HOGRIDER 113 : MID FEBRUARY - APRIL 2007
SOUTH HAMPSHIRE RAIL USERS’ GROUP NEWSLETTER
LETTER OF 8 MAY TO MPS IN THE SWT
THE EXPLOITATION OF SOUTH WEST TRAINS’ PASSENGERS
UNETHICAL STAGECOACH BUS OPERATIONS
PROBLEMS WITH SIEMENS ARE INTERNATIONAL
MORE PASSENGER DISSERVICE FROM SWT
PASSENGER FOCUS ‘MYSTERY SHOPPER’ EXERCISE ON TICKET SALES
BASINGSTOKE BLOCKADE SHAMBLES
WHAT A DIFFERENCE 12 YEARS DOESN’T MAKE
NEW FOREST TRANSPORT FORUM 15/03/07
PASSENGER FOCUS EVENT ON THE SOUTHERN FRANCHISE 28/03/07
HAMPSHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL RAIL FORUM 16/04/07
APPENDIX 1 - DIARY OF A TOTTON-WATERLOO COMMUTER –11
APPENDIX 2 – REPORTS OF POOR PERFORMANCE, A MAJOR CAUSE OF SWT OVERCROWDING
APPENDIX 3 - MEDIA REPORTS ON THE ENVIRONMENT
APPENDIX 4 - MEDIA REPORTS ON TRANSPORT
LETTER OF 8 MAY TO MPS IN THE SWT
THE EXPLOITATION OF STAGECOACH SOUTH WEST TRAINS’ PASSENGERS
UNETHICAL STAGECOACH BUS OPERATIONS
You are likely to be aware of the current widespread discontent among passengers whose daily lives depend on the service they receive from South West Trains (SWT).
The attached information note sets out some of the issues. It also looks at extraordinary recent events surrounding Stagecoach bus operations, including the Scottish Nationalist Party’s change of policy following a £500,000 donation to its election fund from Stagecoach Chairman Brian Souter.
The research report which I circulated on 31 May 2006 concluded:
“The evidence overwhelmingly indicates that, during a full decade of Stagecoach management, passengers and other taxpayers have not received acceptable across-the-board standards of service from SWT. Along with their political representatives, regulatory bodies, other operators and government, they have at best been treated with only feigned respect, and at worst with outright contempt.
The franchise cost to public funds has been substantial – reportedly £499 million since privatisation. The two Virgin Trains’ franchises, in which Stagecoach has a 49% stake, are also excessively expensive.
PR is one of the few areas where Stagecoach has started to do better. It now excels in a persuasive, manipulative culture of word twisting which can seem all too plausible to those who do not use its services on a regular basis.”
The two founders of Stagecoach started with a pair of buses. Reports over the years have suggested that their combined fortune peaked at about two thirds of a billion pounds, currently amounts to almost £400 million, and is rising fast.
Subsidies from UK taxpayers, along with about highest rail fares in Europe, paid a major role in supporting the accumulation of this wealth. By 2002, Stagecoach’s disastrous overseas operations, on which Mr Souter had personally concentrated his efforts, had reduced the company’s shares to 10p. The Strategic Rail Authority nevertheless gave the company an extremely generous second franchise settlement on SWT. To quote the Daily Telegraph of 23/09/06, “It was the South West Trains deal that pulled the company out of reverse gear. It turned out to be a licence to print money.”
Stagecoach also benefited from huge subsidies to Virgin Trains in which it has a 49% interest. Its debt of gratitude to the Government and to UK taxpayers, including users of its transport services, should be enormous. You would never guess it. Stagecoach’s claims in bidding for the third franchise award on SWT were extraordinarily persuasive, for example in its brochure ‘Building on Success’, but events following the award of the franchise have demonstrated the continuing, and indeed increasing, relevance of co-founder Brian Souter’s statement to Scotland on Sunday that, “Ethics are not irrelevant but some are incompatible with what we have to do because capitalism is based on greed”.
* £400 million – approximate combined wealth of Stagecoach founders Brian Souter and Ann Gloag. Mrs Gloag now owns two castles. They first got their company out of debt by selling Southampton bus station and some less-profitable bus routes for more than they paid for the whole Hampshire Bus operation.
* £700 million – recently announced bonus for Stagecoach shareholders.
* £175 million – share of bonus going to Mr Souter and Mrs Gloag. This amount, coincidentally, is also the estimated combined annual profits of the three major train leasing companies which have triggered an investigation by the Competition Commission.
