crucial link.


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Juninho on February 10, 2014, 04:47:23 PM
No such luck I am afriad - I spoke to the conductor and she said it was also due to maintenance on other lines they had put on additional services on our line.

4 trains an hour? One can only dream of such luxuries!


Quote from: peter on February 10, 2014, 03:26:43 PM
Quote from: Juninho on February 09, 2014, 09:04:14 AM
Just looked at the timetable and they are running loads of trains today from td... Four an hour as far as I can tell.

Oh if only we could get this all the time ...


The same happened a few weekends ago - due to maintenance.  Was yesterday's also due to maintenance? 
Or could they be testing out a decent service timetable - imagine - a regular daily every-15 minute service into London!!  That's what we need in my opinion (plus improved bus service to Kingston).




Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Juninho on February 10, 2014, 05:23:17 PM
Yes and it would also be nice if our season tickets were valid on these buses when we don't have trains and have to take local buses to Kingston/Surbiton!

putting them in the Oyster framework would mean this as well...
Quote from: Cuboid on February 10, 2014, 03:34:31 PM
Is it possible to petition TfL to get TD serviced with a regular oyster card accepting London bus to Kingston - all our other neighbours have this service (HWood/Esher/Claygate/Hampton Court) but yet again we are overlooked of such a crucial link.


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Ratty on March 05, 2014, 01:22:52 PM
More than 4.5m passengers were recorded entering Surbiton, the busiest station, in 2012/13, up more than 200,000 from the year before. (http://www.surreycomet.co.uk/news/11049845.Hundreds_of_thousands_more_passengers_on_trains_at_Kingston_and_Surbiton/?ref=mry)

Even when they add carriages to make use of the extended platform at TD it looks like it's still going to get crammed.


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Juninho on March 05, 2014, 02:32:10 PM
For a while now -> not everyone can get a seat on the 7:26 and the 7:56 @TD, i.e. the second station on the line.

I can think of one quick fix solution that would not require the infrastructure investment that is required for the extended platform: an additional 'fast' service - i.e. one that runs between the above trains and that will run fast from Surbiton to Waterloo.

I've read on here that such a train existed...!

This would ease the load on the 7:26 and the 7:56 and be another fast service from Surbiton to hanlde the ever growing passengers. Easing the 7:26/7:56 would help people trying to get on at Berrylands, New Malden, etc

The question is - is there space on the lines/ space at Waterloo for such an additional service ?

Quote from: Ratty on March 05, 2014, 01:22:52 PM
More than 4.5m passengers were recorded entering Surbiton, the busiest station, in 2012/13, up more than 200,000 from the year before. (http://www.surreycomet.co.uk/news/11049845.Hundreds_of_thousands_more_passengers_on_trains_at_Kingston_and_Surbiton/?ref=mry)

Even when they add carriages to make use of the extended platform at TD it looks like it's still going to get crammed.


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Emberman on March 24, 2014, 06:52:45 AM
I was taken aback to see that doing something about local public transport is neither one of Dominic Raab's priorities or campaigns. 

Do others feel it should be, as the franchise agreement is between Southworst and the government?  Shouldn't he be representing the interests of his constituents and be trying to improve the quality of life in his constituency?
 
http://www.dominicraab.com


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Ratty on March 24, 2014, 09:50:41 AM
Doing so definitely worked in neighbouring Ed Davey's favour.


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: peter on March 24, 2014, 10:53:47 AM
I sometimes wonder if we'd get better transport and Council services if we were part of Kingston Borough. 


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Redders on March 24, 2014, 12:39:32 PM
Agree to that! RBK get it better it some ways.


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Emberman on March 24, 2014, 07:20:45 PM
Suprising that Dominic Raab does not list improving public transport in his list of priorities or campaigns. 

This should be a priority campaign, in view of Southworsts disgraceful track record, and as the problem is mainly a weak franchise agreement between Southworst and the government? 

