HOGRIDER 104 : JULY-SEPTEMBER 2005
SOUTH HAMPSHIRE RAIL USERS’ GROUP NEWSLETTER
“INVESTORS IN PEOPLE” AWARD FOR SWT, BUT STILL TOO FEW DRIVERS TO RUN A SERVICE AT PEAK HOLIDAY TIMES
“TRAIN OPERATOR OF THE YEAR” AWARD FOR SWT, BUT LOOK BEHIND THE FAÇADE AND EVERYWHERE YOU SEE REGULAR COMMUTERS WHO THINK THEY ARE TREATED WITH CONTEMPT
LONG DISTANCE COMMUTERS APPARENTLY DON’T MATTER ON SWT
ANOTHER NIGHTMARE EXPERIENCE ON SWT
GROUP’S ARTICLE IN THE SOUTHERN DAILY ECHO OF 9 AUGUST SHAMES SWT
SWT’S PSYCHOLOGICAL WARFARE
NEW ROLLING STOCK: SWT’S ECONOMY WITH THE TRUTH
SWT PREPARED TO DITCH WESSEX ELECTRICS
BBC VIEWER CRITICISES HAMPTON COURT STATION
BANSTEAD RESIDENT ATTACKS SWT’S FINE DODGING
SWT REMOVES SERVICE FROM SCHOOL STUDENTS
SWT FURTHER DOWNGRADES WEBSITE
COMMENTS RECEIVED FROM A TOTTON-WATERLOO COMMUTER – 3
NEW FOREST TRANSPORT FORUM
HUGE CUTS TO HAMPSHIRE BUS SERVICES
… AND CUTS TO RAIL SERVICES NEXT?
RAIL PERFORMANCE REPORTS
MEDIA REPORTS ON THE ENVIRONMENT
MEDIA REPORTS ON TRANSPORT
INCIDENTS IN LONDON
“INVESTORS IN PEOPLE” AWARD FOR SWT, BUT STILL TOO FEW DRIVERS TO RUN A SERVICE AT PEAK HOLIDAY TIMES
This is a familiar phenomenon on SWT.
Saturday 27/8/05 06.41 Shepperton-Waterloo axed due to no driver. 06.54 Virginia Water-Waterloo axed due to no driver. 07.42 Shepperton-Waterloo axed due to no driver. 08.41 Shepperton-Waterloo axed between Shepperton and Teddington due to no driver. Passengers on the 08.09 Waterloo-Portsmouth thrown off at Basingstoke due to no driver. 09.37 Waterloo-Brentford axed due to no driver. 10.51 Portsmouth-Waterloo axed between Portsmouth and Basingstoke due to no driver. 10.58 Waterloo-Windsor axed due to no driver. 11.15 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo axed due to no driver. 11.39 Waterloo-Southampton axed due to no driver. 12.01 Guildford-Ascot axed due to no driver. 12.23 Windsor-Waterloo axed due to no driver. 13.09 Waterloo-Portsmouth 23 minutes late and axed between Eastleigh and Portsmouth due to no driver. 13.23 Ascot-Guildford axed due to no driver. 13.55 Southampton-Waterloo axed due to no driver. 15.51 Portsmouth-Waterloo axed between Portsmouth and Eastleigh due to no driver. 16.54 Basingstoke-Waterloo axed due to no driver.
Saturday 3/9/05 16.22 Waterloo-Weybridge axed due to no driver. 17.07 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo axed due to no driver. 17.11 Shepperton Waterloo axed due to no driver. 17.15 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo axed due to no driver. 17.53 Waterloo-Alton axed due to no driver. 18.03 Weybridge-Waterloo axed due to no driver. Passengers on the 18.44 Alton-Waterloo thrown off at Woking due to no driver. 19.58 Waterloo-Windsor axed due to no driver. 20.12 Waterloo-Basingstoke axed due to no driver. 20.14 Alton-Waterloo axed due to no driver. 20.28 Waterloo-Windsor 17 minutes late and axed between Waterloo and Staines due to no driver. Passengers on the 20.35 Waterloo-Weymouth thrown off at Bournemouth due to no driver. Passengers on the 20.44 Alton-Waterloo thrown off at Farnham due to no driver. Passengers on the 20.51 Portsmouth-Waterloo thrown off at Basingstoke due to no driver. 20.53 Ascot-Guildford axed due to no driver. Passengers on the 20.53 Windsor-Waterloo thrown off at Staines due to no driver. 21.12 Waterloo-Shepperton axed due to no driver. 21.22 Waterloo-Weybridge axed due to no driver. 21.23 Windsor-Waterloo axed due to no driver. Passengers on the 21.53 Windsor-Waterloo thrown off at Staines due to no driver. 21.58 Waterloo-Windsor axed between Waterloo and Staines due to no driver. 22.11 Shepperton-Waterloo axed due to no driver. 22.12 Waterloo-Basingstoke axed due to no driver. 22.38 Aldershot-Guildford axed due to no driver. 23.01 Guildford-Ascot axed due to no driver. 23.03 Weybridge-Staines axed due to no driver. (Information probably incomplete; based on random checks of SWT and National Rail websites)
“TRAIN OPERATOR OF THE YEAR” AWARD FOR SWT, BUT LOOK BEHIND THE FAÇADE AND EVERYWHERE YOU SEE REGULAR COMMUTERS WHO THINK THEY ARE TREATED WITH CONTEMPT
At the Guildford meeting of the Southern Rail Passengers Committee, Kim Lykkegaard of Danish State Railways said that his company was working with SWT on franchise bids. His company had a good reputation and SWT had “reinvented itself”. Good to hear a confession that SWT needed to reinvent itself, but unfortunate that the reinvention is all hype and PR. Look behind the facades and the service is the same poor value for money as it has always been under Stagecoach.
Improved performance is presented as SWT’s great achievement. But the new timetable from December 2005 is outstandingly the slowest since steam days. Other operators have improved their performance to similar levels without slowing their trains. Ironic that, along with Virgin Trains, Stagecoach has benefited from huge sums of public money to implement the fastest West Coast and Cross Country services ever.
The new SWT timetable was justified as being necessary because the previous one had changed little since 1967. That is a ridiculous lie and our Group has a copy of the 1967 timetable (and all the intervening timetables) to prove it. SWT prepared for the changes by blaming passengers for poor performance through alighting and boarding too slowly. In practice this only happens on trains like the 5-coach 16.05 Waterloo-Poole on Fridays, which is crowded like a tube train at the height of the rush hour. The actual cause of the delays is otherwise Stagecoach’s failure to hire enough carriages, despite the tens of millions of pounds which the Stagecoach founders have taken in bonuses.
The real motive for the upheaval appears to be the huge reduction in the number of coaches which SWT is hiring against the number promised (665 against 785), whilst Southern promised 742 and delivered that number, and of better quality than SWT’s coaches as well.
The result is that inner-suburban SWT trains are having thousands of seats ripped out to cram in standing passengers (SWT shouts that it is providing thousands more seats in the peaks, but the “extra” seats are far fewer than the number being ripped out; Southern’s passengers are the clear winners; their inner-suburban trains are being refurbished with the same number of seats as before). SWT’s Chertsey line trains are severely decelerated through having to serve “Hounslow loop” stations. Outer-suburban trains to Basingstoke and Alton now stop at more stations in Surrey, and South Coast trains have to stop at more stations in North Hampshire. Southampton Central to Waterloo, once branded Inter City, now takes 19.7% longer than in 1990.
Stock is in such short supply that the 05.45 Poole-Waterloo now has to return as the 08.05 to Poole whereas the former 05.42 Poole-Waterloo used to form the 08.30 to Weymouth. This means that the 05.45 has had to omit many well-used intermediate stops and passengers have much longer journey times through being thrown on to local connecting services, which are notoriously unreliable.
And forget about the Lymington branch’s ancient slam-door stock being an innovative economy. Under the new timetable, Wareham-Brockenhurst and Southampton-Portsmouth stopping services both need 3 train units against 2 in past timetables. This uneconomic deployment of stock has effectively deprived Lymington passengers of new trains, and the opportunity of a huge range of more attractive one-change journeys through direct working between Lymington and Southampton.
Time inflation is often ridiculous, with trains having much longer dwell times at intermediate stations than needed. At the end of journeys, further measures are in place to ensure punctuality. Does the 18.39 from Waterloo really need 17 minutes to get from Southampton Airport Parkway to Southampton Central when other trains can do the journey in 7 minutes (6 minutes in the case of Virgin Trains)? The National Rail website regularly shows the train as expected to arrive 10 minutes early. This is simply contempt for the performance regime and hence contempt for the Government and passengers.
Then there’s customer service. The enquiry desks at Waterloo station create a good service façade. Ask the time of the next train to Woking and you will get an instant reply. But, any disruption to the service, and you might as well seek advice from your greengrocer. You’ll simply be told to watch the screens, along with thousands of others. And what happens less visibly, behind the platform barriers? On 20 September a group of passengers arrived from the Underground staircase and looked towards the 17.05 to Weymouth. They theoretically had ample time to board, as it was now just 17.04. But the departure had been removed from the information screens and there was no one to ask. A few seconds later the doors slammed shut, the train stood in front of them for another half minute and then departed. Similar incidents occur all the time.
The once-busy 05.34 Bournemouth-Waterloo now carries thin air from Bournemouth to Southampton, whilst its former Totton commuters waste 75 minutes a week changing at Southampton from a train heading for Yeovil Junction. On 27 September, the empty stock for the 06.07 Totton-Yeovil had arrived at Totton very late. The train got to Southampton Central a few seconds after 06.20. Several passengers from the Totton train regularly alight there and cross to the other side of the platform to catch the 06.21 to Portsmouth. As the first passenger stepped on to the platform, the doors of the Portsmouth train slammed shut and, as he pressed the door button, it departed. Passengers left behind then faced a delay of 46/56 minutes depending on which station they were travelling to.
That is usual practice at Southampton, where staff are notorious for lack of customer focus. Another example: Totton’s London commuters used to have two connections off the 16.30 from Waterloo and a direct service at 16.45. Under the new timetable there is just a 7-minute connection off the 16.35. This train is often late and the connection, the 17.56 to Bournemouth, is then held at Southampton until the 16.35 arrives and immediately sent down the line (where the two westbound tracks converge into one) to wait at signals for the 16.35 to overtake. On some days the 17.56 departs as passengers race along the platform where it is standing. Those who complain are given a complaints form when one can be found. They then get a written reply which refers to the interests of passengers already on board the 17.56. The point that these passengers gain nothing from being held at signals down the line rather than at the station is routinely ignored in a kind of ritualistic dumb insolence.
Totton is a not inconsiderable rail centre, with a population catchment area in Totton itself and the Waterside of some 60,000. Even with such an indifferently delivered service it officially handles almost a quarter of a million passengers a year. With a customer-focused operator this level could soar, especially given the congested main road into Southampton. But off peak, the two trains an hour between Totton and Southampton have been rescheduled to run ten minutes apart in both directions (not quite as idiotic as at St Denys, where the twice-hourly westbound trains now run one minute apart). This represents incredibly poor value for passengers and other taxpayers.
With such a slack timetable, the Waterloo-Weymouth trains could make several additional stops, including Totton, with no effect on overall timings. And why do all SWT trains stop at Poole on one side of Bournemouth but not at similarly-sized Christchurch on the other? Why does Winchester have two SWT services and one Virgin-Stagecoach service each hour to Bournemouth while Eastleigh, with a similar passenger flow, has no direct off-peak Bournemouth service except on Sunday? It seems that SWT stations exist in two worlds – the façade stations like Winchester and Southampton Airport and the also-rans. That’s not good enough, given the fourfold-plus increase in subsidy which SWT now receives.
The fear is that it will be always thus if Stagecoach wins another term on SWT. Remember how Stagecoach director Brian Cox scorned his company’s critics, after Stagecoach allowed the service to collapse, as “fully paid up members of the Hindsight Club”? Remember how the High Court decided it would not be in the public interest to ban the 1996 World in Action programme “Cowboy Country” about Stagecoach?
LONG-DISTANCE COMMUTERS APPARENTLY DON’T MATTER ON SWT
On 9 February 2005, Stagecoach’s Rufus Boyd effectively dismissed the interests of long-distance commuters in front of a meeting of the Hampshire Economic Partnership. He said that buying a house a long way from a job in London was the ultimate distress purchase. With the huge subsidy Stagecoach receives from passengers and other taxpayers, he might reasonably have been expected to give his proposals for making long-distance commuting more comfortable. It seems to be just another case of Stagecoach Chairman Brian Souter’s, “ethics are not irrelevant but some are incompatible with what we have to do as capitalism is based on greed”.
Long-distance commuters were the worst affected by SWT’s decelerated and downgraded timetable, introduced in December 2004 following 8 years of consistent failure to produce adequate performance figures. The problem is not just the slower services but the withdrawal of trains like the 05.34 Bournemouth-Waterloo and 16.45 Waterloo-Poole.
Now it is clear that Stagecoach would like to remove the Wessex Electric trains from the Waterloo-Weymouth line, due to their defective air-conditioning. These trains are in a poor state of maintenance generally, with rough riding, collapsing seats, sharp spikes protruding from cushions due to broken seat frames, and even the hazard warning tape, where the coaches join, in a poor state. But they are the best units available, with the tables needed by commuters (for laptops), families (for kids’ games) and everyone on long trips (for drinks). SWT seems to have noticed this and many tables have already been ripped out of one unit. Of course, we are not told that the problem is Stagecoach’s huge profits arising from failure to invest more, but rather that summers have grown warmer since 1988 (when the trains came into service) and passengers unhelpfully breathe out warm air.
ANOTHER NIGHTMARE EXPERIENCE ON SWT
On 7 September, BBC TV reported the shocking case of a woman from Fleet who fell asleep on the 22.39 Waterloo-Southampton service. She awoke, locked in an empty train, at 01.00 in the morning. A call to SWT for help was useless, as the line was switched to an answering machine. The police eventually rescued her. She was in a siding in Southampton, and had to climb a six-foot wall to escape. She was full of praise for the police but strongly critical of South West Trains. In future she plans to wake people who fall asleep and warn them of her experience. A truly dreadful example of failure to exercise a duty of care to passengers! It seems to be another case – like memorable incidents such as the Basingstoke revolt and the all-day journey from Southampton to Waterloo in a heatwave, of no focus on customers, or ‘look after the pounds and the passengers can look after themselves’.
SOUTHERN DAILY ECHO ARTICLE ON BEHALF OF OUR GROUP SHAMES SWT (PUBLISHED 9/8/2005)
“Although abominable customer service no longer surprises South West Trains’ commuters, many do find it quite extraordinary that such huge sums of taxpayers’ money are being handed out to an operator with such a poor record.
Take Monday 11 July. Passengers arrived at Totton station to find the 06.07 to Yeovil Junction advertised as cancelled. This is a vital link into Southampton for those wanting to join the 06.30 train to London. It is also vital for those trying to get to work on time more locally. There is no alternative bus service at this time, and no taxi rank at the station. Passengers with their own transport can drive to Southampton Central, but Stagecoach’s failure is then rewarded by the inflated car parking charges which they face.
Passengers therefore asked the station manager if arrangements could be made for the London train to stop at Totton. This is straightforward because on Saturdays the train has identical timings between arrival at Brockenhurst to the west, and departure from Southampton to the east, despite a scheduled Totton stop. It also has about six minutes’ slack time on the approach to Waterloo on Mondays to Fridays. The controllers refused, without explanation. There was no other service until 06.46, and some passengers then drifted away.
Next, the 06.07 departure was reinstated on the departure screen, and duly arrived. As soon as it departed, the guard announced that the train would terminate at Southampton Central as no guard was available for the remainder of the journey.
At Southampton Central, passengers were told [on the information screens] they should stand clear as the train was not scheduled to stop. Regular passengers who were waiting to board recognised their service and started to get on. They were bellowed at to stand clear by a charming SWT employee.
One young woman who was stranded regularly commuted from Totton to the new Chandlers Ford station with her bike. She had no alternative service for one hour and, unsurprisingly, did not appear the following morning. The line though Chandlers Ford is heavily subsidised. Can it survive many shambles like this?
In the evening I decided to return on the 17.05 from Waterloo, which has a portion direct to Totton. I can get the 16.35, but this tends to reach Southampton Central a few minutes late [and staff send off the connection even as the delayed passengers race over the footbridge to catch it].
Before leaving work, I checked SWT’s website because on many days there is at least one evening cancellation on the Waterloo-Weymouth main line.
Sure enough, the Poole portion of the 17.05 (which serves Totton) was advertised as axed throughout, and the Weymouth portion as axed between Waterloo and Southampton Central. This was due to duff rolling stock.
Nobody expects that train services can be perfect, but with passengers and other taxpayers paying such enormous amounts of money for SWT, should we not at least have an operator committed to giving best value for money and displaying a modicum of concern for the passengers whose busy lives are disrupted?”
The following morning a Brockenhurst commuter said he had gone to Waterloo for the 17.05 and found that a substitute train was running to Southampton Central where, he was assured, he could join his normal train.
On arrival at Southampton he found the situation which had been described on SWT’s website long before he left London, namely that only the Weymouth portion was running from Southampton, and making no compensatory stops. He considers that the manager he spoke to was abusive. He asked why passengers had been told that they could join their normal service at Southampton and she replied that it was nothing to do with her, and she was just there to take people’s flak.
On Wednesday 27 July, the delayed 16.35 Weymouth-Waterloo arrived at Southampton Central at 17.55. The guard needed a full minute to get the doors open, and the 17.56 connection for intermediate stations to Bournemouth promptly departed from the next platform. A commuter from the Department for Transport who complained was fobbed off with a letter saying the interests of passengers already on the 17.56 had to be considered. This ignored his point that there was no time saving whatever because, on such occasions, the 17.56 just stands at signals west of Millbrook station for the train from London to overtake.
Unfortunately, so long as an ethically-limited company like Stagecoach receives some of the highest fares in Europe plus massive subsidies from taxpayers for running a passenger-unfriendly service, it has no incentive to improve.
SWT’s Managing Director Graham Eccles once told ‘Rail Professional’ magazine that Stagecoach wouldn’t hesitate to walk away from the franchise if it didn’t get its own terms. Couldn’t the Government impose terms favourable to passengers and other taxpayers, and then advance the re-franchising process when Stagecoach walks away?
SWT’S PSYCHOLOGICAL WARFARE
In the last franchising round on SWT, Stagecoach got an incredibly generous increase in subsidy, whilst the fleet of new Desiro trains which it had promised to hire was slashed from 785 carriages, worth £640m, to 665 carriages worth £542m. So how does SWT present this use of public funds? Note the wording of large posters on stations like Woking and Basingstoke:
“£1 BILLION INVESTMENT
155 NEW TRAINS
400,000 VERY GOOD REASONS
We’re responsible for over 400,000 passenger journeys every single weekday. That’s why we’ve introduced a brand new fleet of Desiro trains across the network. We believe that this £1 billion [?????] investment will make your journey smoother, safer, and generally more pleasant. And in our view that’s money well spent.”
At the June meeting of the Rail Passengers Committee, SWT Managing Director Graham Eccles said passenger satisfaction had increased from 64% to 78%. That’s 88,000 dissatisfied passengers a day instead of 144,000!
NEW ROLLING STOCK: SWT’S ECONOMY WITH THE TRUTH
SWT’s revamped website tells you that the company runs twenty-two 3-car diesels; 9 two-car diesels; ninety-one 4-car electric suburban trains; thirty 4-car class 458 electrics (doesn’t mention they are being withdrawn, even though only a few years old); twenty-four 5-car Wessex Electrics; forty-five 5-car longer-distance Desiros and an unspecified number of 4-car shorter-distance Desiros.