Surely Raab should be representing the interests of his constituents, and be improving the quality of life in his constituency? Has anything actually improved since he was chosen to become our MP ?
 
http://www.dominicraab.com


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Emberman on March 27, 2014, 11:24:03 PM
Surprising that Dominic Raab does not include improving local public transport in his list of priorities and campaigns. 

This should be a priority in view of Southworsts disgraceful 'service', and as the root of the problem is the weak franchise agreement between Southworst and the Dft ? 
 
http://www.dominicraab.com



Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Juninho on March 28, 2014, 10:50:07 AM
I've read through his website now - and much as trains are a big issue for myself personally I can't say I believe that they should be higher than his current quoted local 'priorities'. As we know he has attempted discussion (I posted a link in this thread) - and he is also a commuter himself so this is an issue that he is aware of.

It would be great if we could get him to add this issue to his list (albeit not ahead of any of the ones that he lists in his website).

BUT the question really - is what can we ask him to do? Its all well and good to make it a 'priority' but whats the point if his hands are tied?

The agreement with the rail companies was done under a different government and SW Trains covers more than just our constituency.

If you read this:
http://www.theyworkforyou.com/whall/?id=2013-03-19a.215.0

He has raised the trains as an issue in parliment but to little avail.

In the above the key question to me is this - he asks:
"What levers do the Government have under the franchise agreement to press South West Trains to do more to improve the quality of the service and value for money for customers?"

And there is a lot of rhetoric but Norman Baker does effectively answer the question with this:
"Obviously, nearly all the franchises were let under the previous Government so, in a sense, we inherited the arrangements that apply to the various franchises across the country, and they cannot be unpicked during the period of a franchise."

Its buck passing at its best by blaming the previous government but the sense I get is that very much the hands are tied unless we can prove that SW Trains are underperformign to the terms of their agreement.

Personally I have to say I don't think raising this with Dom is going to solve any of our problems. I speak to other people who commute and by all accounts its not just SW Trains thats an issue.

Our rail network infrastructure is suffering from decades of under investment and its becoming apparent that privatisation has not brought about the efficiencies and improvements it was meant to. The whole way the network was divided with Network Rail owning the tracks in hindsight looks to be a poor decision from the get go. It may be working ... but barely.

As taxpayers we still subsidise the train companies - yet they are making profits. In fact adding insult to injury - we are paying more year on year with above inflation rises for for a poorer service.

The answer to me is not just targetting SW trains but to completely re-align it all and make it a service once again run by the govt.

That is no easy task, would take years and would be very costly but call me pessimistic but I just cannot see a way out other than that.

Or we wait until the franchise agreement for SW trains - if I read this document that is not until Feb 2017... Thats a long wait and even if it was renegotiated then with much stricter terms it would be years before we would see an improvement.
https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/182167/sswt-franchise-agreement.pdf

All depressing stuff... !

I just hope my train is on time this evening !


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Emberman on April 02, 2014, 01:00:23 AM
But surely there's something to be done ?  I was waiting for the Thames Ditton train at Surbiton a couple of weeks ago when it was announced, at the moment it was due, as cancelled (no reason given).    That took away half an hour of passengers' evening, and effectively reduced our service to once-an-hour.

Even with a weak franchise agreement, aren't Southworst in breach of their contract to provide a decent level of service.  And if Dominic can't do anything, who can ?

Incidentally, he thinks the solution is not nationalisation, but private investment (where is it?)  I fear mistaken political ideology is getting in the way of a simple, practical solution.

As Juninho mentions, the service is getting worse, but the fares are rising above inflation.  Perhaps Michael Gove should become transport minister and put the operators on performance related pay  (a frivolous suggestion..)  I listened to Dominic's debate - Norman Baker was actually defending Brian Suter (owner of Southworst and two Scottish castles) and saying he has invested in the trains.

So rather than blaming it on Labour - the Tories seem to have a cosy relationship with Southworst's owners.

Suggestions, please


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: peter on April 02, 2014, 10:37:54 AM
I had a quick read through the franchise document and it does make depressing reading.  Surely, there is a way to make changes to the agreement?   Whatever 'base capacity' was initially agreed to is woefully inadequate today.  There are many on the morning peak services who don't get a seat and at Thames Ditton station.  When the service reaches Surbiton, it is packed.  This morning, there were long queues for the one ticket machine and manned booth - some probably didn't manage to get a ticket.  The evening service is a joke, especially reducing to 1 train per hour. 

There was this campaign a while ago by Andrew Dillon – not sure if he posts on this forum but we could get an update on where he got with it?  His ePetition raised 432 signatures and from what I gather, Dominic Raab was going to raise it.  Links are here:
http://www.esherwalton.com/sites/www.esherwalton.com/files/moleseynews-apr13-4.pdf[/url]
[url]http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/44734[/url]
[url]http://moleseyresidentsassociation.org.uk/news/public-transport-services-in-molesey-sign-the-petition[/url]

There is also this from Councillor Mike Axton on transport:
[url]http://www.elmbridge.gov.uk/cwcouncillor/mikeaxton/priorities.htm

I would imagine that there must be a way for the Department for Transport to arrange for changes to be made to the franchise agreement.  Due to its proximity to Surbiton, adding extra service on the Hampton Court line would help alleviate overcrowding at Surbiton and further along the line and HC makes an ideal place to quickly turn around the trains.  I would like to see a 4 train per hour service in each direction on the Hampton Court line throughout the day and including weekends (ideally some services fast/semi-fast) – there would be more uptake in customers if the service levels improved.  I also would like to see an improved frequent bus service to Kingston from TD along the Portsmouth Road which would hopefully reduce the need for so many car journeys.

Perhaps TDWG residents association, Molesey residents association, Andrew Dillon, Mike Axton, Dominic Raab, plus other interested parties (e.g. Hampton Court Palace, local business groups) could come together to lobby the DfT to make changes to improve transport for our area?


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Juninho on April 02, 2014, 11:09:23 AM
Great posts peter and Emberman and I agree completely.


In fact Peter I would take it one step further re: "there would be more uptake in customers if the service levels improved"

I would actually argue that the number of passengers that currently use it are sufficient to justify the extra service.

The problem is - we are all tied in that we all have to buy train tickets so most of us just shuffle on... SW trains would only see a limited increase in number of passengers I would say but at a cost of twice the number of trains.

Even if we could just get an increased service around peak times and off peak 2 trains an hour (rather than the one)...

When are we expecting the 12 coach trains?


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Ratty on April 03, 2014, 05:34:08 PM
Surbiton station set to become cycling superhub (http://www.surbiton.com/news/surbiton-station-become-cycling-superhub). Two major station superhubs are proposed, the largest (2,000 spaces) at Surbiton and a smaller centre at Kingston station (400 spaces).

I guess this should be seen as a good thing, but it will mean less parking available for cars in Surbiton which may knock on to TD becoming an increasingly viable alternative station for commuters who begin their journey by car.


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Cuboid on April 25, 2014, 09:04:40 AM
Juniho - a while back you posted that Lucy of Lucy's Shed (based at Hampton Court station) was going to replant the wheelbarrows on the platforms for Spring. Has there been any development with this as no evidence to date......



Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Juninho on April 25, 2014, 09:36:09 AM
Excellent reminder thanks Cuboid. Funnily enough I was thinking something similar a few weeks ago.

I actually spoke to her and she said she was going to do them in the spring... so hopefully soon?

Hmm - I reckon next time I'm at Hampton Court I might subtly mention it and drop in!

If she is perhaps no longer interested then I would not mind revising my original plan to see if we can find an 'adopter' for each barrow to look after them?

Based on secret gardens and the queens road hanging basket competition there are no shortage of green fingers in our village!!
Quote from: Cuboid on April 25, 2014, 09:04:40 AM
Juniho - a while back you posted that Lucy of Lucy's Shed (based at Hampton Court station) was going to replant the wheelbarrows on the platforms for Spring. Has there been any development with this as no evidence to date......




Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Juninho on April 28, 2014, 01:28:51 PM
Update: I didn't bother them but i saw some people on the platform with orange vests tinkering with the barrows... I had to rush to the train this morning but I wonder if they have been taken for replanting?