The unspecified number is 110. So there are (110x4) plus (45x5) Desiro coaches. This makes a total of 665 Desiro coaches, 120 fewer than promised over a long period when SWT claimed the Desiros were Britain’s biggest-ever train order. As SWT’s Managing Director Graham Eccles once said, for the big PR hit you add up the committed outputs, the primary aspirations and the secondary aspirations, and then you shout loudly.
It would be interesting to hear the definitive line-to-take on why Southern promised and delivered 742 new coaches, whilst SWT promised 785 and delivered 665. Clearly SWT hasn’t delivered its promises despite its fourfold increase in subsidy at the expense of taxpayers.
SWT PREPARED TO DITCH WESSEX ELECTRICS
>From the Evening Standard of 19 July 2005: “The Brian Souter gravy train rumbles on. The already fantastically wealthy founder, major shareholder and chief executive of Stagecoach is due at the end of the week to cash in the first tranche of absurdly low-priced share options his board so generously granted him three years ago. The first batch, priced at the nadir of the Coach USA fiasco, is currently worth the small matter of £1 million to Souter while an even more kindly grant of options becoming exercisable in December could bring him in another couple of million quid.”
The same paper reports that the air-conditioning units on the long-distance Wessex Electric trains cannot cope with high summer temperatures. [Don’t we know it!] SWT blames this on the units having been designed in 1985 for “normal” British summers. [Yet it accepts that some brand-new Desiro trains have the same problem!] It also blames people for generating heat when they get on. [How like Stagecoach to blame passengers! Remember the “Every second counts” propaganda, blaming passengers for late trains, before SWT slowed all its trains to cheat on performance targets?] In any case, these excuses don’t stand up to scrutiny. The problems invariably occur in one or two coaches of a train at a time; adjacent coaches may be OK or even unpleasantly cold. And cold coaches in winter are as much of a problem as hot coaches in summer. The real issues seem to be poor maintenance and failure to invest in emergency window vents of the kind installed to help ameliorate similar overheating on the Waterloo-Exeter trains introduced in 1993.
The Southern Daily Echo of 20 July focused on the same story. Tim Nicholson, Chairman of the Rail Passengers Committee for Southern England, rightly contended that passengers don’t want excuses about seasonal difficulties, they want the problems sorted out. Passengers’ comments reflected this view, pointing out the lack of opening windows. There was annoyance that people always have to complain before something is done. One woman had had the opposite problem on her train and had needed to put on a cardigan because it felt so cold.
However, SWT appears to have an ulterior motive for publicising the poor conditions on its own trains. The August edition of Modern Railways magazine indicates that Stagecoach is canvassing to get rid of the Wessex Electrics. The class 458 units, mostly returned to the rolling stock company which owns them on the grounds of unacceptable performance, would be deemed good enough for services via Staines. The Blue Desiros with their horribly cramped seating would then be transferred to Waterloo-Portsmouth services, and the white Desiros, with their appalling shortage of tables for longer journeys, would take over services on the Waterloo-Weymouth main line. This would effectively mean the suburbanisation of SWT rolling stock on the main electrified lines through Hampshire.
Passengers deserve better, given their huge contribution to Stagecoach through fares and subsidies. It really is time to re-let the franchise to a more customer-focused operator. Fortunately, the railway press has subsequently reported that the company which owns the class 458 units is likely to re-lease them for use on Glasgow suburban services.
BBC VIEWER CRITICISES HAMPTON COURT STATION
A caller to BBC’s ‘Breakfast’ programme on 20 July criticised the poor condition and lack of facilities at SWT’s Hampton Court station, an important tourist venue.
BANSTEAD RESIDENT ATTACKS SWT FINE DODGING
Letter from Malcolm Howard of Banstead in the Evening Standard of 1/7/05:
“The worst feature of our privatised railways is the dishonest way they are run.
The railway companies will do anything to avoid a fine for the late running of their trains – even if it means making commuters wait unnecessarily for more than an hour by short-running trains or cancelling services.
Last Thursday, on my return journey from Salisbury to Epsom Downs, I was travelling to Clapham Junction for my connection. But because the train was running late, we were all turfed out at Basingstoke and told the train was thereafter going non-stop to Waterloo. Another hour wasted.
The only way to stop this nonsense is to add an extra hour for each station omitted in the punctuality statistics.”
SWT REMOVES SERVICE FROM SCHOOL STUDENTS
Until the new SWT timetable started, students from Winchester’s Westgate school could use the 15.33 train to get to their homes in Hedge End and Botley. They now have no service until the 16.21. In the morning they have the opposite problem: the revised service means they have to rush from Winchester station to get to school on time. SWT admits that it did not consult with the school or the parish council before the changes were made, but has given no commitment to ameliorate the downgraded service. (Hampshire Chronicle 13/5/05) [How can commuters be expected to rely on public transport when operators make major changes without proper public consultation?]
SWT FURTHER DOWNGRADES WEBSITE
SWT has been downgrading its website to give more prominence to “good news” and hype and less prominence to live running information. The latest stage was implemented from Friday 15 July. So it was that, around 22.30, the only service problem highlighted was that the 22.00 Romsey-Totton was axed between Romsey and Eastleigh due to signalling problems (Network Rail’s fault).
A simultaneous random check of a few key stations on National Rail’s website showed that the 21.20 Waterloo-Woking was 23 minutes late, the 21.33 Woking-Waterloo 11 minutes late, the 21.41 Shepperton-Waterloo 20 minutes late, and the 23.03 Weybridge-Waterloo axed. Presumably the causes were attributable to SWT, which did not consider them worth mentioning. Similar failures to report service disruption are a common feature of SWT’s website. On occasions, the website simply refers to delays through a “line problem” in a particular area, not mentioning that the problem arises from the line being blocked by a duff SWT train.
Note this strange entry under “Changes to Train Times” on Saturday 13 August: “09:57 Brighton to Paignton due 15:35. This train will be restarted from Portsmouth & S'sea D.C.S. It will additionally call at: Portsmouth & S'sea D.C.S. It will no longer call at: Brighton, Hove, Shoreham-By-Sea, Worthing, Barnham, Chichester, Havant, Portsmouth & Southsea, Fratton, Cosham, Fareham, Southampton Central, Romsey, Salisbury, Gillingham Dorset, Yeovil Junction, Honiton, Exeter Central, Exeter St David’s, Dawlish Warren, Dawlish, Teignmouth, Newton Abbot and Torquay.” What this presumably meant was that the train would run empty from Portsmouth & Southsea D.C.S (down carriage sidings?) to Paignton to form the return passenger service. Why not simply say: “Axed Brighton-Portsmouth; running empty Portsmouth-Paignton; passengers can go to hell”? Much easier to understand.
And just try and find SWT’s performance history on their revised website.. Although performance has improved since SWT slowed its trains, the disadvantages to passengers have not resulted in continuous progress. Mainline punctuality was better in March 2004 than in March 2005, and better in June 2003 than in June 2005.
COMMENTS RECEIVED FROM A TOTTON-WATERLOO COMMUTER – 3
11/07/05 17.05 from Waterloo was surprisingly made up of a 5-car Blue Desiro and a 5-car White Desiro. Avoided the Blue Desiro due to the cramped seating which is inappropriate for long-distance journeys. In the White Desiro, some carriages had excellent (perhaps even over-enthusiastic) air conditioning while others had fans that were making the same noise but to no practical effect - perhaps South West Trains should advertise their “£1bn investment" in mobile saunas! The guard made repeated announcements, when he "sincerely apologised" for the change of stock, reporting that the service would terminate at Southampton Central where another train would be available for the onward journey. At Southampton Central, however, the replacement 5-car Wessex Electric train was only advertised as stopping at Bournemouth and all stations to Weymouth, ie the service normally run by the front 5 carriages of the 17.05. Passengers for stations served by the rear 5 carriages of the 17.05 looked around for their replacement service before the truth dawned upon them that there was no such thing - their service had been cancelled with no announcement by either train staff or station staff. Station staff then struggled to cope with the anger of passengers who had, in some cases, just had an uncomfortable journey down only to find that they were going to get home no faster than if they had waited for the next service at Waterloo. Passengers for Totton and Brockenhurst were lucky to have other services to get them home - the Romsey shuttle and a Virgin service respectively, but passengers for all other stations served by the 17.05 between Southampton and Bournemouth had no other option but to wait at Southampton for the next service from Waterloo. Actually this was the first time the Romsey shuttle was useful for Totton passengers since the last timetable change when it switched from connecting with the fast service from Waterloo (thereby providing a half-hourly service from Waterloo to Totton throughout the evening) to connecting with the semi-fast service from Waterloo which already stops at Totton, resulting in a near halving of the evening service from Waterloo for Totton passengers. The final flourish was provided by the passenger information office staff on platform 4 at Southampton Central, who contributed to keeping complaints down by having only a single complaint form available for passengers.
12/07/05 05.00 Poole-Waterloo was 7 minutes late arriving at Totton due to (as far as I could make out) "faulty axle counter at Bournemouth".
13/07/05 05.45 Poole-Waterloo was a few minutes late arriving at Southampton for its 06.30 departure. Screen displays on the bridge between platforms showed "Dr Watson for Windows NT: An application error has occurred". Departure board on platform 1 showed first train as the 04.55 to Waterloo, 2nd as the 06.30 to Waterloo (which was actually at the platform). Similarly, the departure board at Winchester showed (at 06.49) that the first service was the 0518 - a Winchester passenger reported that an announcement had been made about a "software fault". 17.05 from Waterloo ran slowly from Waterloo to Woking - guard said that this was due to being behind a preceding service – and reported as 5 to 10 minutes late, but the lost time had magically been made up by the time we reached Southampton.
18/07/05 06.04 Bournemouth-Waterloo suffered slow running through Vauxhall. 18.05 Waterloo-Poole had both the buffet steward and the guard making announcements at the same time as we left Waterloo.
19/07/05 Noted when on the 06.07 Totton-Yeovil that the indicator boards at Millbrook were showing no train information, just the current time. At around 16.30 the "how's my train running?" feature of the newly refurbished SWT web site was, er, not running. At Southampton Central, noticed a number of passengers on platform 4 using the customer lift and having to repeatedly press the call button which lit when pressed but went out again when released instead of staying alight. The lift was indeed working but some customers appeared quite unsure of this until the doors actually opened.
20/07/05 The temporary ticket office at Totton is finally in operation, after the Portakabin to house it has been blocking 5 of the available 11 parking spaces at the station since the end of April. It is not all good news, however, as the materials to be used to refurbish the permanent ticket office have now been stored over a further 2 parking spaces, leaving just 4 out of 11 parking spaces available. One additional parking space is reserved for disabled drivers, which is very convenient for the up platform, but somewhat less convenient for the down platform as there is no provision for disabled passengers to cross the tracks back to the car park!
22/07/05 When the 06.07 Totton-Yeovil stopped at Millbrook, the indicator boards were showing a message that due to an error, no information could be displayed. A passenger who joined the train at Millbrook had to ask other passengers where the train was going! 16.05 Waterloo-Poole left Waterloo 10 minutes late due to the incoming service being delayed by a security alert at Southampton Airport Parkway. Was 17 minutes late by Totton, having made an additional stop at Eastleigh.
27/07/05 07.46 from Totton used platform 8 at Clapham Junction which, given the significant camber on the track at this point together with the height of the Wessex Electric stock, leaves an exceptionally large gap between the train and the platform, which the guard had to warn passengers about - 9 minutes late at Waterloo. 18.05 from Waterloo 6 minutes late at Totton, having been held at Redbridge - no reason given on the train, but a number of services today have been delayed due to points failure in this area.
28/07/05 Noticeable police presence at Totton and Southampton this morning. 07.46 from Totton was delayed at Southampton awaiting the rear 5 cars which were reported to have struck an object on the line after leaving Brockenhurst, with the driver having stopped to inspect the train at Beaulieu Road. Left Southampton 8 minutes late. Guard warned about the very large gap between the platform and the train again at Clapham Junction (platform 8). 24 minutes late at Waterloo with the guard now reporting that the delay was due to a fault on the rear half of the train. 21.05 from Waterloo was delayed behind "a preceding freight train" and was 3 minutes late at Totton.
01/08/05 At Southampton Central just before 06.30, the platform 4 ticket office was closed with 2 staff with mobile ticket machines selling tickets by the barrier. One directed me to the other to buy a car parking ticket ("do you have the car parking on yours?"). The other managed to charge the wrong price twice, the second time overcharging me by 10p which I had to ignore in order to avoid missing the train. The guard on the 06.30 from Southampton made repeated security announcements about unattended items - addressing the old terrorist threat, not the new one. When the 17.05 from Waterloo split at Southampton, passengers had to ask members of the public waiting on the station which half of the train to join as no station staff were visible.
02/08/05 05.48 from Totton left 4 minutes late.
03/08/05 At Southampton Central just before 0630 (again!), the platform 4 ticket office was again closed with 2 staff with mobile ticket machines selling tickets by the barrier. A fellow commuter reported that a car park ticket machine had just swallowed cash without giving a ticket out, forcing her to pay again by debit card to obtain a ticket in time to catch the train. While staff directed her to the main ticket office on platform 1 to obtain a refund, they did not seem at all concerned that other passengers might have their cash nicked by the ticket machine.
04/08/05 The driver of a train at Totton this morning had a sudden outbreak of customer service - he allowed me to join the train by the first door, which he controls, after the doors had been closed by the guard, and the train had even started to inch forward. Great to see some staff are still interested in being part of a customer-focused railway instead of the operations-focused railway run by SWT (closing train doors before the scheduled departure time, omitting stops for operational convenience, not holding connections at Southampton when trains from London are even slightly late). 19.05 from Waterloo 2 minutes late leaving Waterloo, 7 minutes late at Totton.
05/08/05 17.05 from Waterloo 4 minutes late at Totton.
Back in harness after a week away....
15/08/05 07.30 from Southampton 12 minutes late at Waterloo due to previous engineering works in the Clapham Junction area. 18.05 from Waterloo 9 minutes late at Southampton.
16/08/05 06.30 from Southampton delayed due to points failure at Basingstoke - 12 minutes late at Waterloo. On the 17.05 return, a child was loudly singing from Waterloo. When a commuter along the carriage suggested that the child could be asked to be quieter - the phrase used was "can someone shut that child up!" - the mother explained that he was autistic and she therefore couldn't control him.
18/08/05 06.30 from Southampton halted outside Wimbledon for a few minutes. Guard of the 17.35 from Waterloo apologised for failed air-conditioning in some carriages.
22/08/05 Train indicator at Totton not working. 06.07 from Totton was 4 minutes late at Southampton.
23/08/05 06.30 from Southampton delayed by a cracked rail at Wimbledon; 10 minutes late at Waterloo. 17.35 from Waterloo had duff air conditioning in the end-most standard class carriage - in fact it felt like the heating was on - fortunately I boarded early and had time to move to another carriage.
30/08/05 Hooray! The temporary ticket office blocking off 5 of the 11 parking spaces at Totton station since the end of April has gone. Just four months of disruption for the couple of weeks use it had! No doubt it was positioned there for that extended period due to "operational convenience", ie don't bother about the effect on passengers. After Southampton Central, the guard of the 06.46 from Totton reported that the doors between the two 5-car trains that had just joined were "jammed" and passengers could not walk between the two halves of the train. At Southampton Parkway a passenger had a surprise as a seat on the Wessex Electric dropped a few inches as he sat on it. The gentleman was unhurt, although it could have been very painful for anyone with a back condition; being made of stern stuff he rammed the seat bottom back into position and sat on it for the rest of the journey.
09/09/05 17.35 from Waterloo split as usual at Southampton. As it was being split, passengers in the rear 5 carriages heard a clear announcement that this portion of the train was for Weymouth, the next stop would be Bournemouth and passengers for intermediate stations should leave the train now and join the (non-existent) 5 coaches to the rear. One passenger went to check with the staff splitting the train and was clearly not believed when she reported that the guard had made the wrong announcement, getting the dismissive response "no he didn't!" She returned to the carriage to report that "apparently we are all wrong" and we didn't hear what we had heard. I then went to the same member of staff to repeat what the first passenger had said, this time getting a more reasonable response of "the guard will make another announcement". A few minutes later, a different guard made the correct announcement, without any apology for the original error. At Totton, when questioned, the guard indicated that the person who made the wrong announcement was "living in his own world".
15/09/05 As the 06.46 from Totton was pulling into Southampton Central, the guard made the announcement to alighting passengers, "please wait a few moments for the carriages to be joined" - clearly imagining that he was in the rear 5 coaches of the train to be joined at Southampton, not the front 5 coaches! Arrived at Waterloo 10 minutes late which the guard blamed on the weather: "we weren't expecting rain" which had the effect of "making the wheels a bit slippery".
19/09/05 No lights at the eastern end of platform 1 at Southampton Central at 06.30, a clear Health & Safety issue.
22/09/05 17.05 from Waterloo had no air conditioning in the first two carriages of the Poole portion of the train. The guard apologised and went through the carriages handing out small bottles of water, advising that the fitters couldn't attend to the train because another train had had problems. The only air movement was generated from the forward movement of the train, which meant that it was not the right time to arrive early at Winchester and spend 5 minutes waiting in the station, nor to be held in the Southampton tunnel waiting for a platform to become available - this was a definite downside of the slack added to the timetable as despite these waits, the train was running "on time". Overloud announcement of the stopping pattern for the Poole portion was made by the new guard at Southampton.
NEW FOREST TRANSPORT FORUM
By David Mead
28 September 2005
I attended the New Forest Transport Forum at Appletree Court in Lyndhurst this morning.
The Forum was attended by a cross-section of parish councillors and transport user groups. It was interesting to note that there was a representative from South West Trains, although 99% of the meeting was on bus matters. Key points were:
Bus services within the New Forest all now come up for tendering and it was hoped that the process would be completed by April 2006. Higher tender prices due to staffing, fuel and insurances etc.
Marginal services required heavy subsidies and some could not be justified. This is a national trend, not just in the New Forest.
A Local Transport Plan Mark 2 has been drawn up to include Community Transport, Cango buses, taxis/car sharing and ease of through ticketing on stage bus routes. This was a futuristic review.
Strategic Corridor Routes to be given express, easy access low floor buses with brand names and clock face hourly services. Three routes highlighted were Southampton - Lymington Hospital, Bournemouth - Lymington Hospital and Salisbury - Ringwood - Bournemouth.
Totton - Waterside routes were not subject to re-tendering although it was hoped to bring them into the Mark 2 plan.
When the Corridor Routes had been established it was planned to provide connections into local services. Have low floors and raised curb edges for easy access and also ease of changing buses. Was not clear how connections were to be planned.
The hub of the new services was going to be Lymington Hospital and there are to be bus stops built within the compound for U turns. May be completed in December 2006, or certainly sometime in 2007. There could be a revival of a through Southampton - Bournemouth bus without changing in Lymington.
There will not be much room for public parking at Lymington Hospital, so it is important that buses have access. Also, plans to re-open Ampress railway halt as Lymington North is still an option.
Other matters :
A councillor enquired if Beaulieu Road could have a Saturday train service to assist with tourism. No reply from SWT, so take it as a no. Another councillor asked if there will be any changes to train services in December. The SWT representative replied that he did not think so. He seemed unsure.
The New Forest Open Top Bus Tour will be revised in 2006. There will be two new buses for the route and the frequency will be increased probably to hourly. More information in the Spring of 2006.
No New Forest Connections timetable has been produced in 2005 owing to the numerous alterations to train and bus times on different dates of the year. Hopefully, a timetable will be possible when all the services have been revised and are up and running.
New Milton council complained that they produced a free timetable leaflet, on the strength of bus and train times in the Spring 2005 only to find that it was out of date within a few weeks of publication. Unsatisfactory situation and a waste of money. There was a call from the delegates to ensure accurate timetable information for buses and trains to be made available.