Hope so!


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Ratty on April 29, 2014, 09:32:33 AM
I think one may have been taken away. Perhaps they were doing a risk assessment  ::)


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Juninho on April 29, 2014, 09:46:45 AM
Haha ! they spent ages on one!! Perhaps they could not get the others off?
Quote from: Ratty on April 29, 2014, 09:32:33 AM
I think one may have been taken away. Perhaps they were doing a risk assessment  ::)


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Emberman on May 04, 2014, 09:27:00 PM
Interesting article about nationalising the trains here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-27273672

Rather than waiting for the franchise with Southworst to run its course, why not simply scrap it, as it is not fulfilling its purpose of providing an efficient public transport system ?


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Emberman on June 13, 2014, 08:17:51 AM
The 7.56 and 8.26 trains to Waterloo have both both been cancelled this morning - no replacement bus service provided, so making all of us one hour late for work.  The government's response: Southwest Trains' Franchise Agreement has several years to run. 

So they consider letting a weak contract run its wretched course is more important than meeting voters' needs for an efficient and cost-effective public transport system ?

This is a similar situation to the Surrey road contractor, who appears to have a cosy relationship with Surrey County Council: what other reason could there be to employ an incompetent contractor.  The massive increase the Surrey tory councillors have just awarded themselves could surely have been spent on proper road maintenance.


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Ratty on June 26, 2014, 02:41:26 PM
Quote from: Cuboid on April 25, 2014, 09:04:40 AM
Juniho - a while back you posted that Lucy of Lucy's Shed (based at Hampton Court station) was going to replant the wheelbarrows on the platforms for Spring. Has there been any development with this as no evidence to date......


Great to see that SW Trains have taken up the challenge and replanted the wheel barrows themselves.

My poppies don't seem to have made an appearance on the banks though - perhaps next year.


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Juninho on June 27, 2014, 10:50:56 PM
Ah I'll need to have a look. Does that mean Lucy's she'd never bothered?

If so perhaps I should revive my original idea of finding 'adopters' for each barrow?

Hmm


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Juninho on June 30, 2014, 10:42:11 PM
I missed the 21:36 train at Waterloo so jumped on the fast 22:42 which is timetabled to catch up the former by 3 minutes. It's not ideal but I sometimes need this buffer.

This evening the 22:42 train was 2 minutes and 30 seconds late to arrive at Surbiton.

I jumped off the train only to have the Thames Ditton train doors close.

Look up at the clock and it read 22:04:40. So the train closed it's doors at I would guess bang on 30 seconds early.

Now I know it's in the policy that a train can leave 30 seconds early...

But sw trains run one train an hour and lots of peopel use the fast as a buffer. I counted at least 2
others on my side and who knows how many others. Conservatively I would estimate at least 10 people suffered as I did.

Frankly it's ridiculous and shows absolutely no
common sense at all when the fast train was 2 minutes and 30 seconds
late and pulling in at the time the driver and/or the guard made the decision to leave.

I know those 20 seconds can be made up as well...

Absolutely ridiculous ... And faced with an hour wait I took a taxi.

Thanks for nothing southwest trains.


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: peter on June 30, 2014, 10:55:46 PM
Crazy - you would think common sense would prevail.

Check out http://www.southwesttrains.co.uk/uploads/passengerforum-20may2014final%5B0%5D.pdf

Page 30 from May 2014 passenger forum:
Hampton Court trains half hourly after 2000, what options are there to increase the services?
o We are actively looking at this proposal.

I have emailed them for an update but got no reply.  Feel free to email them too.

We should have a half hourly service in the evenings.


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Juninho on July 01, 2014, 09:36:15 PM
I agree ... I was under the misguided illusion that we effectively had a quasi 2 trains an hour, ie 36 and 42 service but as that cannot be relied upon now I will happily help campaign for a better service.

Both my train in and home this morning were late...
Quote from: peter on June 30, 2014, 10:55:46 PM
Crazy - you would think common sense would prevail.