New Forest District Council aware of the 60+ free bus scheme from April 2006, and it was hoping to introduce a free "Countywide" card to include the Hythe Ferry. It was likely to be valid after 9am. A study will be made of the impact of the scheme on Hampshire bus routes.
The open top buses between Lymington and Bournemouth were successful and Wilts and Dorset have 70 double deck buses, from which the tops may be removed in the summer as required.
A "Real-Time" matrix system is still under review for Lymington based bus routes.
A councillor asked if road surfaces could be made quieter? No reply.
Another councillor asked if lower speed limits could be introduced for motorists and also whether recommended cycle routes could be made safer where they share sharp bends on main roads. No reply.
HUGE CUTS TO HAMPSHIRE BUS SERVICES
(Based on various reports in the Southern Daily Echo)
120,000 bus users a year in Hampshire have lost their services from 2 October, causing widespread anger. Affected routes are: Wilts and Dorset 56, 121, 123, X34; Solent Blue Line 8, 9, 26B, 43, 44, 44A, 49, X9; First 29, 30, X40; Hayling Ferry Bus Shuttle; Weavaway Travel 120; Marchwood Motorways 12; Stagecoach 6, 7A, 25, 26, 27, 62, 66, 75, 76, 86. Eighteen services are scrapped completely and 8 more are pruned back. Wilts and Dorset X71 was saved only by a grant from Wiltshire County Council.
The initiative is by the Conservative administration, with the objective of saving £190,000 in subsidy and is not supported by the Liberal Democrats who considered that the Council should make a greater effort to promote bus services. Labour Councillor Mike Roberts strongly criticises the Council, alleging that they dishonestly withheld information about planned cuts until the summer break. He believes that officials were gagged and notes that some communities will now be permanently marooned.
Winchester civic chiefs are strongly against the cuts, because they will have counter-productive effects on efforts to reduce reliance on private motoring to improve the city’s air quality and to reduce the isolation of rural communities.
Reports and letters in the Echo confirm that many people will be badly affected. Some could be forced out of their jobs. How can people rely more on public transport, as the Government wants, when this happens? Won’t this encourage people to drive after drinking? What about social exclusion and isolation? What about young people. One Stagecoach bus user had a £400 bus season ticket, purchased on the expectation of the existing service.
One elderly disabled reader writes, “The council’s heartless attitude appears to be at variance with the 1985 Transport Act, which gives County Councils a duty to secure socially necessary bus services. The Act also states that in carrying out its duties, councils must have regard to the transport needs of elderly and disabled people. The Act does not specify how councils should determine what is socially necessary, so individual authorities decide their level of involvement in bus service support and how they take into account the needs of elderly and disabled people. This unethical attitude over the matter in question displays total indifference to socially necessary local bus services for people without their own transport”.
[Comment: Evening services in Hampshire were severely curtailed several years ago. Now, whilst people can get into Southampton by bus to attend evening events, on most days of the week there is no late service to get them home. Inevitably, the buses which they would have used for their outward journeys have lost custom. Whilst evening and weekend services, those particularly affected by the latest cuts, may appear dispensable, many people in Hampshire work in the service sector, particularly in relation to the tourist industry, and do not have the benefit of office hours. Some individuals will inevitably be unable to continue in their jobs, so there will be an element of social exclusion. The changes will also hit people aged 60 or over, whom the Government has promised free local bus travel from April 2006.
It would have been more sensible to examine the potential to join up services where economies could have been made without cuts, or to run standard services throughout the day on more busy rural routes, perhaps with slightly reduced frequencies. Buses can be popular where conditions and the product are right. Services have recently gained an extraordinary increase in usage in London, and the Southern Daily Echo of 15 August reports that Southampton’s Uni-Link network has kept its flat-rate fare of £1 unchanged for four years and is one of the five fastest growing bus companies in the country, with two million passengers last year.]
Proposed cuts to the 56 and X34 through Lyndhurst are extraordinary, given that the village is one of the most traffic-congested in the County and is a tourist magnet. On Saturday 16 July, a party of some 20 French schoolchildren boarded an eastbound evening 56 in the village. ]
… AND CUTS TO RAIL SERVICES NEXT?
Network Rail is carrying out a rail usage study purportedly aimed at finding ways of getting more people to take the train, as well as improving the level of service and efficiency. A similar Route Utilisation Strategy in the West Midlands had similar aims, but is resulting in the closure of stations and withdrawal of whole services, including Wolverhampton-Walsall. There are fears for local stations in the Hampshire area, even those serving large urban centres like Totton.
This has provoked a huge outcry in the Southern Daily Echo. Cuts would be contrary to Government and County Council policy, would promote social exclusion and road congestion, and would be entirely out of step with proposals for big housing growth in Hampshire. It would also hit railcard holders like disabled and elderly people.
We must await any proposals before we can comment in detail. It is unfortunate that the SRA under Richard Bowker, whose father was a Stagecoach Director, threw such huge sums of money at Stagecoach’s SWT and Virgin Trains’ franchises (49% owned by Stagecoach). This was the theme of our Group’s contribution to the Government’s Big Conversation (See our website). It is also unfortunate, as recorded earlier in this edition, that SWT under Stagecoach is a railway of showy facades with much poor service lurking behind. Clearly concentrating improvements on a handful of stations has tended to distort passenger demand, for example through over-provision at Brockenhurst, and under-provision at Christchurch, New Milton, Totton and Hedge End.
We would be interested to get views on the state of disability access on SWT stations. We understand that busy Staines is yet another station where only one platform is accessible on the level. It is surely time that, on such a well-funded railway as SWT, there should be a rolling improvement programme instead of money being wasted on token gestures like the loading ramp tethered to the wall of the down platform at Totton, which is accessible only by a steep, narrow stairway.
We also have records of very poor service for disabled people on SWT. A passenger who recently negotiated Merseyrail, including the underground sections, with a wheelchair-bound relative was very impressed both by the facilities and the helpfulness of staff. He considered that it seemed a world away from SWT.
London Underground’s Waterloo and City line is to close from 1 April 2006 until early September for infrastructure work.
Road works around Southampton’s Bargate are causing huge problems for bus users. Pity Southampton is one of the largest cities in Britain with no bus station, and parked buses clogging roads in the shopping centre. The reason? --- Stagecoach first got out of the red by buying Hampshire Bus and selling off the bus station and less-profitable South Hampshire routes for more than they paid for the whole business.
Comment from Jimmy Chestnutt, director general of the Southampton and Fareham Chamber of Commerce and Industry in the Southern Daily Echo of 13 July: “Currently, the first impression that a visitor to the city experiences arriving at Southampton Central rail station is not one that reflects the importance of Southampton as a city”. Quite so, the station looks its age, particularly with the dowdy blue paint applied during the Stagecoach era and now peeling again. And what about the enclosed, long-abandoned building site beside the platform 1 cafe?
The July-September edition of Virgin Trains’ ‘Hotline’ magazine provides ideas for a ‘Big day out’ in Dorset, including Beaulieu, Burley and a New Forest cycle tour. And the July/August edition of SWT’s E’motion magazine states that “South West Trains runs regular three-hourly services from London Waterloo to Bournemouth and Poole stopping at Branksome and Parkstone”. In fact there are twice-hourly trains to Bournemouth and Poole (Poole services reduced to hourly on Sundays) with one service per hour serving Branksome and Parkstone. But for sheer irrelevance, you might have looked up the Larmer Tree Gardens, in the ‘days out’ section of SWT’s website before its revamp; nearest station was given as Queenstown Road (Battersea), whereas the correct answer was Tisbury (Wiltshire).
RAIL PERFORMANCE REPORTS
Note: These details are snapshots, based on passengers' own experiences and website information. The Group does not have the resources to provide a full picture of the performance shortcomings which passengers suffer. We are able to provide fuller coverage on some days than on others. Please note that trains can become increasingly late during the course of their journeys, or make up time where stops are omitted and passengers thrown off, so the "minutes late" figures may not represent the position at the end of a journey.
Friday 1/7/05 06.17 Twickenham-Waterloo axed due to duff stock. 08.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 26 minutes late. 08.37 Waterloo-Reading axed. 10.50 Waterloo-Reading 17 minutes late. 10.58 Waterloo-Windsor 15 minutes late. 13.50 Yeovil-Waterloo axed between Basingstoke and Waterloo. 16.50 Waterloo-Yeovil axed between Waterloo and Basingstoke. 18.01 Totton-Romsey axed between Totton and Southampton. 16.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 7 minutes late; left Southampton at 17.58, but the connecting service for intermediate stations to Bournemouth left at 17.56 to wait at signals along the line for the 16.35 to overtake. 18.41 Waterloo-Basingstoke 15 minutes late and reduced to 4 coaches due to duff stock. 21.00 Exeter-Salisbury axed between Exeter and Honiton; expected at Salisbury 10 minutes early due to slack schedule. 22.30 Exeter-Waterloo axed between Exeter and Honiton.
Saturday 2/7/05 07.42 Reading-Waterloo 23 minutes late. 16.20 Waterloo-Exeter 20 minutes late. 16.50 Waterloo-Reading 16 minutes late.
Sunday 3/7/05 07.01 Windsor-Waterloo 14 minutes late. 08.14 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo axed due to duff train. 09.24 Eastleigh-Portsmouth omitted all intermediate stops between Fareham and Portsmouth & Southsea due to train too short to accommodate passengers. 11.15 Waterloo-Plymouth 19 minutes late. 13.15 Waterloo-Paignton axed between Waterloo and Clapham Junction and 12 minutes late by Basingstoke. 14.06 Plymouth-Waterloo 16 minutes late. 15.54 Waterloo-Bournemouth 15 minutes late. 16.48 Weymouth-Waterloo 16 minutes late. 18.48 Weymouth-Waterloo 15 minutes late. 20.35 Waterloo-Weymouth reduced to 5 coaches.
Monday 4/7/05 05.16 Portsmouth-Southampton 5 minutes late. Stagecoach ‘wrong time’ railway: 06.26 departure from Southampton Central to Weymouth departed at 06.25.37. Broken down train destroyed the morning’s Portsmouth-Waterloo commuter service. 06.40 Portsmouth-Waterloo 50 minutes late and Woking stop axed for operational convenience. 06.44 Portsmouth-Waterloo 48 minutes late. 06.55 Portsmouth-Waterloo 44 minutes late. 07.13 Portsmouth-Waterloo axed between Portsmouth and Havant. 07.30 Portsmouth-Waterloo omitted all intermediate stops for operational convenience. 07.44 Portsmouth-Waterloo 44 minutes late; passengers thrown off at Woking. 07.45 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo reduced to 4 coaches. 08.05 Salisbury-Yeovil axed due to duff stock. 10.00 Waterloo-Portsmouth axed between Waterloo and Woking. 15.18 Portsmouth-Waterloo delayed by preceding late service; 14 minutes late and all intermediate stops between Haslemere and Guildford axed for operational convenience. Parts of 17.05 Waterloo-Weymouth suffered from duff air conditioning; young man on board telling other passengers that he had got to Waterloo in the morning at 10.20 rather than 08.50 due to broken down train – he therefore missed the beginning of an important seminar and felt very awkward about walking in so late. 17.25 Waterloo-Alton reduced to 4 coaches due to duff stock. 17.39 Waterloo-Portsmouth reduced to 8 coaches. 18.23 Waterloo-Basingstoke 34 minutes late due to duff stock. Duff stock on 18.35 Waterloo-Weymouth; Weymouth portion 38 minutes late and Poole portion axed.
Tuesday 5/7/05 06.19 Woking-Portsmouth 17 minutes late due to delay on previous journey. 17.13 Waterloo-Strawberry Hill reduced to 4 coaches. 18.48 Waterloo-Guildford reduced to 4 coaches. Even before 22.00, the 23.22 Waterloo-Weybridge was advertised as expected to start 24 minutes late “due to earlier passenger action”.
Wednesday 6/7/05 05.00 Poole-Waterloo reduced to 8 coaches. 06.00 Eastleigh-Portsmouth axed due to duff stock. 06.55 Portsmouth-Waterloo reduced to 5 coaches. 07.02 Woking-Waterloo reduced to 8 coaches. 07.10 Waterloo-Paignton 15 minutes late. 09.04 Dorking-Waterloo reduced to 4 coaches. Passengers on the 09.20 Waterloo-Reading thrown off at Staines due to duff stock. 11.12 Reading-Waterloo axed between Reading and Ascot due to duff stock. 15.01 Poole-Waterloo 30 minutes late; Clapham Junction stop axed for operational convenience. Passengers on the 15.53 Waterloo-Alton thrown off at Woking due to duff stock. 17.30 Waterloo-Portsmouth reduced to 9 coaches. 17.37 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo 14 minutes late; all intermediate stops after Richmond axed for operational convenience. 17.44 Alton-Waterloo 10 minutes late; all intermediate stops after Woking axed for operational convenience. 18.15 Waterloo-Fratton reduced to 5 coaches. 20.24 Basingstoke-Waterloo 50 minutes late due to duff stock; all intermediate stops before Woking axed for operational convenience.
Thursday 7/7/05 05.45 Poole-Waterloo 5 minutes late. Passengers on the 07.15 Southampton-Waterloo thrown off at Basingstoke. Morning services severely disrupted by several false security alerts on SWT stations. Duff air-conditioning on 14.20 Waterloo-Paignton. 15.24 Basingstoke-Brighton axed due to no crew. 15.56 Havant-Waterloo axed due to no crew. 16.00 Weymouth-Waterloo 23 minutes late. 16.15 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo delayed 72 minutes at Hounslow. 16.37 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo 15 minutes late. 17.33 Woking-Waterloo axed due to duff stock. 17.45 Waterloo-Havant axed due to no crew. 17.52 Waterloo-Weybridge axed due to no crew. 18.15 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo axed. 18.37 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo 12 minutes late. 18.57 Brighton-Reading 52 minutes late.19.05 Waterloo-Poole16 minutes late.
Friday 8/7/05 05.45 Portsmouth-Waterloo 38 minutes late. 06.12 Reading-Waterloo reduced to 4 coaches. 06.43 Cosham-Waterloo 22 minutes late. 07.50 Waterloo-Reading reduced to 4 coaches. 09.25 Reading-Waterloo reduced to 4 coaches. 09.24 Basingstoke-Waterloo 15 minutes late. 11.24 Basingstoke-Waterloo 22 minutes late.
Saturday 9/7/05 06.27 Poole-Waterloo 42 minutes late. 06.45 Wareham-Waterloo 24 minutes late. 07.14 Poole-Southampton axed. 09.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 24 minutes late. 20.24 Portsmouth-Waterloo 11 minutes late.
Sunday 10/7/05 09.54 Waterloo-Portsmouth/Bournemouth 40 minutes late. 10.30 Waterloo-Portsmouth reduced to 4 coaches and 24 minutes late due to no rolling stock. 11.17 Portsmouth-Waterloo 30 minutes late; passengers thrown off at Woking. 11.32 Portsmouth-Waterloo 17 minutes late; Petersfield and Haslemere stops omitted for operational convenience. 11.48 Portsmouth-Waterloo 31 minutes late. 12.48 Portsmouth-Waterloo 12 minutes late. 13.40 Waterloo-Guildford axed. 15.54 Epsom-Waterloo axed due to duff stock. 16.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 14 minutes late due to duff stock; special Surbiton stop for Hampton Court Garden Show home-goers axed. 20.54 Waterloo-Bournemouth 20 minutes late.
Monday 11/7/05 06.07 Totton-Yeovil axed between Southampton Central and Yeovil. 07.15 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo 15 minutes late; all intermediate stops before Twickenham axed for operational convenience. 08.24 Hampton Court-Waterloo reduced to 4 coaches due to duff stock. 08.46 Guildford-Waterloo reduced to 4 coaches due to duff stock. 14.01 Poole-Waterloo 59 minutes late due to duff stock; all intermediate stops after Bournemouth axed for operational convenience. 14.01 Weymouth-Waterloo 17 minutes late. 16.03 Weybridge-Waterloo delayed at Staines; details not advertised. 14.10 Exeter-Waterloo 35 minutes late. 16.24 Waterloo-Dorking delayed due to duff stock. Passengers on the 17.05 Waterloo-Weymouth had to change at Southampton Central due to duff stock; Poole portion of the train axed. 17.20 Waterloo-Reading axed. Two coaches of the 17.35 Waterloo-Weymouth had duff air conditioning; misery for passengers in the exceptionally hot weather. 18.39 Waterloo-Southampton 15 minutes late. 19.02 Waterloo-Woking 15 minutes late. 18.53 Waterloo-Alton 21 minutes late. 18.53 Windsor-Waterloo axed. 20.07 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo 27 minutes late due to duff stock; all intermediate stations before Barnes axed for operational convenience. 20.41 Shepperton-Waterloo axed due to no driver. 21.05 Waterloo-Poole 21 minutes late due to duff stock.
Tuesday 12/7/05 05.00 Poole-Waterloo 10 minutes late. 06.54 Basingstoke-Waterloo 15 minutes late. 16.20 Waterloo-Exeter axed between Waterloo and Salisbury and 34 minutes late due to duff stock. 17.00 Weymouth-Waterloo 63 minutes late due to duff stock; passengers thrown off at Southampton Central. 17.30 Waterloo-Portsmouth 23 minutes late; all intermediate stops before Haslemere axed for operational convenience. 17.54 Poole-Waterloo 21 minutes late. 19.01 Totton-Romsey 19 minutes late. 19.07 Weybridge-Waterloo 27 minutes late; all intermediate stops after Barnes axed for operational convenience. 19.37 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo 20 minutes late. 20.35 Dorking-Waterloo 29 minutes late. 20.37 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo 22 minutes late; all intermediate stops before Barnes axed for operational convenience.
Wednesday 13/7/05 08.30 Waterloo-Portsmouth 17 minutes late due to duff stock. 10.18 Portsmouth-Waterloo axed due to duff stock. 10.29 Woking-Waterloo 14 minutes late; Weybridge and Walton-on-Thames stops axed for operational convenience. Passengers on the 11.23 Waterloo-Alton thrown off at Farnham. 13.14 Alton-Waterloo axed between Alton and Farnham. 14.15 Waterloo-Haslemere 28 minutes late due to duff stock; passengers thrown off at Guildford. 15.37 Haslemere-Waterloo axed between Haslemere and Guildford. 16.09 Waterloo-Guildford 32 minutes late. 16.35 Dorking-Waterloo 15 minutes late. 16.45 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo reduced to 4 coaches. 17.10 Chessington-Waterloo 16 minutes late; all intermediate stops after Raynes Park axed for operational convenience. Delayed 17.20 Waterloo-Woking omitted all intermediate stops before Wimbledon for operational convenience. 17.28 Waterloo-Windsor axed due to duff stock. 18.22 Waterloo-Weybridge reduced to 4 coaches. 18.53 Windsor-Waterloo axed due to duff stock.
Thursday 14/7/05 15.15 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo axed. 15.27 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo axed. 15.30 Waterloo-Portsmouth axed between Waterloo and Woking. Two coaches of the 16.35 Waterloo-Weymouth so blistering hot due to duff air conditioning that the guard undertook a relocation exercise. 17.56 Southampton-Bournemouth departed with the customer information system still displaying “Terminates here”. 18.05 Waterloo-Poole 31 minutes late. 18.11 Waterloo-Basingstoke reduced to 4 coaches. 18.23 Waterloo-Basingstoke reduced to 8 coaches. 19.38 Guildford-Waterloo axed. 20.24 Basingstoke-Waterloo 10 minutes late due to duff stock; omitted all intermediate stops after Woking for operational convenience.