Check out http://www.southwesttrains.co.uk/uploads/passengerforum-20may2014final%5B0%5D.pdf

Page 30 from May 2014 passenger forum:
Hampton Court trains half hourly after 2000, what options are there to increase the services?
o We are actively looking at this proposal.

I have emailed them for an update but got no reply.  Feel free to email them too.

We should have a half hourly service in the evenings.


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Emberman on July 01, 2014, 10:25:24 PM
At Earls Court District Line station no stationary train is allowed to close its doors until passengers changing from an arriving train have disembarked and boarded the stationary train.

Clearly the same should apply at Surbiton to enable passengers to change from the express to the Hampton Court train - even if the express is a little late. 
Express in-train announcements request passengers to change at Surbiton for Hampton Court, so it is nonsense to prevent them from doing so by closing the doors prematurely.  Yet again Southworst put profit before service by giving a higher priority to avoiding a fine for late running, than to providing a decent service for passengers.   

Another reason why the franchise should be removed from Southworst immediately !


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Emberman on July 08, 2014, 10:18:11 PM
Southworst cancelled the peak time 07.56 train this morning.  The next train was packed and stiflingly hot...how long must commuters endure these conditions? 


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Deborah on July 10, 2014, 09:45:19 PM
Well my 23 mile trip to Horley took 2 hours 40 minutes this morning. I went to Hampton Court, changed at Surbiton, Raynes Park, Clapham Junction, Redhill and then Horley. It started of with the cafe owner and the ticket seller disagreeing about which platform to stand on. As a result about 40 of us went to Hampton Court only to watch a train pull onto a closed platform. The cafe owner was right!


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: peter on July 11, 2014, 08:38:04 AM
Ouch!  That's bad.  I was also caught up in yesterday's chaos - took ages to get to work.  I really think they need to revise their emergency plan - our line always gets sacrificed and the shuttle services seem to take a while to get started and there is always a lack of information about when trains will run or from which platform.

Speaking of trains running or not from Thames Ditton, my favourite subject  ;), I have noticed that during the Hampton Court Flower show, there are up to 4 trains per hour going to Hampton Court in the morning and returning in the evening.  Whenever I have enquired from South West Trains Customer Services about extra regular trains on our line, I have been told there is no line capacity - I have checked today and there are no cancelled trains on their network (so far) so clearly, line capacity can be found as can extra train stock when it is needed.  2 of the 4 trains run fast to Surbiton.  Wouldn't it be great to have a more regular service from our station?  Great for commuters - great for visitors to the palace and other attractions of our area.

Here's a small sample - imagine this on a regular basis or even at very least covering key rush hour times..:
WAT        THD
11:06      11:39  (33m)     (there is also the fast 11:12 train if you missed this one with a change at SUR)
11:25      11:51  (26m)    - fast to Surbiton
11:36      12:09  (33m)    (there is also the fast 11:42 train if you missed this one with a change at SUR)
11:55      12:21  (26m)    - fast to Surbiton

THD        WAT
16:11      16:45   (34m) 
16:26      17:01   (35m)    (can change at SUR for a faster arrival to WAT)
16:39      17:19   (40m)
16:56      17:31   (35m)     (can change at SUR for a faster arrival to WAT)


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: speerroadres on July 11, 2014, 09:53:29 AM
You would think we lived in the sticks wouldn't you?  How many other stations in the Zones areas have their trains cut down to one an hour after 8?  I can't begin to even estimate how much money over the years we have spent on taxis, or turned out for car pick ups at Surbiton, Hinchley Wood or Esher. It puts you off doing anything in London in the evening.. They may say that the service is not cost effective, but they should at least give it a trial, because if the service was half hourly, there would be more people staying out late in London.  I guess the only people that would affect would be the taxi rank at Surbiton who charge extortionate prices.

As a sidebar to this issue, it would be lovely if SouthWest trains offered a cut price day return to London at the weekend, that would encourage more users on the service.. and another sidebar.. I know we live in a healthy and safety world, but does anyone out there think that SWT shut the level crossing for way too long?  It is frustrating as a pedestrian walking to work to be held up there for 5 minutes whilst we wait for a half empty train to dawdle through..