Friday 15/7/05 07.24 Reading-Waterloo 18 minutes late. 07.52 Waterloo-Weybridge axed. 07.57 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo omitted all intermediate stops before Norbiton for operational convenience. 08.00 Shepperton-Waterloo axed. 14.39 Waterloo-Guildford omitted all intermediate stops before Motspur Park for operational convenience. Horrific heat in the coach of the 16.20 Waterloo-Exeter which contained many reserved seats, due to duff air conditioning. 16.33 Waterloo-Guildford reduced to 4 coaches. 16.45 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo reduced to 4 coaches. 18.06 Waterloo-Hampton Court reduced to 4 coaches. 21.20 Waterloo-Woking 23 minutes late. 21.33 Woking-Waterloo 11 minutes late. 21.41 Shepperton-Waterloo 20 minutes late. 22.00 Romsey-Totton axed between Romsey and Eastleigh. 23.03 Weybridge-Waterloo axed.
Saturday 16/7/05 06.41 Exeter-Waterloo 19 minutes late. 06.51 Portsmouth-Waterloo 27 minutes late. 07.14 Basingstoke-Yeovil 17 minutes late. 08.25 Exeter-Waterloo 21 minutes late. 09.05 Waterloo-Poole 15 minutes late; all intermediate stops between Brockenhurst and Bournemouth axed for operational convenience. 12.36 Waterloo-Hampton Court 12 minutes late.
Sunday 17/7/05 Some crews appear to be getting frustrated with Stagecoach’s super-slow schedules. The doors of the 16.05 Bournemouth-Waterloo closed 50 seconds early at Ashurst. At Totton the train actually departed 50 seconds early. 20.17 Portsmouth-Waterloo 15 minutes late.
Monday 18/7/05 07.13 Portsmouth-Waterloo axed due to duff stock. 14.57 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo 15 minutes late. 15.15 Waterloo-Portsmouth 12 minutes late. 15.20 Waterloo-Yeovil 13 minutes late. 15.20 Waterloo-Woking 20 minutes late. 15.27 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo 15 minutes late. 15.30 Waterloo-Portsmouth 12 minutes late. 15.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 10 minutes late. 18.30 Waterloo-Portsmouth 11 minutes late. 18.50 Dorking-Waterloo 18 minutes late. 20.18 Portsmouth-Waterloo 13 minutes late. 21.30 Waterloo-Portsmouth 13 minutes late.
Tuesday 19/7/05 05.30 Waterloo-Weymouth axed between Waterloo and Southampton due to duff stock. 08.31 Dorking-Waterloo axed due to duff stock. 21.20 Waterloo-Reading 36 minutes late; stops at Clapham Junction, Richmond and Twickenham axed for operational convenience.
Wednesday 20/7/05 06.43 Cosham-Waterloo and 06.44 Alton-Waterloo reduced to 9 coaches. Even before the 11.23 was due to leave Waterloo it was announced that passengers would be thrown off at Farnham due to the previous train being delayed. 13.14 Alton-Waterloo axed between Alton and Farnham. 20.33 Weybridge-Waterloo 12 minutes late. 21.40 Chessington-Waterloo 9 minutes late.
Thursday 21/7/05 Suburban and outer-suburban services to and from Waterloo severely affected by signalling problems all afternoon and evening; little by way of a recognisable service, with delays of up to 50 minutes. 14.05 Dorking-Waterloo axed. 16.05 Waterloo-Poole departed at 16.20 due to duff stock; train was 23 minutes late at Southampton and passengers thrown off at Bournemouth for operational convenience. 16.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 18 minutes late. 18.05 Waterloo-Poole 15 minutes late. 18.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 16 minutes late. 18.45 Portsmouth-Waterloo 12 minutes late. 19.20 Waterloo-Honiton/Bristol 15 minutes late. 19.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 13 minutes late. 21.03 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo omitted all intermediate stops before Richmond for operational convenience. 21.33 Waterloo-Guildford axed.
Friday 22/7/05 06.54 Basingstoke-Waterloo axed. 07.13 Portsmouth-Waterloo reduced to 9 coaches. 07.40 Haslemere-Waterloo reduced to 9 coaches. Early afternoon chaos due to security alerts at Portsmouth and Southampton Airport. Trains diverted and severely delayed. 12.00 Weymouth-Waterloo 34 minutes late. 12.55 Southampton-Waterloo 49 minutes late. 16.00 Weymouth-Waterloo 25 minutes late. Passengers on the 17.11 Shepperton-Waterloo thrown off at Kingston for operational convenience. 17.12 and 18.12 Waterloo-Shepperton axed between Waterloo and Kingston. 17.20 Waterloo-Exeter 29 minutes late. Passengers on the 17.33 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo thrown off at Surbiton for operational convenience. 17.37 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo 10 minutes late. 18.15 Portsmouth-Waterloo 13 minutes late. 18.32 Waterloo-Guildford axed between Waterloo and Surbiton. 18.54 Waterloo-Dorking axed. 18.57 Brighton-Reading 19 minutes late. 19.05 Waterloo-Poole 22 minutes late. 21.19 Portsmouth-Waterloo 23 minutes late. 21.46 Guildford-Waterloo 12 minutes late. 14.00 Romsey-Totton axed between Romsey and Eastleigh.
Saturday 23/7/05 12.45 Portsmouth-Waterloo 16 minutes late. 14.37 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo 15 minutes late due to duff stock. 18.39 Waterloo-Southampton axed. 15.00 Weymouth-Waterloo delayed 26 minutes at Southampton Central due to no crew. 18.01 Poole-Waterloo axed between Southampton Central and Waterloo. 19.42 Reading-Waterloo 24 minutes late; all intermediate stops after Staines axed for operational convenience. 21.39 Waterloo-Southampton axed. 23.01 Guildford-Ascot axed.
Sunday 24/7/05 00.27 Ascot-Guildford axed. 09.50 Waterloo-Woking 10 minutes late due to duff stock. 10.10 Waterloo-Guildford reduced to 4 coaches. 11.26 Guildford-Waterloo reduced to 4 coaches. 16.44 Waterloo-Windsor 23 minutes late. 16.48 Weymouth-Waterloo 27 minutes late. 16.50 Waterloo-Woking 15 minutes late due to duff train. 17.50 Waterloo-Reading 11 minutes late. 18.24 Reading-Waterloo axed due to duff stock. 18.48 Weymouth-Waterloo 48 minutes late due to duff stock. 20.05 Bournemouth-Waterloo 36 minutes late; passengers thrown off at Eastleigh.
Monday 25/7/05 07.03 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo axed. 12.10 Exeter-Waterloo 14 minutes late. 15.11 Shepperton-Waterloo axed between Shepperton and Fulwell. Southern’s 15.17 Victoria-Southampton was mysteriously held in Southampton tunnel for several minutes; as it drew up in Southampton Central behind SWT’s 17.56 connection to Bournemouth, the latter was quickly sent on its way, leaving passengers stranded. 17.00 Weymouth-Waterloo axed between Weymouth and Bournemouth. 17.12 Reading-Waterloo 24 minutes late; all intermediate stops after Staines omitted for operational convenience. 17.20 Waterloo-Exeter 41 minutes late. Passengers on the 17.50 Waterloo-Yeovil thrown off at Salisbury. 17.55 Waterloo-Alton axed between Waterloo and Woking. 18.02 Waterloo-Woking axed. Passengers on the 18.15 Portsmouth-Waterloo thrown off at Guildford due to duff stock. 18.24 Basingstoke-Waterloo 25 minutes late; all intermediate stops after Woking axed for operational convenience. 19.16 Waterloo-Chessington 15 minutes late due to duff stock. 20.27 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo 21 minutes late; passengers thrown off at Clapham Junction. 20.57 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo axed. 22.03 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo axed between Waterloo and Clapham Junction.
Tuesday 26/7/05 05.40 Basingstoke-Weymouth 17 minutes late. 07.09 Haslemere-Waterloo 15 minutes late. 07.17 Guildford-Waterloo 10 minutes late. 12.20 Waterloo-Plymouth 33 minutes late. 12.35 Paignton-Waterloo 41 minutes late due to duff stock. 14.10 Exeter-Waterloo 29 minutes late. 14.20 Waterloo-Paignton 23 minutes late. 14.47 Plymouth-Waterloo 17 minutes late. 15.00 Waterloo-Portsmouth axed between Waterloo and Guildford. 15.30 Exeter-Honiton 20 minutes late. 16.01 Honiton-Exeter 20 minutes late. 16.30 Waterloo-Portsmouth reduced to 9 coaches. 17.00 Weymouth-Waterloo 39 minutes late; passengers thrown off at Woking. 17.50 Waterloo-Yeovil reduced to 3 coaches. 17.54 Poole-Waterloo axed between Poole and Bournemouth. 18.00 Weymouth-Waterloo 17 minutes late. 18.30 Waterloo-Portsmouth reduced to 5 coaches. 18.36 Portsmouth-Waterloo 33 minutes late. 19.00 Weymouth-Waterloo 19 minutes late. 20.35 Waterloo-Weymouth axed between Waterloo and Woking.
Wednesday 27/7/05 05.50 Yeovil-Waterloo 18 minutes late. 06.11 Poole-Waterloo 16 minutes late. 15.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 21 minutes late. 16.01 Poole-Waterloo 22 minutes late; all intermediate stops after Southampton Central axed for operational convenience. 16.50 Waterloo-Yeovil reduced to 5 coaches. 16.56 Southampton-Weymouth 21 minutes late. 18.00 Weymouth-Waterloo 24 minutes late. 18.20 Waterloo-Exeter reduced to 6 coaches. 18.23 Windsor-Waterloo 12 minutes late. 18.35 Southampton-Portsmouth 30 minutes late.
Thursday 28/7/05 08.05 Salisbury-Yeovil axed. 10.20 Yeovil-Waterloo axed between Yeovil and Salisbury. 14.00 Weymouth-Waterloo 16 minutes late. Passengers on the 15.20 Waterloo-Yeovil thrown off at Salisbury due to duff stock. 17.05 Waterloo-Weymouth delayed 10 minutes at Southampton during uncoupling of the two portions. 17.25 Waterloo-Alton reduced to 4 coaches. 17.57 Brighton-Basingstoke 24 minutes late. 17.57 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo 18 minutes late; stops at North Sheen, Mortlake, Barnes, Wandsworth Town and Queenstown Road axed for operational convenience. 19.20 Waterloo-Exeter 12 minutes late. 19.45 Portsmouth-Waterloo 23 minutes late. 19.51 Portsmouth-Waterloo 21 minutes late. 22.14 Alton-Waterloo axed between Alton and Farnham due to duff stock.
Friday 29/7/05 05.40 Basingstoke-Weymouth delayed at Southampton Central due to no crew. 15.08 Guildford-Waterloo axed between Guildford and Effingham Junction. 15.45 Waterloo-Portsmouth axed due to duff stock. 18.30 Waterloo-Portsmouth reduced to 5 coaches. 20.06 Weymouth-Waterloo 41 minutes late; all intermediate stops between Bournemouth and Brockenhurst axed for operational convenience. 22.14 Alton-Waterloo 18 minutes late. 22.46 Guildford-Waterloo 13 minutes late.
Saturday 30/7/05 08.39 Waterloo-Southampton 13 minutes late due to duff stock. 10.27 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo axed due to duff train. 10.39 Waterloo-Guildford axed due to duff train. 11.09 Waterloo-Guildford 12 minutes late. 11.12 Waterloo-Shepperton 13 minutes late. 11.24 Hampton Court-Waterloo axed due to duff train. 11.35 Dorking-Waterloo axed due to duff train. 12.03 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo axed due to no serviceable stock available!!! 14.39 Waterloo-Guildford 18 minutes late; omitted all 17 intermediate stops for operational convenience!!! 14.42 Waterloo-Basingstoke 17 minutes late; all intermediate stops before Farnborough axed for operational convenience. 16.20 Waterloo-Exeter initially axed due to no driver, but eventually departed at 16.28. 16.50 Waterloo-Salisbury axed due to no driver. 17.47 Plymouth-Waterloo 60 minutes late. 17.51 Portsmouth-Waterloo 13 minutes late. 18.37 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo 12 minutes late. 18.42 Reading-Waterloo 11 minutes late. 18.45 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo 11 minutes late. 18.54 Basingstoke-Waterloo 11 minutes late. 19.12 Reading-Waterloo 10 minutes late. 19.58 Waterloo-Windsor 13 minutes late. 20.00 Waterloo-Portsmouth 18 minutes late. 20.03 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo 11 minutes late. 20.12 Reading-Waterloo axed.
Sunday 31/7/05 08.54 Waterloo-Bournemouth/Portsmouth 17 minutes late. 16.50 Guildford-Waterloo 23 minutes late. 18.29 Paignton-Waterloo 103 minutes late.
Monday 1/8/05 Passengers on the 07.30 Shepperton-Waterloo thrown off at St Margarets due to duff stock. 14.01 Poole-Waterloo 23 minutes late. 14.47 Plymouth-Waterloo 10 minutes late. Passengers on the 14.50 Waterloo-Reading thrown off at Vauxhall due to duff stock. 14.55 Southampton-Waterloo omitted all intermediate stops after Basingstoke for operational convenience. 15.00 Romsey-Totton 18 minutes late. 15.07 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo 17 minutes late. 16.42 Reading-Waterloo axed due to duff stock. 17.00 Romsey-Totton 16 minutes late. 17.00 Weymouth-Waterloo 9 minutes late. 17.28 Guildford-Waterloo 11 minutes late. 17.34 Guildford-Waterloo 13 minutes late. 17.41 Shepperton-Waterloo 13 minutes late. 17.57 Brighton-Basingstoke 23 minutes late. 18.00 Romsey-Totton 14 minutes late. 18.01 Totton-Romsey 11 minutes late. 18.01 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo 11 minutes late. 18.36 Shepperton-Waterloo 10 minutes late. 18.40 Chessington-Waterloo 11 minutes late.
Tuesday 2/8/05 07.54 Hampton Court-Waterloo axed. 15.58 Waterloo-Windsor 17 minutes late. 18.01 Waterloo-Teddington axed due to duff train. Signalling system at Wimbledon collapsed around 18.00, causing huge delays. Trains like the 18.20 Waterloo-Exeter, 18.35 Waterloo-Weymouth and 19.05 Waterloo-Poole all 20-30 minutes late. 18.51 Portsmouth-Waterloo 36 minutes late. 19.20 Waterloo-Honiton 23 minutes late. 19.24 Portsmouth-Waterloo 26 minutes late. 19.30 Waterloo-Portsmouth 45 minutes late. 19.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 61 minutes late. 19.40 Chessington-Waterloo 92 minutes late. 20.00 Waterloo-Portsmouth 54 minutes late. 20.03 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo 26 minutes late. 20.05 Waterloo-Poole 35 minutes late. 20.24 Portsmouth-Waterloo 32 minutes late. 20.30 Waterloo-Portsmouth 22 minutes late. 20.33 Waterloo-Guildford 42 minutes late. 20.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 31 minutes late. 20.42 Southampton-Portsmouth 21 minutes late. 20.45 Portsmouth-Waterloo 14 minutes late. 21.12 Waterloo-Basingstoke 34 minutes late.
Wednesday 3/8/05 At 06.00 the customer information system at Totton advertised the 05.40 Basingstoke-Weymouth as axed; this was incorrect as it was axed only between Basingstoke at Southampton. At Southampton Central the train was standing next to the 06.21 to Portsmouth and passengers were advised to join the front 5 coaches for Weymouth and rear 5 coaches for Portsmouth, even though the trains were a pair of 4-coach suburban Desiro units!!! 06.34 Bournemouth-Waterloo 19 minutes late due to duff stock. 07.50 Brighton-Basingstoke axed between Brighton and Havant. 07.53 Windsor-Waterloo reduced to 4 coaches. 14.10 Exeter-Waterloo 19 minutes late. 16.15 Waterloo-Portsmouth 15 minutes late. Passengers on the delayed 16.35 Waterloo-Weymouth had less than 2 minutes to connect into the 17.56 stopping train to Bournemouth at Southampton; this led to a frantic race over the congested footbridge and, true to form, the doors on their connecting train closed well before departure time. 16.57 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo 23 minutes late; all intermediate stops after Richmond axed for operational convenience.18.15 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo axed. 18.50 Waterloo-Woking axed. 18.14 Alton-Waterloo 63 minutes late. 18.25 Waterloo-Alton 20 minutes late. 18.35 Alton-Waterloo 61 minutes late. 19.24 Basingstoke-Waterloo 14 minutes late.
Thursday 4/8/05 06.15 Portsmouth-Waterloo axed. 06.40 Portsmouth-Waterloo 15 minutes late due to duff train. 07.45 Portsmouth-Waterloo 17 minutes late. 15.42 Waterloo-Basingstoke axed between Waterloo and Surbiton due to duff stock. 16.01 Poole-Waterloo 12 minutes late. 17.15 Waterloo-Fratton reduced to 5 coaches. 17.39 Waterloo-Portsmouth 19 minutes late. 18.14 Alton-Waterloo 70 minutes late. 18.35 Alton-Waterloo 56 minutes late. 19.05 Alton-Waterloo 42 minutes late. 21.12 Waterloo-Basingstoke axed between Waterloo and Woking.
Friday 5/8/05 07.30 Shepperton-Waterloo axed between Shepperton and Strawberry Hill. 08.33 Weybridge-Waterloo axed between Weybridge and Hounslow due to duff stock. 18.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 14 minutes late. 19.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 27 minutes late. 21.10 Weymouth-Waterloo 17 minutes late.
Saturday 6/8/05 06.45 Portsmouth-Waterloo 16 minutes late due to duff train. Passengers on the 10.51 Portsmouth-Waterloo thrown off at Woking. 11.20 Waterloo-Reading 17 minutes late due to duff train. 11.37 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo 16 minutes late and omitted all intermediate stops before Hounslow for operational convenience. 13.39 Waterloo-Southampton axed between Waterloo and Woking. 14.09 Waterloo-Portsmouth 23 minutes late. 14.37 Brighton-Basingstoke 15 minutes late. 16.00 Weymouth-Waterloo axed between Weymouth and Bournemouth due to duff stock. 17.01 Poole-Waterloo 15 minutes late due to duff stock.
Sunday 7/8/05 08.48 Weymouth-Waterloo axed between Weymouth and Poole. 18.35 Waterloo-Weymouth reduced to 4 coaches. 18.48 Weymouth-Waterloo 38 minutes late. 21.05 Bournemouth-Waterloo axed due to duff stock. 22.24 Reading-Waterloo 16 minutes late due to duff stock.
Monday 8/8/05 05.42 Reading-Waterloo 20 minutes late; intermediate stops before Wokingham axed for operational convenience. 13.45 Portsmouth-Waterloo 19 minutes late. 15.01 Poole-Waterloo 15 minutes late. 15.55 Southampton-Waterloo 14 minutes late. 16.24 Basingstoke-Waterloo 26 minutes late. 18.09 Waterloo-Portsmouth hit a swan near Brookwood and lost a pick-up shoe; 144 minutes late per complaint on web from passenger who wondered why the train was not moved by the rescue locomotive based at Woking. 18.20 Waterloo-Exeter 26 minutes late. 18.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 21 minutes late; Poole portion 33 minutes late by Totton. 18.39 Waterloo-Southampton 16 minutes late. 18.41 Waterloo-Basingstoke 14 minutes late. 18.50 Waterloo-Salisbury 11 minutes late. 18.51 Portsmouth-Waterloo 11 minutes late. 18.58 Waterloo-Windsor axed due to no driver. 20.23 Windsor-Waterloo axed due to no driver. 21.07 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo 32 minutes late due to no crew.
Tuesday 9/8/05 06.07 Totton-Yeovil axed between Totton and Southampton. 12.30 Waterloo-Portsmouth 28 minutes late. 12.35 Paignton-Waterloo 15 minutes late due to duff train.