On a positive note though, when we first moved here 25 years ago the service was so appalling that we contemplated moving again.. at least on the whole it is reliable these days, aside the odd blip.


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Emberman on August 05, 2014, 12:51:32 PM
The most effective way to bring about improvement on our train service is to write to Dominic Raab, Esher and Walton MP.  He will be supportive, and only the government can resolve matters, as the nub of the problem is a very weak franchise agreement, heavily in the train operators' favour, which was drawn up by the DfT.    Since the agreement is clearly not in the public interest, the government should  terminate it forthwith.

A once an hour hour service from London from 8:40pm onwards is simply not acceptable on a busy suburban service close to London. 

The Thames Ditton trains are  the first to be cancelled when there are problems elsewhere on the network.  When a shuttle service from Hampton Court to Surbiton is imposed, it is then almost impossible to board a London bound train at Surbiton because they are so full.

The rolling stock on our line is antiquated and without air conditioning.  When asked, Southworst stated there is no reason to replace it, because it hasn't reached the end of its useful life.

This demonstrates Southworst is unresponsiveness to the needs of the passengers that pay for the 'service', and that the primary motivator is keeping costs to the minimum to generate maximum profit, not the standard of service provided to users.  


Replacement bus services: If only we had 'em.....   https://fbcdn-sphotos-c-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-prn1/t1.0-9/10526021_963888859695_1748486679402084215_n.jpg


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Emberman on August 05, 2014, 12:52:00 PM
The most effective way to bring about improvement on our train service is to write to Dominic Raab mp.  He will be supportive, and only the government can resolve matters, as the nub of the problem is a very weak franchise agreement, heavily in the train operators' favour, which was drawn up by the DfT.    Since the agreement is clearly not in the public interest, the government should  terminate it forthwith.

A once an hour hour service from London from 8:40pm onwards is simply not acceptable on a busy suburban service close to London. 

The Thames Ditton trains are  the first to be cancelled when there are problems elsewhere on the network.  When a shuttle service from Hampton Court to Surbiton is imposed, it is then almost impossible to board a London bound train at Surbiton because they are so full.

The rolling stock on our line is antiquated and without air conditioning.  When asked, Southworst stated there is no reason to replace it, because it hasn't reached the end of its useful life.

This demonstrates Southworst is unresponsive to the needs of the passengers that have no alternative but to pay and use their 'service'.

Southworst's primary consideration is to maximise their profit, at the expense of the quality of service they provide.

Overcrowding and stifling carriages, four coach trains during peak periods, delays, cancellations, shuttles are becoming more and more frequent.


Replacement bus services: If only we had 'em.....   https://fbcdn-sphotos-c-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-prn1/t1.0-9/10526021_963888859695_1748486679402084215_n.jpg


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Emberman on August 19, 2014, 01:00:18 PM
Misery for commuters as rail fares will rise by 5%

Rail fares in Britain will rise by as much as five per cent next year – or even higher on some routes, the Government will formally announce today.

The rise is set to take the overall increase in fares to around 24.7 per cent since 2010, leaving commuters dismayed at the rate far outstripping the comparative rise in wages.  (Wages have risen by only 7% since 2010 - many are currently frozen or even decreasing).

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/misery-for-commuters-as-rail-fares-will-rise-by-5-9677214.html?origin=internalSearch

The shadow transport secretary, Mary Creagh, said that Labour was still considering a pledge to fully freeze fares at inflation before the next election – although the party is reluctant to make spending commitments now.

Creagh said: "David Cameron has failed to stand up for working people struggling with the cost-of-living crisis. He's allowed train companies to sting passengers with inflation-busting fare rises of over 20%.

"We can't go on like this. The choice facing passengers is between fares rising another 24% by 2018 under the Tories, or a Labour government which will cap annual fares on every route and enact the biggest railway reforms since the Tories' botched privatisation, delivering a better deal for passengers and taxpayers."