Wednesday 10/8/05 07.20 Yeovil-Waterloo axed between Yeovil and Gillingham due to no guard. 19.05 Waterloo-Poole 9 minutes late.
Thursday 11/8/05 14.47 Plymouth-Waterloo 44 minutes late; passengers thrown off at Salisbury and joined the delayed 18.45 departure.
Friday 12/8/05 08.25 Exeter-Waterloo 20 minutes late. 21.40 Brighton-Salisbury axed between Brighton and Havant.
Saturday 13/8/05 14.20 Waterloo-Penzance 30 minutes late.
Monday 15/8/05 Points failure at Woking affected Portsmouth-Guildford-Waterloo commuter services.
Tuesday 16/8/05 Early morning points failure at Basingstoke caused service disruption. 06.55 Reading-Brighton 18 minutes late. 07.24 Basingstoke-Waterloo axed. 08.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 18 minutes late from the outset. 08.39 Waterloo-Southampton axed between Waterloo and Basingstoke. 17.00 Waterloo-Portsmouth reduced to 9 coaches. 17.28 Guildford-Waterloo reduced to 4 coaches. 18.50 Waterloo-Woking reduced to 4 coaches. 18.01, 20.01 and 22.01 Totton-Romsey axed due to duff stock. 19.00 and 21.00 Romsey-Totton axed due to duff stock. 23.00 Romsey-Southampton axed due to duff stock. 20.45 Waterloo-Portsmouth 32 minutes late; passengers thrown off at Fratton.
Thursday 18/8/05 Passengers left behind at Waterloo when the doors of the 16.35 to Weymouth were closed in front of them at 16.34. 17.05 Waterloo-Weymouth 6 minutes late at Winchester. 19.02 Waterloo-Woking reduced to 4 coaches. 20.15 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo so duff that it only reached Clapham Junction before passengers were thrown off.
Friday 19/8/05 07.14 Alton-Waterloo 38 minutes late. 07.44 Alton-Waterloo 17 minutes late. Alton-Farnham service then replaced by buses until around 16.00 due to signalling problems. 08.45 Portsmouth-Waterloo 14 minutes late due to duff train in the Farncombe area. 13.35 Waterloo-Weymouth called additionally at Clapham Junction and Basingstoke; 11 minutes late. 14.10 Exeter-Waterloo 17 minutes late due to no crew. 14.33 Weybridge-Waterloo axed due to duff stock. 16.20 Waterloo-Reading 17 minutes late; stops at Martins Heron, Winnersh, Winnersh Triangle and Earley axed for operational convenience. 16.33 Weybridge-Waterloo 11 minutes late. 16.45 Portsmouth-Waterloo 16 minutes late due to duff stock; intermediate stops between Haslemere and Guildford axed for operational convenience and the 17.15 from Portsmouth stopped instead. 17.18 Portsmouth-Waterloo 16 minutes late. 17.23 Waterloo-Basingstoke reduced to 5 coaches; 17.41 and 18.11 reduced to 4 coaches. 17.47 Plymouth-Waterloo axed between Plymouth and Yeovil due to duff stock. 18.05 Waterloo-Poole reduced to 5 coaches. 18.28 Waterloo-Windsor reduced to 4 coaches. 18.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 8 minutes late. Passengers on the 19.25 Waterloo-Alton thrown off at Farnham due to duff stock. 21.14 Alton-Waterloo axed between Alton and Farnham due to duff stock.
Saturday 20/8/05 06.41 Shepperton-Waterloo axed. 12.00 Weymouth-Waterloo 10 minutes late. 12.01 Poole-Waterloo 11 minutes late. 16.07 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo 16 minutes late. 18.20 Waterloo-Reading axed due to no driver. 20.12 Reading-Waterloo axed due to no driver.
Sunday 21/8/05 10.16 Basingstoke-Waterloo 8 minutes late. 19.48 Portsmouth-Waterloo 16 minutes late. 20.24 Reading-Waterloo axed due to duff stock.
Monday 22/8/05 Stock for the 06.07 Totton-Yeovil arrived several minutes late; train reached Southampton at 06.22, the 06.21 connection for Portsmouth having already departed with no alternative service for 56 minutes. 17.05 Waterloo-Weymouth axed between Waterloo and Winchester due to duff stock. 17.53 Waterloo-Basingstoke reduced to 4 coaches. 18.01 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo 25 minutes late. 18.05 Waterloo-Aldershot 23 minutes late. 18.07 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo 29 minutes late. 18.13 Waterloo-Shepperton 23 minutes late. 18.15 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo 15 minutes late. 18.20 Waterloo-Reading 12 minutes late. 18.22 Waterloo-Weybridge 17 minutes late. 18.46 Waterloo-Chessington reduced to 4 coaches. 18.50 Waterloo-Reading axed due to no driver. Duff doors on the 19.05 Waterloo-Poole; train reached Southampton about 35 minutes late and passengers thrown off: knock-on delays to the 19.35 Waterloo-Weymouth, and to the 20.42 Southampton-Portsmouth, whose crew arrives on the 19.05. 19.07 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo 11 minutes late. 19.12 Reading-Waterloo 11 minutes late. 19.20 Waterloo-Reading axed. 20.09 Waterloo-Dorking axed due to no driver. 20.15 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo axed due to duff stock. 20.33 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo axed due to duff stock. 21.12 Reading-Waterloo axed due to no driver. 21.35 Dorking-Waterloo axed due to no driver.
Tuesday 23/8/05 05.45 Poole-Waterloo delayed 10 minutes at Wimbledon: first excuse “congestion”; second excuse “cracked rail”; train then proceeded at full speed to Waterloo. 06.20 Honiton-Waterloo axed between Honiton and Yeovil due to duff stock. 06.41 Exeter-Waterloo axed between Exeter St David’s and Exeter Central and 20 minutes late due to duff stock. 08.41 Shepperton-Waterloo axed due to no driver. 08.05 Waterloo-Poole 30 minutes late. 09.05 Waterloo-Poole 16 minutes late. Afternoon fatality in Raynes Park area with huge delays. 14.19 Portsmouth-Waterloo 27 minutes late. 14.45 Portsmouth-Waterloo axed. 15.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 43 minutes late. 16.00 Weymouth-Waterloo 30 minutes late. 16.20 Waterloo-Reading axed. 16.22 Waterloo-Weybridge axed. 16.30 Waterloo-Portsmouth 11 minutes late. 16.33 Waterloo-Guildford axed. Inhuman overcrowding on the 5-coach 16.35 Waterloo-Weymouth: train reached Southampton at 17.54.40; two passengers raced across the footbridge at breakneck speed to catch the 17.56 stopping train to Bournemouth - staff standing alongside the latter train congratulated them and sent off the service before others could catch it: the train was then delayed at Millbrook and reached Totton 4 minutes late, time which could have been used by waiting at Southampton for other passengers off the 16.35. The 16.35 was then 10 minutes late from Brockenhurst. 16.05 Waterloo-Poole 22 minutes late. 16.45 Waterloo-Portsmouth axed between Waterloo and Guildford and reduced to 4 coaches. 17.00 Waterloo-Portsmouth axed. 17.01 Poole-Waterloo 18 minutes late. 17.47 Plymouth-Waterloo axed between Plymouth and Exeter. 18.15 Portsmouth-Waterloo axed. 19.05 Waterloo-Poole 15 minutes late. 19.15 Portsmouth-Waterloo axed. 19.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 14 minutes late. 19.42 Waterloo-Shepperton 18 minutes late; all intermediate stops before Norbiton axed for operational convenience. Passengers on the 21.35 Waterloo-Weymouth thrown off at Bournemouth due to no driver.
Wednesday 24/8/05 07.09 Haslemere-Waterloo reduced to 8 coaches. 07.11 Woking-Waterloo reduced to 8 coaches. 07.46 Effingham Junction-Waterloo reduced to 4 coaches. 08.07 Waterloo-Reading axed. 09.42 Reading-Waterloo axed between Reading and Ascot. 15.42 Reading-Waterloo 12 minutes late; all intermediate stops after Staines axed for operational convenience. 16.23 Windsor-Waterloo 8 minutes late. 16.42 Reading-Waterloo axed between Reading and Feltham. 17.12 Reading-Waterloo 12 minutes late. 20.20 Waterloo-Woking axed due to no driver. 21.33 Woking-Waterloo axed due to no driver.
Thursday 25/8/05 05.10 Exeter-Waterloo 16 minutes late. Passengers on the 05.30 Waterloo-Weymouth thrown off at Bournemouth. 06.20 Honiton-Waterloo axed between Honiton and Yeovil due to duff stock. 06.41 Exeter-Waterloo axed between Exeter and Honiton due to duff stock. Passengers on the 08.35 Waterloo-Weymouth thrown off at Bournemouth due to no driver. 09.00 and 12.00 Weymouth-Waterloo axed between Weymouth and Bournemouth due to no driver. 17.31 Guildford-Ascot 18 minutes late. 18.23 Windsor-Waterloo axed. 20.22 Waterloo-Weybridge axed. 22.03 Weybridge-Waterloo axed. 22.09 Waterloo-Dorking axed.
Friday 26/8/05 Passengers on the 05.40 Basingstoke-Weymouth thrown off at Southampton. 07.45 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo axed. 07.58 Waterloo-Windsor advertised as delayed 10 minutes before departure time. 08.03 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo axed. 14.55 Southampton-Waterloo axed. 17.00 Weymouth-Waterloo 10 minutes late. 17.01 Poole-Waterloo 20 minutes late. 17.09 Waterloo-Portsmouth axed. 17.30 Waterloo-Portsmouth axed. 17.53 Waterloo-Basingstoke axed. 17.54 Basingstoke-Waterloo axed. 18.20 Waterloo-Exeter 16 minutes late. 18.37 Weybridge-Waterloo axed. 19.10 Paignton-Basingstoke 15 minutes late. 19.25 Waterloo-Alton axed. 19.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 24 minutes late. 20.51 Portsmouth-Waterloo axed between Portsmouth and Basingstoke.
Saturday 27/8/05 01.42 Waterloo-Twickenham axed. 06.41 Shepperton-Waterloo axed due to no driver. 06.54 Virginia Water-Waterloo axed due to no driver. 07.42 Shepperton-Waterloo axed due to no driver. 08.41 Shepperton-Waterloo axed between Shepperton and Teddington due to no driver. Passengers on the 08.09 Waterloo-Portsmouth thrown off at Basingstoke due to no driver. 09.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 10 minutes late. 09.37 Waterloo-Brentford axed due to no driver. 10.51 Portsmouth-Waterloo axed between Portsmouth and Basingstoke due to no driver. 10.58 Waterloo-Windsor axed due to no driver. 11.15 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo axed due to no driver. 11.39 Waterloo-Southampton axed due to no driver. 12.01 Guildford-Ascot axed due to no driver. 12.23 Windsor-Waterloo axed due to no driver. 13.09 Waterloo-Portsmouth 23 minutes late and axed between Eastleigh and Portsmouth due to no driver. 13.23 Ascot-Guildford axed due to no driver. 13.55 Southampton-Waterloo axed due to no driver. 14.59 Wareham-Brockenhurst 17 minutes late due to duff stock. 15.51 Portsmouth-Waterloo axed between Portsmouth and Eastleigh due to no driver. 16.54 Basingstoke-Waterloo axed due to no driver.
Sunday 28/8/05 06.56 Guildford-Waterloo 41 minutes late due to duff stock. 17.10 Waterloo-Guildford axed due to duff stock. 18.26 Guildford-Waterloo 19 minutes late.
Monday 29/8/05 16.20 Yeovil-Waterloo 15 minutes late. 16.40 Exeter-Honiton axed due to duff stock. 17.00 Weymouth-Waterloo 10 minutes late. 17.30 Exeter-Axminster axed due to duff stock. 18.23 Axminster-Exeter axed due to duff stock. 18.31 Guildford-Ascot axed between Guildford and Aldershot due to duff stock. 20.31 Guildford-Waterloo axed.
Tuesday 30/8/05 06.20 Honiton-Waterloo axed between Honiton and Crewkerne. 06.41 Exeter-Waterloo 25 minutes late and axed between Exeter St David’s and Exeter Central. 09.02 Dorking-Waterloo reduced to 4 coaches. 18.35 Dorking-Waterloo axed due to duff stock. 20.40 Chessington-Waterloo 14 minutes late.
Wednesday 31/8/05 05.44 Alton-Waterloo 38 minutes late; passengers thrown off at Woking. 06.30 Aldershot-Waterloo axed. 06.42 Reading-Waterloo 9 minutes late. 06.45 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo 8 minutes late. 07.11 Waterloo-Brighton axed between Waterloo and Woking. 07.14 Alton-Waterloo 20 minutes late. REVISED FORMAT FOR LIVE RUNNING INFORMATION INTRODUCED ON THE NATIONAL RAIL WEBSITE. A PRINCIPAL CHANGE WAS THAT CANCELLED AND SEVERELY DELAYED TRAINS WERE NO LONGER HIGHLIGHTED IN RED (HIGHLIGHTING REINTRODUCED SEVERAL WEEKS LATER). BY MID-MORNING THE NEW SYSTEM HAD COLLAPSED, AND CONTINUED COLLAPSING THROUGH THE DAY. 15.45 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo 18 minutes late due to duff stock; stops at Isleworth, Syon Lane, Brentford, Kew Bridge, Chiswick and Barnes Bridge axed for operational convenience. 16.01 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo 24 minutes late due to duff stock; all intermediate stops before Richmond axed for operational convenience. 16.14 Alton-Waterloo 24 minutes late. 16.24 Basingstoke-Waterloo 20 minutes late. 16.45 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo 21 minutes late due to duff stock. 16.56 Southampton-Weymouth 17 minutes late. 17.20 Waterloo-Exeter 51 minutes late. 17.30 Waterloo-Epsom axed due to duff stock. 17.41 Waterloo-Basingstoke 20 minutes late. 17.47 Plymouth-Waterloo 23 minutes late. 17.58 Waterloo-Windsor 14 minutes late due to duff stock. 18.05 Waterloo-Poole 15 minutes late. 18.10 Exeter-Waterloo 50 minutes late; passengers thrown off at Woking for operational convenience. 18.11 Waterloo-Basingstoke 21 minutes late. 18.20 Yeovil-Waterloo 34 minutes late. 18.23 Waterloo-Basingstoke 22 minutes late and reduced to 8 coaches due to duff stock. 18.37 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo 19 minutes late. 18.39 Waterloo-Southampton 12 minutes late. 18.45 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo 12 minutes late. 18.50 Waterloo-Salisbury 13 minutes late. 18.54 Waterloo-Dorking reduced to 4 coaches. 19.01 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo 10 minutes late. 19.20 Waterloo-Honiton/Bristol 22 minutes late. 19.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 17 minutes late. 20.06 Weymouth-Waterloo 31 minutes late. 21.00 Exeter-Salisbury axed between Exeter and Honiton. 22.20 Waterloo-Salisbury axed between Waterloo and Woking.
Thursday 1/9/05 06.41 Exeter-Waterloo 40 minutes late. 07.50 Teddington-Waterloo axed. 17.00 Weymouth-Waterloo 32 minutes late. 17.54 Poole-Waterloo 12 minutes late. 19.54 Poole-Waterloo 8 minutes late.
Friday 2/9/05 07.50 Brighton-Basingstoke axed between Brighton and Worthing. 19.05 Waterloo-Poole 16 minutes late. 19.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 16 minutes late. 20.14 Alton-Waterloo 30 minutes late; stops at West Byfleet and Surbiton axed for operational convenience. 20.44 Alton-Waterloo delayed due to train failure in the Earlsfield area.
Saturday 3/9/05 05.15 Salisbury-Waterloo 11 minutes late. 16.22 Waterloo-Weybridge axed due to no driver. 16.50 Waterloo-Reading 29 minutes late; intermediate stops between Ascot and Reading axed for operational convenience. 17.07 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo axed due to no driver. 17.11 Shepperton Waterloo axed due to no driver. 17.15 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo axed due to no driver. 17.53 Waterloo-Alton axed due to no driver. 18.03 Weybridge-Waterloo axed due to no driver. Passengers on the 18.44 Alton-Waterloo thrown off at Woking due to no driver. 19.44 Alton-Waterloo axed between Alton and Farnham. 19.58 Waterloo-Windsor axed due to no driver. 20.12 Waterloo-Basingstoke axed due to no driver. 20.14 Alton-Waterloo axed due to no driver. 20.28 Waterloo-Windsor 17 minutes late and axed between Waterloo and Staines due to no driver. Passengers on the 20.35 Waterloo-Weymouth thrown off at Bournemouth due to no driver. Passengers on the 20.44 Alton-Waterloo thrown off at Farnham due to no driver. Passengers on the 20.51 Portsmouth-Waterloo thrown off at Basingstoke due to no driver. 20.53 Ascot-Guildford axed due to no driver. Passengers on the 20.53 Windsor-Waterloo thrown off at Staines due to no driver. 21.12 Waterloo-Shepperton axed due to no driver. 21.22 Waterloo-Weybridge axed due to no driver. 21.23 Windsor-Waterloo axed due to no driver. Passengers on the 21.53 Windsor-Waterloo thrown off at Staines due to no driver. 21.58 Waterloo-Windsor axed between Waterloo and Staines due to no driver. 22.11 Shepperton-Waterloo axed due to no driver. 22.12 Waterloo-Basingstoke axed due to no driver. 22.38 Aldershot-Guildford axed due to no driver. 22.53 Waterloo-Alton axed. 23.01 Guildford-Ascot axed due to no driver. 23.03 Weybridge-Staines axed due to no driver.
Sunday 4/9/05 With SWT’s decelerated schedules, and trains into Waterloo advertised by National Rail as expected to arrive up to 10 minutes early, the chances of late running were negligible. 00.27 Ascot-Guildford axed due to no driver. 10.54 Waterloo-Bournemouth/Portsmouth 9 minutes late. 11.42 Haslemere-Waterloo 18 minutes late. 11.42 Portsmouth-Southampton 9 minutes late. 16.01 Windsor-Waterloo 13 minutes late. 19.26 Guildford-Waterloo 19 minutes late. 20.48 Portsmouth-Waterloo 17 minutes late.
Monday 5/9/05 05.16 Portsmouth-Southampton axed without prior notice at stations, so London commuters lost their connection. 14.53 Waterloo-Alton 24 minutes late due to duff stock. Passengers on the 15.53 Waterloo-Alton thrown off at Woking due to no driver. 16.45 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo axed due to duff stock. 18.38 Guildford-Waterloo axed due to duff stock. 19.12 Waterloo-Eastleigh axed between Waterloo and Woking.
Tuesday 6/9/05 05.00 Poole-Waterloo 12 minutes late. 19.00 Weymouth-Waterloo 12 minutes late.
Wednesday 7/9/05 05.16 Portsmouth-Southampton 6 minutes late. 08.00 Shepperton-Waterloo reduced to 4 coaches. 09.55 Reading-Brighton 23 minutes due to duff stock. 11.33 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo 12 minutes late. 11.41 Shepperton-Waterloo 20 minutes late. 11.45 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo started 11 minutes late; all intermediate stops before Richmond axed for operational convenience. 15.55 Reading-Brighton axed between Reading and Basingstoke.
Thursday 8/9/05 06.54 Basingstoke-Waterloo 15 minutes late. 07.00 Aldershot-Waterloo 16 minutes late. 07.23 Ascot-Guildford 15 minutes late. 07.24 Basingstoke-Waterloo 20 minutes late; all intermediate stops before Woking axed for operational convenience. 07.39 Waterloo-Guildford diverted, missing all intermediate stops from Motspur Park to Bookham inclusive. 07.46 Effingham Junction-Waterloo 16 minutes late. 15.54 Basingstoke-Waterloo 16 minutes late; all intermediate stops after Woking axed for operational convenience. 18.25 Waterloo-Alton reduced to 4 coaches due to duff stock.
Friday 9/9/05 07.50 Waterloo-Weybridge reduced to 4 coaches. 10.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 17 minutes late due to no crew. 16.54 Waterloo-Dorking reduced to 4 coaches. 18.45 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo 41 minutes late; all intermediate stops between Twickenham and Barnes, except Hounslow, axed for operational convenience. 18.51 Portsmouth-Waterloo 31 minutes late; stops at Farnborough and Woking axed for operational convenience. 19.15 Waterloo-Havant axed due to duff stock. 19.30 Waterloo-Portsmouth 18 minutes late due to no crew. 19.41 Shepperton-Waterloo 28 minutes late; 20.41 18 minutes late; 21.11 23 minutes late; 22.11 20 minutes late. 21.40 Brighton-Salisbury 11 minutes late.
Saturday 10/9/05 Person “hit by train” – SWT’s website showed some trains hardly stopping anywhere with passengers thrown off or left standing as “services” became little more than stock-repositioning exercises. 09.01 Poole-Waterloo 10 minutes late. 10.01 Poole-Waterloo omitted all intermediate stops. 10.05 Waterloo-Poole 77 minutes late. 10.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 46 minutes late. 10.39 Waterloo-Southampton 9 minutes late. 10.55 Southampton-Waterloo 133 minutes late. 11.01 Poole-Waterloo 14 minutes late. 11.05 Waterloo-Poole 48 minutes late. 11.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 60 minutes late; called at Woking, Havant and Weymouth only. 12.00 Weymouth-Waterloo 13 minutes late. 12.01 Poole-Waterloo 40 minutes late. 12.05 Waterloo-Poole 52 minutes late. 12.09 Waterloo-Portsmouth called at Havant and Portsmouth Harbour only. 12.35 Waterloo-Weymouth axed. 12.39 Waterloo-Southampton axed. 12.51 Portsmouth-Waterloo 10 minutes late. Passengers on the 13.50 Waterloo-Reading thrown off at Ascot due to duff stock. 13.55 Southampton-Waterloo axed between Southampton and Basingstoke. 14.36 Portsmouth-Southampton 38 minutes late. 15.09 Waterloo-Portsmouth 26 minutes late. 15.42 Reading-Waterloo axed due to duff stock. Duff stock on the 15.57 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo; passengers thrown off at Clapham Junction on the outward lap. 16.00 Weymouth-Waterloo 17 minutes late. 16.00 Romsey-Totton axed. 16.45 Salisbury-Waterloo 26 minutes late. 17.01 Totton-Romsey axed between Totton and Southampton. 17.03 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo axed between Waterloo and Twickenham due to duff stock. 17.40 Chessington-Waterloo axed due to duff stock. 17.50 Waterloo-Reading axed due to duff stock. 18.01 Poole-Waterloo 23 minutes late. 19.42 Reading-Waterloo 14 minutes late.
Sunday 11/9/05 08.07 Basingstoke-Paignton 98 minutes late; passengers thrown off at Newton Abbot. 08.15 Waterloo-Plymouth 64 minutes late. 09.02 Reading-Waterloo 25 minutes late. 09.05 Windsor-Waterloo 38 minutes late. 09.20 Exeter-Waterloo 101 minutes late and passengers thrown off at Salisbury; no reason given. 09.39 Bournemouth-Weymouth 57 minutes late. 09.48 Weymouth-Waterloo 57 minutes late; stops at Upwey, Moreton, Wool, Hamworthy, Parkstone and Branksome axed for operational convenience. 10.18 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo axed between Waterloo and Wimbledon due to a fatality at Norbiton. 10.48 Weymouth-Waterloo 19 minutes late. 11.09 Shepperton-Waterloo axed. 11.20 Exeter-Waterloo 84 minutes late; passengers were to be thrown off at Salisbury, but this decision was superseded. 11.54 Waterloo-Bournemouth 16 minutes late due to duff stock. 12.25 Paignton-Waterloo axed between Paignton and Newton Abbot. 16.17 Portsmouth-Waterloo 19 minutes late. 16.26 Guildford-Waterloo axed due to no rolling stock. 19.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 35 minutes late. Evening chaos erased the Lymington branch’s half-hourly services; 20.44 from Lymington 54 minutes late.
Monday 12/9/05 08.22 Epsom-Waterloo axed due to no driver. Passengers on the 12.10 Exeter-Waterloo thrown off at Honiton; a replacement train ran from Salisbury to Waterloo but was one hour late. Passengers on the 14.52 Waterloo-Weybridge thrown off at Clapham Junction due to duff stock. 16.05 Waterloo-Poole 7 minutes late. 16.20 Waterloo-Exeter reduced to 3 coaches. 19.07 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo 15 minutes late. 19.12 Reading-Waterloo 9 minutes late.
Tuesday 13/9/05 Morning peak services disrupted by a “line problem” in the Vauxhall area – the problem being that the line was blocked by a duff Stagecoach train! 05.45 Poole-Waterloo 10 minutes late. 07.13 Portsmouth-Waterloo reduced to 5 coaches due to duff stock. 07.44 Alton-Waterloo axed due to no driver. 08.23 Windsor-Waterloo reduced to 4 coaches due to duff stock. 17.45 Waterloo-Havant reduced to 9 coaches. 22.19 Portsmouth-Waterloo 16 minutes late due to duff stock.
Wednesday 14/9/05 14.05 Waterloo-Poole 6 minutes late. 15.58 Guildford-Waterloo axed between Guildford and Raynes Park. 16.37 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo axed due to duff stock.
Thursday 15/9/05 07.24 Portsmouth-Waterloo reduced to 4 coaches. 07.53 Windsor-Waterloo reduced to 4 coaches. Evening “line problem” in the Earlsfield area (duff train blocking line): 18.24 Portsmouth-Waterloo axed between Portsmouth and Havant due to no guard. 19.00 Waterloo-Portsmouth 55 minutes late. 19.05 Waterloo-Poole 75 minutes late. 19.09 Waterloo-Portsmouth 37 minutes late. 19.12 Waterloo-Eastleigh 39 minutes late. 19.27 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo axed due to duff train. 19.30 Waterloo-Portsmouth 47 minutes late. 19.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 40 minutes late. 19.35 Alton-Waterloo 14 minutes late. 19.39 Waterloo-Southampton 43 minutes late. 19.45 Waterloo-Portsmouth 37 minutes late. 19.53 Waterloo-Alton 30 minutes late. 19.54 Hampton Court-Waterloo 58 minutes late. 19.54 Basingstoke-Waterloo 13 minutes late. 19.57 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo 37 minutes late. 20.00 Waterloo-Portsmouth 32 minutes late. 20.01 Chessington-Waterloo 46 minutes late. 20.03 Woking-Waterloo 40 minutes late. 20.05 Waterloo-Poole 28 minutes late. 20.09 Waterloo-Portsmouth 29 minutes late. 20.11 Shepperton-Waterloo 45 minutes late. 20.12 Waterloo-Basingstoke 36 minutes late. 20.20 Waterloo-Woking 34 minutes late. 20.23 Waterloo-Alton 22 minutes late. 20.24 Hampton Court-Waterloo 38 minutes late. 20.27 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo 29 minutes late. 20.30 Waterloo-Portsmouth 22 minutes late. 20.33 Woking-Waterloo 25 minutes late. 20.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 18 minutes late. 20.38 Guildford-Waterloo 21 minutes late. 20.39 Waterloo-Southampton 24 minutes late. 20.40 Chessington-Waterloo 27 minutes late. 20.41 Shepperton-Waterloo 37 minutes late. 20.42 Southampton-Portsmouth 33 minutes late. 20.42 Waterloo-Basingstoke 13 minutes late. 20.45 Waterloo-Portsmouth 13 minutes late. 20.46 Guildford-Waterloo 18 minutes late. 20.50 Waterloo-Woking 22 minutes late. 20.54 Basingstoke-Waterloo 15 minutes late. 20.54 Hampton Court-Waterloo 23 minutes late. 21.10 Chessington-Waterloo 14 minutes late. 21.11 Shepperton-Waterloo 21 minutes late. 21.30 Waterloo-Portsmouth omitted all intermediate stops before Havant for operational convenience. 21.33 Woking-Waterloo 16 minutes late. 21.41 Shepperton-Waterloo 12 minutes late. 21.51 Portsmouth-Eastleigh 26 minutes late. 21.54 Basingstoke-Waterloo 14 minutes late; Weybridge and Walton-on-Thames stops axed for operational convenience. 22.09 Waterloo-Dorking axed due to no rolling stock.
Friday 16/9/05 04.58 Guildford-Waterloo 78 minutes late due to tree on line. 05.50 Portsmouth-Waterloo reduced to 9 coaches. 05.50 Yeovil-Waterloo reduced to 8 coaches due to duff stock. 06.03 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo reduced to 4 coaches and axed between Waterloo and New Malden due to duff stock. 06.40 Portsmouth-Waterloo reduced to 4 coaches. 07.27 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo axed due to duff stock. 07.32 Dorking-Waterloo axed due to tree on line. 07.40 Haslemere-Waterloo reduced to 5 coaches. 08.20 Guildford-Waterloo reduced to 4 coaches due to duff stock. 17.01 Poole-Waterloo 20 minutes late. 18.32 Waterloo-Basingstoke axed due to no driver. 19.20 Waterloo-Woking 25 minutes late. 19.54 Poole-Waterloo 11 minutes late. 19.55 Southampton-Waterloo 12 minutes late. 20.24 Hampton Court-Waterloo 11 minutes late. 20.24 Basingstoke-Waterloo 19 minutes late. 21.27 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo delayed by duff train. 21.42 Waterloo-Shepperton 30 minutes late. Passengers on the 21.42 Reading-Waterloo thrown off at Ascot. 21.50 Waterloo-Woking 17 minutes late. 21.57 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo 19 minutes late. 22.03 Waterloo-Guildford omitted all intermediate stops before Wimbledon due to duff train blocking line. 22.05 Waterloo-Poole 20 minutes late. 22.09 Waterloo-Dorking 11 minutes late. 22.12 Waterloo-Basingstoke 18 minutes late. 22.12 Waterloo-Shepperton 9 minutes late. 22.20 Waterloo-Salisbury 13 minutes late. 22.35 Dorking-Waterloo axed. 22.38 Guildford-Waterloo axed.
Saturday 17/9/05 08.45 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo axed. 09.09 Waterloo-Portsmouth 15 minutes late. 09.57 Brighton-Paignton 14 minutes late. 18.00 Weymouth-Waterloo 12 minutes late. Passengers on the 18.23 Waterloo-Alton thrown off at Farnham due to no conductor. Passengers on both the 18.51 and 19.51 Portsmouth-Waterloo thrown off at Eastleigh due to no conductor. 20.14 Alton-Waterloo axed due to no conductor. 21.01 Guildford-Ascot axed due to no driver. 22.38 Aldershot-Guildford axed due to no driver.
Sunday 18/9/05 No problems notified on SWT’s website, but… 14.06 Plymouth-Waterloo 39 minutes late. 14.48 Weymouth-Waterloo 83 minutes late. 15.25 Yeovil-Waterloo 82 minutes late. 15.54 Waterloo-Bournemouth 90 minutes late. 16.17 Portsmouth-Waterloo 58 minutes late. 16.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 89 minutes late. 16.48 Portsmouth-Waterloo 10 minutes late. 16.48 Weymouth-Waterloo 10 minutes late. 17.07 Waterloo-Basingstoke 18 minutes late. 17.17 Portsmouth-Waterloo 40 minutes late. 17.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 43 minutes late. 17.50 Basingstoke-Waterloo 53 minutes late. 17.56 Guildford-Waterloo 16 minutes late.18.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 63 minutes late. 18.48 Weymouth-Waterloo 25 minutes late. 18.54 Waterloo-Bournemouth 48 minutes late. 19.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 14 minutes late. 20.17 Portsmouth-Waterloo 26 minutes late. 21.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 24 minutes late.
Monday 19/9/05 Live running information not available on SWT’s website in the morning peak, and checks against London Waterloo on the National Rail website defaulted to Waterloo (Merseyside). 15.40 Chessington-Waterloo 16 minutes late. 18.15 Waterloo-Fratton axed due to duff stock. 22.28 Waterloo-Windsor axed due to no driver. Passengers on the 23.30 Waterloo-Reading thrown off at Staines due to emergency engineering work.
Tuesday 20/9/05 00.27 Ascot-Aldershot axed due to emergency engineering work. 06.07 Totton-Yeovil 12 minutes late and axed between Totton and Southampton Central; too much bother to stop either the stock of the former 05.34 Bournemouth-Waterloo (which now carries thin air between between Bournemouth and Southampton) at Totton or the current 05.45 Poole-Waterloo (which is hugely cushioned with slack time) so taxi transport provided instead. 07.03 Weybridge-Waterloo reduced to 9 coaches. Several passengers rushed up the stairs from the Underground, apparently for the 17.05 Waterloo-Weymouth; they had a minute in hand to take a few steps, but the train had already been removed from the information screens and they desperately looked for a member of staff to check. The doors then closed in their faces 30 seconds before departure and they were left behind. 19.15 Portsmouth-Waterloo 11 minutes late. 19.51 Portsmouth-Waterloo 13 minutes late. 20.44 Alton-Waterloo 12 late.
Wednesday 21/9/05 18.05 Waterloo-Poole 11 minutes late. 19.20 Waterloo-Woking 10 minutes late. 19.46 Guildford-Waterloo 24 minutes late.
Thursday 22/9/05 04.55 Southampton-Waterloo 14 minutes late. 09.45 Waterloo-Portsmouth axed. 10.00 Weymouth-Waterloo 9 minutes late. 10.05 Waterloo-Poole 15 minutes late. 10.09 Waterloo-Portsmouth axed. 12.05 Waterloo-Poole 7 minutes late from the outset. 13.07 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo 15 minutes late; omitted all stops between Twickenham and Barnes for operational convenience. 14.20 Waterloo-Paignton 32 minutes late due to duff stock. 15.40 Chessington-Waterloo axed due to duff stock. 15.45 Portsmouth-Waterloo 27 minutes late.18.00 Waterloo-Fratton axed due to duff stock. 18.06 Waterloo-Hampton Court reduced to 4 coaches. 18.37 Weybridge-Waterloo 14 minutes late. 18.42 Reading-Waterloo 29 minutes late. 18.45 Waterloo-Portsmouth reduced to 9 coaches. 19.07 Weybridge-Waterloo 45 minutes late; passengers thrown off at Clapham Junction. 19.12 Reading-Waterloo 25 minutes late. 19.23 Windsor-Waterloo 28 minutes late. 19.37 Weybridge-Waterloo 24 minutes late; all intermediate stops between Feltham and Barnes axed for operational convenience. 19.53 Windsor-Waterloo 27 minutes late. 20.06 Weymouth-Waterloo axed between Weymouth and Bournemouth due to no guard (later advertised as starting from Poole). 20.20 Waterloo-Reading 17 minutes late; all intermediate stops between Waterloo and Staines axed for operational convenience. 20.37 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo axed between Waterloo and Clapham Junction.
Friday 23/9/05 06.07 Totton-Yeovil 7 minutes late. Freightliner train given precedence through Southampton tunnel over the 05.45 from Poole; the latter departed from Southampton 5 minutes late but, with its huge slack time, was 2 minutes early into Waterloo. Passenger on the 05.45 was lucky not to injure his back when his seat collapsed under him in classic Stagecoach style. 06.21 Southampton-Portsmouth 5 minutes late. 06.43 Cosham-Waterloo 29 minutes late. 16.01 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo reduced to 4 coaches. 17.02 Waterloo-Guildford reduced to 4 coaches. 17.12 Waterloo-Shepperton reduced to 4 coaches. 17.23 Waterloo-Basingstoke reduced to 9 coaches. 17.30 Waterloo-Epsom reduced to 4 coaches. 17.50 Waterloo-Yeovil reduced to 5 coaches. 18.23 Waterloo-Windsor 12 minutes late. 18.43 Southampton-Winchester axed.
Saturday 24/9/05 08.00 Waterloo-Portsmouth axed between Waterloo and Woking. 10.15 Portsmouth-Waterloo axed between Portsmouth and Havant.
Sunday 25/9/05 06.45 Salisbury-Waterloo 24 minutes late. 08.51 Waterloo-Chessington reduced to 4 coaches due to duff stock. 09.41 Chessington-Waterloo reduced to 4 coaches due to duff stock. 11.16 Basingstoke-Waterloo 14 minutes late. 12.12 Chessington-Waterloo axed. So slack was the engineering work timetable that the 12.54 arrival at Waterloo from Southampton Airport was expected at 12.41. 13.02 Waterloo-Epsom axed between Waterloo and Wimbledon. 14.16 Basingstoke-Waterloo 14 minutes late. 17.05 Hampton Court-Waterloo axed due to no driver. 18.48 Portsmouth-Waterloo 17 minutes late. 19.30 Waterloo-Portsmouth axed due to duff stock.
Monday 26/9/05 08.23 Windsor-Waterloo reduced to 7 coaches. 08.31 Dorking-Waterloo axed. 11.45 Waterloo-Portsmouth axed. 11.57 Brighton-Basingstoke axed between Brighton and Fareham. 14.39 Waterloo-Southampton 23 minutes late. 18.50 Dorking-Waterloo 19 minutes late. 19.41 Shepperton-Waterloo 11 minutes late.
Tuesday 27/9/05 Stock for the 06.07 Totton-Yeovil arrived late; some passengers use this train to connect into the 06.21 Southampton-Portsmouth but, as a passenger sprinted to the other side of the platform at Southampton, the doors of the 06.21 closed in his face and passengers were left to wait 46/56 minutes according to which station they wanted to travel to. 06.44 Portsmouth-Waterloo 9 minutes late. 14.00 Weymouth-Waterloo 19 minutes late. 15.15 Portsmouth-Waterloo 10 minutes late. 15.18 Portsmouth-Waterloo 13 minutes late. 18.23 Windsor-Waterloo 17 minutes late.
Wednesday 28/9/05 07.20 Yeovil-Waterloo 27 minutes late. 08.40 Chessington-Waterloo axed. 15.15 Portsmouth-Waterloo 38 minutes late. 15.18 Portsmouth-Waterloo 25 minutes late. 15.37 Haslemere-Waterloo 58 minutes late. 15.56 Havant-Waterloo 21 minutes late. 16.50 Waterloo-Woking 12 minutes late. 17.00 Weymouth-Waterloo 15 minutes late. 17.01 Poole-Waterloo 33 minutes late and axed between Poole and Bournemouth. 17.02 Waterloo-Guildford axed due to duff stock. 17.30 Waterloo-Portsmouth 15 minutes late. 18.12 Waterloo-Shepperton axed due to duff stock. 18.45 Portsmouth-Waterloo axed due to duff stock. 18.57 Brighton-Reading 21 minutes late. 19.00 Weymouth-Waterloo 14 minutes late. 19.20 Waterloo-Honiton/Bristol 25 minutes late. 19.30 Waterloo-Portsmouth 24 minutes late. 19.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 34 minutes late. 19.46 Guildford-Waterloo 20 minutes late. 20.03 Waterloo-Guildford 12 minutes late. 20.05 Waterloo-Poole 17 minutes late. 20.11 Shepperton-Waterloo 21 minutes late. 20.12 Reading-Waterloo 17 minutes late. 20.20 Waterloo-Exeter 9 minutes late. 20.20 Waterloo-Reading 14 minutes late. 20.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 10 minutes late.