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Dominic Raab voted very strongly against slowing the rise in rail fares:

voted against capping rail fare increases,
voted against capping annual rail fair increases at 1% above inflation and not to ban increases in excess of that limit.
voted against reducing public transport fares, and against reducing VAT on fuel to help motorists and boost the economy.
voted to allow individual rail fares to be increased by more than the amount of the Government's cap on average increases.

Source: http://www.theyworkforyou.com/mp/24815/dominic_raab/esher_and_walton/votes

BBC news item on the increases here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-28842633



Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Emberman on August 27, 2014, 09:31:11 AM
Bulletin from SW Trains this morning: "London Waterloo - Hampton Court services are not running. Passengers will need to use London Buses" - rather generalised - to which buses do they actually refer ??!


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Highways Contact on August 27, 2014, 02:40:46 PM
Trains seem to be running to TD but not stopping at some stations (Wim etc).


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Jack the Lad on September 09, 2014, 12:12:25 PM
Since February, I have been in correspondence with SW Trains about the speed coming into and out of Hampton Court, which is too fast and clearly above the limit up to the crossing.  Needless to say, a complete waste of time, so far.  I have copied to our local Councillor Ruth Lyon, but she is now away, and I do not hold out much hope of any assistance or action there. 
I have also previously suggested a 15 minute shuttle service to Surbiton up to midnight, to enable commuters to catch the fast trains to Waterloo, 4 carriages during rush hours and high days (eg RHS Show and Music Festivals at HCP), and 2 carriages at other times, both of which should be more than enough, and provide a service after the current witching hour of 9.30pm.  Again with no response.
Is there any support for the above ?
Do you think our MP Dominic Raab would have any influence ?


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: peter on October 13, 2014, 10:46:27 AM
Trains were running every 15 minutes yesterday (on Sunday) and it was fantastic.  Sadly it was a one-off, due to trains not running on the Kingston loop.



Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Juninho on October 21, 2014, 01:04:57 PM
It is lovely when we get this though isn't it !

Quote from: peter on October 13, 2014, 10:46:27 AM
Trains were running every 15 minutes yesterday (on Sunday) and it was fantastic.  Sadly it was a one-off, due to trains not running on the Kingston loop.




Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: peter on November 07, 2014, 11:27:53 AM
Does Dominic commute by train?  Wonder if he'll be supportive of improving the Thames Ditton/Hampton Court service - doubling the frequency would help reduce over crowding along the line.

http://www.standard.co.uk/news/politics/london-rail-commuters-treated-like-cash-cows-travelling-in-subcattle-class-9825517.html


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Ratty on November 07, 2014, 11:56:32 AM
Unfortunately, it appears that Mr Raab is not the commuters friend.

Raab supports rises in rail fares (http://residents-association.com/forum/index.php?topic=1088.0)


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Emberman on November 12, 2014, 11:04:13 PM


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: peter on November 13, 2014, 10:24:17 AM
Chaos again from South West trains this morning.


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Juninho on November 13, 2014, 12:56:28 PM
How bad was it? I took the 6:56 which was once again only a six coach train but was only a few minutes timetabled late.

We were lucky in a way as they ran it fast from new Malden (not lucky for people who need interim stations).



Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: rudi on November 13, 2014, 06:04:08 PM
8.26 cancelled. No apology on the 8.55 that became the 8.57. But it did actually run to time for a change and took the 35 mins it should and not the usual 40-50 mins.



Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Juninho on November 17, 2014, 07:16:21 AM
On the 6:55 right now... And it's running a little late. Only about 3 minutes the guard says (though it feels slower and in fact we have now just stopped...) - but I wanted to share the reason...

Train is travelling with cautionary speed as the tracks are wet!

Wet tracks in late autumn/early winter ?

Who would have thought it!


Title: Re: Southworst Trains / Stagecoach scandal
Post by: Juninho on November 17, 2014, 07:23:32 AM
Ah correction - just been told it's a trespasser at clapham junction ...

This will probably throw out trains in the morning- if you haven't left yet check before your train is due


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