Thursday 29/9/05 06.44 Alton-Waterloo 14 minutes late. 07.20 Poole-Waterloo axed due to duff stock. 07.46 Waterloo-Chessington axed. 08.14 Alton-Waterloo reduced to 4 coaches. 08.20 Guildford-Waterloo reduced to 4 coaches. 08.40 Chessington-Waterloo axed. 18.42 Waterloo-Shepperton 8 minutes late; ran fast to Raynes Park for operational convenience. 19.10 Paignton-Basingstoke 34 minutes late. 20.45 Waterloo-Portsmouth axed.
Friday 30/9/05 06.40 Portsmouth-Waterloo reduced to 4 coaches. 07.10 Waterloo-Paignton reduced to 2 coaches west of Salisbury due to duff stock. 07.33 Weybridge-Waterloo reduced to 4 coaches. 07.50 Brighton-Basingstoke axed between Brighton and Fareham due to duff stock. 08.09 Waterloo-Guildford axed due to duff stock. 09.38 Guildford-Waterloo axed due to duff stock. 17.05 Waterloo-Weymouth 20 minutes late; connection at Southampton with the stopping service to Totton not honoured. 17.30 Waterloo-Portsmouth 48 minutes late. 17.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 26 minutes late. 17.39 Waterloo-Portsmouth 22 minutes late. 17.48 Waterloo-Southampton 42 minutes late. 18.00 Waterloo-Portsmouth 23 minutes late. 18.01 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo 17 minutes late. 18.05 Waterloo-Poole 35 minutes late. 18.07 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo 17 minutes late. 18.09 Waterloo-Portsmouth 28 minutes late. 18.23 Windsor-Waterloo 27 minutes late. 18.24 Basingstoke-Waterloo 21 minutes late. 18.30 Waterloo-Portsmouth 16 minutes late. 18.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 22 minutes late. 18.39 Waterloo-Southampton 11 minutes late at Basingstoke but expected 4 minutes early at Southampton due to hugely inflated timing from Southampton Airport to Southampton Central to help cheat passengers of compensation. 18.54 Basingstoke-Waterloo 26 minutes late. 19.24 Basingstoke-Waterloo 14 minutes late. 20.12 Reading-Waterloo 27 minutes late. 20.15 Portsmouth-Waterloo 20 minutes late.
MEDIA REPORTS ON THE ENVIRONMENT
Thursday 30/6/05 CUTTING POLLUTION COULD WIPE OUT LIFE ON EARTH. Scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry in Mainz, Germany, said the 21st century climate was likely to suffer a treble hit: more warming from greenhouse gases, reduced cooling from aerosols, and an increased release of carbon owing to soil decomposition. Cutting pollution could send global warming soaring and wipe out much of life on earth. The study predicts that by 2100 the planet is likely to be more than 6oC warmer than it was in 1840. This compares with the official forecast from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change of between 2.3oC and 4.9oC since pre-industrial times. The scientists believe there could be severe droughts and crop failures, violent storms and a rapid rise in sea levels which would swamp low-lying coastal communities. Specks of pollution – aerosols – intercepted sunlight and reduced the amount of energy reaching the ground. They also produced large numbers of water droplets in clouds, making them more reflective and contributing further to cooling. Smaller droplets were less likely to combine and become heavy enough to fall as rain, a process which extended the lifetime of clouds and the protection they offered the earth. (Metro)
Thursday 7/7/05 CLIMATE CHANGE DEAL WON’T SILENCE CRITICS. The Prime Minister risked the fury of green campaigners by striking a deal with George Bush which ruled out targets for cutting greenhouse gases. The President said the US would accept a deal only if it didn’t harm the US economy and it included China and India, who are among the fastest growing polluters. He accepted that climate change was caused by human activity such as pollution. France and environmental campaigners claimed that any compromise would be meaningless without tough targets. Meanwhile the White House was forced to apologise after Mr Bush claimed that the US spent $20 billion last year on renewable energy research, when the true figure was $2 billion a year. (Evening Standard)
Friday 15/7/05 FOOD STUDY REVEALS HIDDEN £9 BILLION COSTS OF TRANSPORT. A report published by Defra indicates that “food miles” have risen dramatically over the past 10 years, are still rising, and have a significant impact on climate change, traffic congestion, accidents and pollution. The average distance we now drive to shop each year is 898 miles, compared with 747 miles a decade ago. Food transport accounts for 25% of all miles driven by heavy goods vehicles on our roads. 19 million tonnes of carbon dioxide were omitted in 2002 in the course of getting our food to us, a 12% increase on 1992. Taking into account the time lost to traffic congestion, wear on the roads, ill health caused by noise and air pollution and accidents caused by food transport, the cost of food miles in the UK is £9bn. 95% of all fruit and 50% of all vegetables consumed in the UK come from abroad, but less energy is used, for example, to import tomatoes from Spain than to grow them out of season in the UK. The factors driving the rise in food miles are increased global trade, concentration of power in the hands of supermarkets with centralised distribution systems, greater car use to shop (particularly in urban areas) and rise in packaging and processing. (Guardian)
Monday 18/7/05 ENERGY-SAVING TARGETS SCRAPPED. New building regulations to increase energy-efficiency are expected to be watered down. Housing Minister Yvette Cooper wants to drop regulations on house refurbishments and extensions, and postpone regulations for new buildings until next year. Promised efficiency gains on new buildings are expected to be reduced from 20%-30% to 18%. 60% of new homes do not conform even to existing regulations. Local authorities do not have the staff or equipment to police building regulations. (Guardian)
Thursday 21/7/05 EC FINALLY FORCES THROUGH EMISSION CUTS. The European Commission is to go ahead with plans to force governments and industry to improve air quality by cutting emissions, despite a furious row among commissioners over the costs of environmental policies. Measures to cut pollutants would cost £8.4bn a year but bring £33.6bn in benefits through improved health. Proposals, backed by Britain, to include aviation would go ahead. A single passenger flight from Europe to New York emits as much CO2 as a medium-sized family car in a year. UK industry last year cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 14.4m tonnes, more than double the government’s target. (Guardian)
Thursday 28/7/05–Friday 29/7/05 US IN PLAN TO BYPASS KYOTO PROTOCOL. US and Australia have been working in secret for 12 months on an alternative to the Kyoto protocol and are to reveal a joint pact with China, India and South Korea to cut greenhouse gas emissions. It is clear that the agreement is designed to give US and Australian companies selling renewable energy and carbon dioxide-cutting technologies access to markets in Asia. It is thought not to include any targets and timetables for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, which the rest of the world has signed up to under Kyoto. The US, Australia and China are big coal exporters and are anxious to develop and export clean coal technologies. Downing Street was apparently taken by surprise. Australia’s environment minister said it was clear Kyoto won’t get the world to where it wants to go. The British Government said that the agreement was welcome but certainly didn’t replace Kyoto. Environment groups across the world doubted that the US was doing any more than safeguarding its own trade in technology. However, the pact is symbolically significant. Even the US president, whose bread has been buttered by the fossil fuel industry, has acknowledged that global warming is a problem. Thanks for this change are in part due to the 132 American city mayors and several state governors who voluntarily signed up to help meet the targets that Kyoto set for the US. This support came from leading Republican figures like Senator John McCain and Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger as well as from Democrats. The UK Government’s Chief Scientist, Sir David King, who believes climate change is a greater threat than terrorism, gave the pact a cautious welcome. Friends of the Earth commented that it looked like business as usual for the US. (Guardian)
Friday 29/7/05 ‘HEALTH DISASTER’ FEAR IF POLLUTION CURBS GO. The Government is proposing to remove pollution controls from thousands of small businesses as part of its deregulation strategy, threatening its own targets on air quality. 17,000 small businesses currently licensed by local authorities would be affected. The National Society for Clean Air and the Environmental Industries Commission, whose members sell pollution abatement technology, regard the plan as a potential public health disaster. Defra’s review covers as many as 5,000 processes in sectors including metal foundries, bulk cement, and bitumen and tar. Pollutants from these factories include public health hazards such as dioxins, dust particles and lead. The last Conservative Government pioneered air quality controls in the Pollution Control Act 1990, which put all power stations and large industrial complexes under licensing schemes. This was extended to all smaller businesses under local authority control, including petrol stations and their potentially cancer causing fumes. A recent research report to Defra said the cost of implementing pollution control had been £5bn, but the benefit to the public in terms of health and improved environment was calculated at £68bn. The EU was so impressed with the success of the scheme that a similar regime was adopted across Europe. About 10,000 people a year die prematurely because of particulates in the air. Small industrial processes are among the largest emitters of these substances. Defra said no decisions had been made and any proposals to get rid of controls would be open to consultation. (Guardian)
Monday 1/8/05 ENERGY CLIMATE CHANGES FOR THE WORSE. Rising gas prices have led to increasing use of coal to generate power. Coal generates far more carbon emissions than gas. This is bad news for the Government which included targets which go well beyond the Kyoto protocol to reduce emissions in its election manifesto, despite mounting evidence that they were looking increasingly unrealistic. The Office for National Statistics is unlikely to ride to their rescue by revising the data. The recent rise in coal use has exposed how much the Government relied on the dash for gas to reduce our emissions and how little the rest of its strategy contributed. Britain has done little to tackle emissions from houses and vehicles. Tough decisions lie ahead. (Guardian)
Tuesday 2/8/05 CARBON DIOXIDE EMISSIONS RISE DESPITE CLIMATE CHANGE PLEDGE. Britain’s carbon dioxide emissions are expected to rise significantly in 2005 for the third year running and will reach the highest level since 1992, when the UK signed the Rio Earth Summit and pledged to combat global warming. Energy statistics released by the Department of Trade and Industry show that oil and coal burning have both risen in the first 5 months of this year compared with the same period in 2004. As a result carbon dioxide emissions are expected to rise by more than 2% this year, when they should be falling by at least 1% a year to reach Labour’s 20% reduction target. The UK is still on target to reach its 12.5% cuts under Kyoto, but not the much harder 20% carbon dioxide target the Government set itself as an example to show the world that cuts could still be made despite the fact that the economy was growing. In the early 1990s the Conservative government made dramatic reductions in Britain’s carbon dioxide emissions, partly as a result of closing coal mines and the switch to gas-fired electricity generation. Gas emits two thirds as much carbon dioxide to generate the same amount of electricity as coal. In 1992 the UK emitted 162.9m tonnes of carbon, and despite some fluctuations because of cold weather, emissions continued to fall until 1999, when they reached a record low of 151.7 tonnes. Since then figures have shown an upward trend and by the end of this year will have gone up to 161.2m tonnes - an increase of 4.7% since Labour came to power in 1997. Emissions from oil increased by 9% in the first 5 months of this year, reflecting Britain’s continued rise in road traffic and associated jams. Martyn Williams, climate campaigner for Friends of the Earth said that, as things stand at the moment, emissions will just rise and rise and unless new packages promised by ministers are properly backed by Government action, the 20% target will never be reached. (Guardian)
Friday 26/8/05 GLOBAL WARMING HAS DOUBLED STORM THREAT. Tropical storms have doubled in destructive potential in the past 30 years because ocean surfaces have become warmer, according to a leading climate researcher. Professor Kerry Emanuel of the atmospheric, oceans and climate research department of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has studied data from all the severe storms – or tropical cyclones – over the past 30 years. He says they have been more intense and longer in duration, and have generated far more power, than computer models had predicted. He believes the power of the storms to create huge waves and mix surface water of the oceans could also affect ocean currents – particularly the Gulf Stream, which sends warm water northwards and keeps Britain’s climate milder than it would otherwise be. Many scientists have predicted that the Gulf Stream could slow or be “turned off” by the effect of increased fresh water entering the Arctic from melting ice. But Professor Emanuel believes that the greater mixing of warm water in the tropics could have the opposite effect – speeding up currents and driving more warm water north. Temperatures in the North Atlantic have risen notably as a direct result of a strong flow pushing farther north. Measurements show that it is not just the surface of the sea that has warmed in recent decades – the layer underneath it is also at a higher temperature. This means the wave action that mixes the layers does not have such a pronounced cooling effect as before and, as a result, the intensity of the storm remains significantly higher. Professor Emanuel believes that at least part of this increase in ocean temperature is caused by man-made climate change. (Guardian)
Tuesday 30/8/05 REPUBLICANS ACCUSED OF WITCH-HUNT AGAINST CLIMATE CHANGE SCIENTISTS. Some of America’s leading scientists have accused Republican politicians of intimidating climate-change experts by placing them under unprecedented scrutiny. A far-reaching inquiry into the careers of three of the US’ most senior climate specialists has been launched by Joe Barton, the chairman of the House of Representatives committee on energy and commerce. He has demanded details of all their sources of funding, methods and everything they have ever published. Mr Barton, a Texan closely associated with the fossil-fuel lobby, has spent his 11 years as chairman opposing every piece of legislation designed to combat climate change. The demands in letters sent to the scientists have been compared by some US media commentators to the anti-communist McCarthy witch-hunts in the 1950s. The inquiry has sent shock waves through the US scientific establishment, already under pressure from the Bush administration, which links funding to policy objectives. (Guardian)
Friday 2/9/05 CHARITIES UNITE TO CUT CO2 EMISSIONS. Fifteen of Britain’s largest charities and active pressure groups are to join together to force climate change up the political agenda. These include Greenpeace, Oxfam, the Women’s Institute, WWF and Christian Aid. Stop Climate Chaos, a coalition made up of organisations with more than 4 million supporters, says that the Government needs to slash UK warming gases and make climate change a key part of its plans to tackle global poverty. The coalition’s first challenge will be to get the Government to meet its own ambitious target of cutting the UK’s carbon dioxide emissions by 20% by 2012. Oxfam’s international director said that climate change is making life more precarious for the poor communities with whom Oxfam works, and these people are the least responsible for increasing greenhouse gases. (Guardian)
MEDIA REPORTS ON TRANSPORT
Friday 1/7/05 MULTI-STOREY CAR PARK PLANS APPROVED FOR SOUTHAMPTON AIRPORT PARKWAY. South West Trains has obtained planning permission from Eastleigh Council for a 406-space multi-storey car park at Southampton Airport Parkway station, together with a covered footbridge with lifts. (Southern Daily Echo)
Tuesday 5/7/05 NEED FOR INTEGRATED TRANSPORT SYSTEM. Rich Heinrich of Southampton Green Party welcomes proposal for the long-required disabled-accessible footbridge at Southampton Airport Parkway. However, the proposed multi-storey car park is needed only because of SWT’s failure to provide adequate services at stations like Totton, Redbridge, Millbrook, St Denys and Swaythling, meaning that passengers need to drive to Central or Parkway stations. Perhaps SWT cares more about saving on station refurbishment, saving through not providing a real service and the revenue of a popular car park rather than the environment. (Southern Daily Echo)
Tuesday 5/7/05 RAILTRACK / BICESTER / LIVERPOOL. Railtrack shareholders who consider they were cheated by the state overlook the fact that the state was itself cheated by Railtrack. When Railtrack was privatised in 1996, the deal was that it would get no government funding but would have an adequate guaranteed cash flow through access charges to subsidised train operators. It then abandoned established maintenance procedures, got rid of managers who knew about engineering, left its maintenance contractors largely unsupervised, and decided that rails could last 125 years. Weeds infested the tracks, blocking drainage needed to stop the track distorting. The minor problems have now become major and Network Rail needs billions of pounds of direct and indirect public money. Taxpayers are also paying Virgin Trains huge amounts because Railtrack hasn’t upgraded the west coast mainline as promised, and £660 million given to Railtrack in 1996 towards the Thameslink 2000 project hasn’t produced even a sod-cutting ceremony. / The SRA wants to cut the Oxford-Bicester service to two return trips a day. The evening service must leave Oxford by 16.35, ensuring that it will be too early for most commuters. This will save very little but will drive passengers back to road transport, allowing the service to be withdrawn and boosting global warming. / The blocking of the Liverpool tram project on cost grounds will deprive the city’s suburbs of much-needed regeneration. The only city with a new tram service in the pipeline is relatively prosperous Edinburgh, which happens to include the Secretary of State’s constituency. (Private Eye)
Thursday 7/7/05 RAIL CHIEFS FACE CUTS TO BONUS PAYOUTS. Following commuter anger that the four most senior Network Rail chiefs collected bonuses totalling nearly £900,000 this year whilst one in four London trains still ran late, the House of Commons’ Public Accounts Committee has announced a review of the way the bonuses are calculated. The Committee demands that Network Rail make drastic financial savings in the way it works, and that it improve train services. The Committee accepts that the company, which has been given permission to borrow up to £21 billion to provide better services, has made a start in improving operational performance and cost control. (Evening Standard)
Friday 15/7/05 DEPARTMENT FOR TRANSPORT PLAYS DOWN FIRST RAIL CLOSURES POST. Alistair Darling has sanctioned the appointment of the first rail closures manager at the DfT. The salary will be £33,535 - £38,108 and the post will be permanent and situated in Central London. The job specification says the person will be responsible for the development of guidance and processes for closure but no-one is quite sure what this means. A DfT spokesman was unable to explain how the new closure procedure would work and what was about to be changed. (Guardian)
Tuesday 19/7/05 PHANTOM RAILWAY. Crossrail has become the most expensive ghost train in history. Since 1989, £10.3 billion has been spent on planning alone. Cross London Rail Links, the company set up to build it, is spending £1.9 million a year on offices and has requested an extra £150 million. Years of consultation have got nowhere because the Treasury has failed to produce a mechanism for funding construction. (Evening Standard)
Tuesday 19/7/05 NEARLY 300 TRAINS PASSED RED SIGNALS. Almost 300 trains passed red lights on Britain’s railways last year. Although the figure has fallen since 2003, due to new technology, 123 incidents were judged to be serious. (Evening Standard)
Tuesday 19/7/05 OPERATING LAXITY ON VIRGIN TRAINS AND SWT. The Chairman of the SRA could scarcely contain his delight at “another set of good performance and reliability figures”. Comparable figures in 1998 were considered “very unsatisfactory” by the rail regulator. Some train operators have inched their way back to pre-Hatfield figures by improving operating and engineering discipline. SWT has simply slowed its trains. A train taking an hour from Windsor to Waterloo was previously 8 minutes late and recorded as delayed; the same train today would be 4 minutes late and recorded as on time. Other companies and Network Rail could be tempted to use the same easy route and slow down train travel across Britain. There seems to be no consistent transport policy. Billions of pounds have been spent to accelerate trains on both of Virgin Trains’ franchises. Yet Virgin services are allowed nearly 20 minutes for the 11 miles from Coventry to Rugby, an average speed of about 35mph with 140mph tilting trains. They often stop at Rugby to let delayed trains pass and still continue on time or early. Punctuality is measured at a train’s final destination, so Virgin’s 14.49 from Wolverhampton is allowed 22 minutes for the 13 miles to Birmingham, where it terminates. The next non-stop service is Arriva’s 15.02, which is allocated 16 minutes for the same journey. So Virgin’s modern 125mph trains, with their big engines and rapid acceleration, need 38% more time than Arriva’s 90mph ex-BR trains. Meanwhile SWT is replacing a £90m fleet of 5-year-old trains which is less reliable than it would have liked. The fleet was built to SWT’s orders yet the operator is allowed to discard them despite its subsidy increasing by more than 300%. (Private Eye)
Wednesday 20/7/05 VANDALISED STATIONS UNFIT FOR 21ST CENTURY. The National Audit Office has found that many railway stations in London are unsafe and obsolete. Smaller stations in many cases have poor lighting, no staff, graffiti, litter and vandalised facilities. The Evening Standard’s campaign to get stations improved has had very limited success. North Sheen was found to have graffiti, rubbish and entry via a dark, narrow alley and bridge. SWT promised graffiti removal and crumbling bridge steps to be replaced. There has been some repainting and a CCTV warning sign has been added. Access is still isolated and dark. SWT now promises more CCTV cameras. (Evening Standard)
Friday 22/7/05 £1BN FROM TAXPAYERS FUELS RECORD RAIL PROFITS. Record-breaking profits by Britain’s rail companies are being driven by bumper subsidies. About £1.02bn was given to the train operating companies in the year to March, about £30 per taxpayer. Virgin Trains was the biggest recipient, with £231m, taking its handouts to about £2.1bn since privatisation. Stagecoach, which owns 49% of Virgin Trains, received £64m in subsidies last year, and last month reported record profits of £48m, a 10% increase on the previous year. The statistics come as London commuters routinely suffer late-running trains and have been threatened with big fare rises at peak times. Southern received £68m last year, South Eastern £67m and Silverlink £30m. The SRA commented that “the notion that subsidy and profit are mutually exclusive or mutually undesirable is a continuing nonsense”. [Interestingly, National Express returned £45m to the Treasury in respect of its Liverpool Street services – those most like SWT’s in scale and variety.] (Evening Standard)
Friday 22/7/05 FURTHER DELAY ON SOUTH HAMPSHIRE SUPERTRAM. The Government has delayed an expected announcement on the scaled-down plans for a Portsmouth-Gosport-Fareham tram link until October at the earliest. The County Council has expressed shock given that 80,000 new homes are to be built in South Hampshire over the next 20 years. Costs soared from £100m to £270m as insurance premiums spiralled in the wake of the 2001 terrorist attacks in America. The link into Fareham town centre has now been dropped as an economy. (Southern Daily Echo)
Friday 29/7/05 NATIONAL EXPRESS PROFITS UP. National Express profits from train franchises have soared by 80%. The rail, coach and bus company, which runs 30% of UK passenger trains, said its rail division had seen operating profits rise to £27.1m in the six months to June 30, from £15m at the same time last year. National Express runs 8 franchises: Great Northern, C2C, ONE, Central Trains, Gatwick Express, Midland Mainline, Silverlink, and Wessex Trains. It attributed the rise to a 4% increase in the number of passengers using its services, attracted by improved reliability and punctuality. (Guardian)
Tuesday 2/8/05 RAILTRACK / SWT. Days after forcing Railtrack into administration in October 2001, Stephen Byers assured the Commons that people who had risked their money in the botched Tory privatisation would not get a penny from the taxpayer. Six months later shareholders were offered the pre-administration value of £2.50 for each of their shares, an offer that the banks swiftly accepted but many individuals (“grannies who would lose their blouses” in the words of one civil servant) refused. While grannies could safely be ignored, the bankers who had invested in Railtrack, including UBS Warburg, the former employer of Shriti Vadera, Gordon Brown’s special adviser and architect of the administration scheme in the first place, had to be appeased. They had to be reassured that the Government would not walk away from privately financed deals (despite the justification for the bankers’ high returns being that they took all the risks) not least so that they would back the impending London Underground PPP being set up by Shriti Vadera. UBS went on to become Network Rail’s banking adviser, earning around £12m for arranging expensive debts to maintain the fiction that it was all in the private sector (cheaper borrowing using future track charges as collateral might have counted as public debt). The bank enjoyed a similarly handsome payday in 1996 when it acted as midwife to the whole fiasco by arranging the original flotation of Railtrack. / Passengers on Stagecoach’s South West Trains have endured sweltering conditions because air-conditioning on some trains doesn’t work when the outside temperature exceeds 28C (ie when it’s most needed). SWT claimed that other cooling systems were probably available but would be too costly, despite having made £157m profit last year. (Private Eye)
Tuesday 9/8/05 HOVERTRAIN TO CUT LONDON-GLASGOW TIME TO TWO HOURS. A £30bn project for a 300mph-plus magnetic hovertrain scheme is becoming a serious contender for the new north-south links announced in the Government’s election manifesto. Since these trains could negotiate 1-in-10 hills, they could cross the Pennines just like the M62. Planning approval would face formidable hurdles but the system has the advantage of green credentials. Stations would be on the edges of cities and at airports. There could be terminals at Thames Gateway, Heathrow, Beltway, Birmingham Airport, West Midlands, Liverpool Airport, Manchester Airport, East Manchester, South Yorkshire, West Yorkshire, Teeside, Newcastle Airport, Edinburgh Airport, Edinburgh and Glasgow Airport. (Guardian)
Tuesday 16/8/05 SPIN / MONSOONS / FREIGHT. Walsall-Wolverhampton trains are to be replaced from March by a “high quality express coach service in the short term to deliver faster end-to-end journey times”. The AA’s route planner says the journey averages just 34mph in off-peak driving conditions, when it ostensibly takes 13 minutes. The current train service takes 13 minutes at both peak and off-peak times. The Government won’t consider developing the service as proposed by Centro, the West Midlands transport authority. Centro hasn’t promoted the trains because Central Trains, financed by the Government, has failed to provide a reliable service. / Monsoons are the reason for poor service at a main call centre. The fact that the rail information centre was in India was withheld, presumably for the same reasons that workers in Indian call centres have fake English forenames. / Although 81% of the public agrees with switching freight from road to rail, the government scrapped freight grants, introduced even heavier lorries and diluted the working time directive for lorry drivers. The Secretary of State has stated that the Government’s plan to get 80% more freight on rail was an aspiration rather than a target. Fuel duty increases for road vehicles have been deferred repeatedly since 2003, but duty has increased on the red-dyed diesel used for trains. Infrastructure schemes for more and bigger freight trains have been dropped. One such scheme, on the Southampton-Midlands route, would enable trains to carry larger containers, which now go on the parallel lorry-saturated A34. The rail upgrade scheme needs £30m. The 82 fatal or serious accidents on the A34, between the M3 and M40 in 2002-04 are estimated to have cost £42m. (Private Eye)
Monday 29/8/05 PLANS TO CUT LOCAL RAIL SERVICES. Whitehall is planning wide-ranging cuts to free the tracks for more high-speed trains and to increase the amount of freight carried by rail. The first closure proposal (Wolverhampton-Walsall) was announced on the last day of Parliament. Among services facing the axe are local trains from Newcastle to Morpeth and Chathill, and from Sheffield to Adwick and Scunthorpe; fast peak services between Letchworth and Welwyn Garden City and fast services between Sunderland and Newcastle. Services will also be cut between Leeds and Bradford. RMT general secretary Bob Crow and shadow transport Alan Duncan are severely critical of this negative approach to the railways. The scale of the cuts suggests that the rest of England and Wales could soon be facing similar reductions in service. (Guardian)
Tuesday 30/8/05 WEST COAST UPGRADE. It hasn’t taken Richard Bowker too long to land another lucrative taxpayer-funded position, following his departure from the SRA with a £300,000 pay-off last month. He has been appointed chief Executive of Partnerships for Schools. For this job he will earn £200,000 a year plus a guaranteed £50,000 first year bonus. Announcing his appointment, PfS said his “strong and clear leadership for the whole industry” had resulted in “the successful delivery of the multi-billion pound West Coast main line modernisation”. In the real world, there are still years more work to be done under an upgrade programme for completion in 2002. Tracks for commuter trains out of Euston are in such bad condition that they are being inspected on foot, forcing slower trains on to the fast tracks and delaying Virgin expresses. New points near Bletchley are locked out of use pending connection in 2008. Stockport station has a platform built 3 years ago which still awaits a connection before it can be used. The Crewe-Glasgow section still needs basic renewal. Network Rail forces passengers on to roads and planes by temporarily closing sections of the route to save money on renewal work. The main line will be closed in 6 areas every weekend from September to December. Some local trains have been replaced by buses for so long that passengers have deserted, facilitating station closures which didn’t feature in the original scheme. The most worrying aspect of PfS’ self-delusion is the idea that the upgrade is a financial success. It is costing more than £7bn, up from £2.1bn, even after key elements like 140mph working and high-tech signalling to increase capacity were ditched. The West Coast franchise was won by promising to pay the Government a £1.2bn premium over 10 years, but it is consuming huge and disproportionate subsidy instead. For all this expenditure, washed down with some of Europe’s highest train fares, Virgin West Coast punctuality is now 75%, compared with 82% a year earlier. Whilst Bowker’s new post was openly advertised, his prospects can’t have been harmed by the presence on the Partnerships UK board of a number of rail privatisation enthusiasts. They will be pleased to hear his comments to Rail magazine that “We should reject the notion that if someone’s making a profit it’s terrible and they must be stopped. Remember – the one and only source of money that government’s have to spend on hospitals and schools and railways and so on is from taxation. And a thumping wedge of it comes from taxing company profits”. He strangely failed to mention that the greatest beneficiary of his time at the SRA, his former employer Virgin, has only ever returned to the exchequer a negligible proportion of its billions in subsidies. The companies to which he’ll now be doling out the contracts are similarly inept. (Private Eye)
Friday 2/9/05 LONG-DISTANCE COMMUTING RISES BY A THIRD. New research from Denmark, based on the 2001 census, suggests that Britain is becoming a country of long-distance commuters. More than 800,000 workers now travel more than 30 miles to work, up by a third since the 1991 census. About 70% of journeys to work in England and Wales in 2001 were six miles and under, about the same as in 1991. The average commute among the 25 million people studied was 7 miles and took 20 minutes. Commuting had become more popular because of an increased desire to live in rural areas, and rising house prices push demand further out. Managers and senior officials made up to 30% of all long-distance commuters. People in administrative and secretarial jobs made the shortest journeys, with 14% of them living within six miles of work. (Guardian)
Thursday 8/9/05 ARRIVA LIKELY TO BID FOR THE SOUTH WEST TRAINS FRANCHISE. London’s biggest bus operator, Arriva, is likely to bid for the SWT franchise. The franchise has attracted over £150 million in subsidy from taxpayers over the past two years and is considered a good business to be in. (Evening Standard)
Monday 12/9/05 SOUTH WEST TRAINS GETS ‘INVESTORS IN PEOPLE’ ACCREDITATION. SWT has obtained IIP accreditation. Chairman and Managing Director, Graham Eccles, [who had apparently forgotten the shameful findings of the appeal tribunal when SWT wrongfully demoted driver Greg Tucker] said “I feel that with all our employees we recruit for attitude, train them to the highest standards and develop them for life”. [= Teach them to grin as they stare at the passengers they leave stranded after locking doors in their faces before departure time?] (Southern Daily Echo)
Tuesday 13/9/05 OUTCOME OF THE HATFIELD DISASTER TRIAL. After years of costly preparation and 7 months in the Old Bailey, the main finding of guilt in the Hatfield trial has landed on Network Rail, which didn’t even exist at the time of the disaster. All the individuals charged over the accident have been cleared because the prosecutors had no chance of finding a “directing mind” in such a shambles. Balfour Beatty, a former Railtrack contractor has admitted safety failings, but the problems clearly ran much deeper. It’s impossible to regard Network Rail as the real villain, because it was formed two years after the disaster and quickly set about correcting the worst failings of its Railtrack predecessor. The derailment was simply down to Railtrack’s maintenance regime. Many people played a part in that regime, starting with Tory ministers and civil servants who stubbornly refused to listen to experts’ warnings that a private, profit-driven track owner could not be trusted to police safety on the entire network. Even Tory MPs were worried, so the government with its slim majority ensured there was no mention of Railtrack privatisation in the 1993 rail sell-off legislation, only to privatise Railtrack soon afterwards. Various Railtrack directors undermined the company’s control of safety by sacking experienced engineers, promoting patch and mend, abandoning or reducing routines for prevention or detection of track faults, and handing almost total freedom to maintenance contractors and their motley assortment of sub-contractors. Accidents or near misses exposed the flaws in Railtrack’s management, yet the shareholders didn’t replace the directors or force changes of policy. Network Rail now awaits a probable fine which would mean punishment for Hatfield being paid for by taxpayers, not the private investors who entrusted their money to Railtrack. What was it the Tories said about rail privatisation transferring financial risk from the public to the private sector? (Private Eye)
Monday 19/9/05 SWT COMMUTERS HIT BY 5% FARES INCREASE. SWT’s 60,000 suburban passengers will have to pay more from next month because their service has improved by less than one per cent. And in January, peak-time travellers will be hit by an average 4% rise when fares go up nationwide. This means tickets will have gone up 9% in 3 months. This is to reflect improved performance, partly due to a slowed timetable which means journeys take longer but are not counted as late. More than 20,000 long-distance SWT commuters into Waterloo are expected to lose their discounts in February when their services rise above the performance threshold. (Evening Standard)
Wednesday 21/9/05 HUNDREDS OBJECT TO LONDON’S £10BN CROSSRAIL LINK. Crossrail has received 358 objections from interested parties. Organisations that have lodged petitions include Network Rail, National Express who operate ONE, and EWS the country’s biggest rail freight haulier. Homeowners, local authorities and businesses whose properties adjoin the proposed route are all believed to be among the petitioners. Network Rail is concerned about vagueness about who will operate the link, who will regulate it, and whether it will be part of the national network. EWS was concerned about the impact on the movement of freight between Reading and London and to and from the East Coast ports. Over 200 daily freight trains move 150,000 tonnes of goods a day which could be lost to road transport. A House of Commons select committee must resolve all the petitions before the Crossrail Bill can get Royal Assent. (The Times)
Wednesday 21/9/05 STATIONS IN LINE FOR £4BN OVERHAUL. Network Rail is planning a £4bn upgrade of its 2,500 stations in a joint venture with property developers. The work would largely focus on the biggest stations including London Victoria and Euston, which are huge sites (Euston is the size of Canary Wharf). A property consultant has been appointed to advise on Victoria and Guildford. Success with taking forward major developments is likely to depend on proposals sensitive to the character of historic stations. (The Times)
Tuesday 27/9/05 NEARLY 90% OF TRAINS RUNNING ON TIME. Train punctuality improved last month but some companies are still running more than a fifth of their services late. The best performing companies were C2C and Chiltern, who both achieved a punctuality figure of 95.3%. (Metro)
Thursday 29/9/05 RAIL REFUNDS MAY MATCH AIR PAYOUTS. Passengers tormented by haphazard and cancelled services will get their money back if Euro MPs have their way. Proposals, which would need the approval of all 25 EU governments, would include agreed levels of compensation according to the scale of delay or cancellation. This would offer rail users the same rights and redress as air travellers. Passengers would qualify for compulsory payouts for delays of more than an hour and for cancellations or missed connections. (Metro)
INCIDENTS IN LONDON
South West Trains’ passengers were fortunate that their services were not directly affected by the cruel bombings of 7 July. However, many faced delays because of the suspension of Underground and bus services. In addition, there were huge delays due to false security alerts at Basingstoke, Bournemouth, Poole and Portsmouth Harbour.
As ever, the emergency services worked bravely and tirelessly, and commuters showed enormous resilience. However, cause for concern remains. Nobody supposes that there can ever be complete security, but:
- Given that Sir John Stevens, former Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, said that an attack on London was inevitable, why were police resources diverted to Scotland for the G8 summit, leaving London less protected?
- Even if the police considered that resources in London were adequate, wasn’t the reduced presence an indication to terrorists that conditions for attacks were optimal?
- Was the recent downgrading of the security status influenced by a desire to create a better image prior to the G8 summit and IOC’s decision on the 2012 Olympic Games?
- Why did it take so long to confirm that the explosions were not caused by a power surge?
- Shouldn’t the very limited numbers of SWT Travelsafe Officers and British Transport Police Community Support Officers have been focused on protecting the public? They often appear to have little to do except back up revenue protection staff.
- Why, as reported, weren’t the security cameras on the Stagecoach No 30 bus which was blown up operational, and is it sensible for bus operators to profit from allowing their vulnerable vehicles (remember the Aldwych bus bomb?) to carry advertisements with wording like “OUTRIGHT TERROR … BOLD AND BRILLIANT”?
Strangely, yet predictably, every act of going about one’s normal daily business in London became an act of defiance in the eyes of the popular press. The Mayor of London strenuously attempted to resurrect the Second World War spirit of victory through unity (though now an ethnic rather than class unity), with the Evening Standard launching a “London Stands United” campaign, quoting his words that “London is the whole world in one city. We are united in the face of these attacks. Londoners will not let anyone divide them”.
Everything changed on 22 July when an innocent Brazilian anglophile was killed by police at Stockwell Underground station. Initial reports indicated that an Asian man had been shot. The popular press was jubilant the following day, with headlines like “Shoot all bombers”. The day after that, the mood turned to revulsion when the victim’s innocence became apparent.
The questions to which this event gives rise grow by the day:
- Why and how was the victim identified as a suspect?
- Why was a soldier who should have been watching the house from which he emerged relieving himself behind a tree at the crucial moment?
- Why was it glibly assumed that the victim was Asian when Stockwell is near the centre of London’s Portuguese-speaking community?
- Why was he allowed to board a bus and then a train by the officers tailing him?
- Did the police panic as alleged by an army officer?
- Why was the victim shot 8 times, 7 times in the head, when under restraint by surveillance officers who considered he posed no threat, and is it true that 11 shots were fired over a period of 30 seconds?
- Was this literal “overkill” the result of panic or trigger-happiness, or was it a manifestation of vengeance or of the racism which has sullied the history of the Metropolitan Police?
- Why was liaison between the armed police and surveillance officers apparently so inadequate?
- Is it true that police radios do not work on the Underground and was that risk ever assessed?
- Is it true that the CCTV cameras at Stockwell station were inoperative, as purported by the police, or operative as purported by the Underground management?
- Why was the Police Commissioner, Sir Ian Blair, not told that an innocent man had been killed until the day after the tragedy?
- Did Commander Cressida Dick know of the man’s innocence on the day of the killing? Reports in the Evening Standard of 27 September suggest that she knew the person being followed was at risk of being shot, but she appears to have maintained an extraordinarily low public profile.
- When Sir Ian knew that an innocent man had been killed, why did he not retract his statement that the man’s dress and behaviour had given rise for suspicion, when he knew that this was untrue?
- Why did Sir Ian canvass against a public inquiry, apparently on the basis that it was more important to protect the public against bombers than against his own officers? Does he want a third-world police state?
- Why did Sir Ian remain so calm about the possibility of a similar tragedy occurring, and use flippant language like “Houston, we have a problem”?
- Why was Sir Ian so quick to criticise West Midlands police for taking a suspect alive, and should they not be highly commended for displaying courage which avoided the possibility of another innocent person being killed?
- Why was the victim’s Portuguese-speaking family insulted with the offer of a paltry sum of £15,000 in a letter couched in legalistic English?
- Is it right for a firearms officer to criticise the Independence Police Complaints Authority for asserting their independence?
- Who first started the rumour in the Evening Standard of 23 August that the campaign mounted by the victim’s family was being taken over by radicals “largely drawn from the movements against war, racism and corporate globalization”? Would they condemn supporters of the ‘London Stands United’ campaign for their anti-racist views?
As one Evening Standard commentator remarked of the police, if this is professionalism, what would incompetence look like? And as Cherie Blair said “-- it is all too easy to respond to such terror in a way which undermines commitment to our most deeply held values and convictions and which cheapens our right to call ourselves a civilised nation”.
The events are now with the Independent Police Complaints Commission who have not ruled out a recommendation that criminal charges should be brought. The outcome will be interesting. To shoot someone already under police restraint, and posing no threat, wreaks of murder, whatever euphemism may be substituted. This looks to be perhaps the most repulsive state killing in Britain since the hanging of Derek Bentley. It’s perhaps not surprising that the police have reportedly been at loggerheads with the army over the events leading up to the tragedy, with the Underground authorities over the CCTV tape, with the Police Complaints Commission over the attempt to thwart an inquiry, and with the West Midlands Police over the manner of taking suspects.
On Monday 1 August the guard of the 05.45 Poole-Waterloo made repeated announcements about SWT doing everything possible to safeguard its passengers. At Waterloo the train was met by at least 3 police officers and 3 SWT inspectors on a revenue protection issue. The police, at least, might have had something better to do.