* £120 million – Stagecoach’s reported profit from the sale of its heavily subsidised London bus operations, after running them for only a few years.
* £65 million – the bonus Mr Souter and Mrs Gloag shared two years ago.
* £15 million – the increase in subsidy for running the pensioners’ concessionary bus travel scheme after the original amount was challenged by Stagecoach and other bus companies despite the guaranteed income it gave them. Buses magazine (April 2007) referred to this in terms of robber barons lining their pockets. In Torbay, pensioners’ bus passes have been withdrawn and restricted to Stagecoach Torbay services because Stagecoach demanded too much subsidy for providing pensioners with wider travel opportunities.
* £100,000 – amount Stagecoach suddenly demanded for running a South Yorkshire bus route which, on the basis of its loadings, should have been highly profitable.
* 1,850% - approximate increase in the value of Stagecoach shares (10p - £1.85) since the Strategic Rail Authority bailed out the ailing company with exceptionally generous subsidies.
* 20% - record fares increase for passengers who travel to London in late morning and relieve the overcrowding on peak SWT services.
* 20% - the proportion of seats SWT is removing from almost 500 carriages to cram in more standing passengers, increasing safety risks for passengers.
* 20% - round increase in rail journey time from Southampton Central to Waterloo introduced by Stagecoach in December 2004 [compared with 1990] to improve their performance figures.
* 120 – the number of good quality 18-year-old carriages internally neglected by Stagecoach before being taken off lease to save on refurbishment costs and from the run-down of Bournemouth depot. Long-distance passengers transferred to hard-seated, rough-riding trains of quasi-suburban quality.
* 15 hours – the time Portsmouth-London commuters spend cramped in narrow-seated suburban trains each week after extension of journey times and downgrading of rolling stock.
The attached note is based on small extracts from the huge amount of evidence available on www.shrug.info
THE EXPLOITATION OF SOUTH WEST TRAINS’ PASSENGERS
Manipulation of franchising procedures
The South Hampshire Rail Users’ Group’s research report, issued on 31 May 2006, sets out SWT’s earlier history. To bring this up to date:
* In the first franchising round Stagecoach marginally undercut its rival bidder and then made good the difference by disposing of so many staff that train services collapsed and had to be permanently thinned. Big public and political outcry.
* In the second franchising round Stagecoach promised a wide range of improvements and then admitted that most of them were aspirational and that mixing commitments and aspirations had been its formula for a big PR hit. Big public disappointment.
* In the recent franchise round Stagecoach invested heavily in manipulative and persuasive PR (in SWT’s e’motion magazine and on posters) to reassure SWT passengers, and rewrote SWT’s criticism-stacked history in glowing terms (in Building on Success which hugely misrepresented the company’s ethos). In reality, its focus was never on customers but on retaining the lucrative SWT franchise (Britain’s second biggest), whatever the cost and whatever the disadvantages to customers in meeting that cost. At the end of 2005, it became clear that Stagecoach was unlikely to win two other franchises which were on offer. Brian Souter, effectively affirming his view that capitalism is based on greed, stated “If there are too many hungry pigs at the trough, then let them get fed first”. (Evening Standard 08/12/2005)
The new franchise - a disaster for rail users
* With the Government requiring franchises to move from subsidy to premium, Stagecoach placed a much higher bid than its rivals. GoAhead Group actually pulled out of the contest. At a Passenger Focus meeting on 28 March about the neighbouring Southern franchise (which GoAhead operates) it was striking that delegates had further aspirations but no serious criticisms. Managing Director Chris Burchell confirmed that Southern’s promise remained ‘Expect More’, staff were recruited on the basis of whether they seemed to be ‘People Persons’ and the company recognised its ‘Moral and social responsibility on sustainability’.
* It appears that the Department for Transport (DfT) could not resist the Stagecoach bid (there is purportedly no ministerial involvement once the basic franchise specification has been set). Perhaps acceptance of the bid was seen as a route to claw back something from the excessively generous preceding franchise award. DfT was even (unsuccessfully) nominated for a Whitehall and Westminster World award for the excellence of its franchise procurement process for the franchise. Ultimately, a franchise which would affect some 2 billion passenger journeys over 10 years was signed at 02.00 on the day it was to be announced, after months of wrangling between DfT and Stagecoach (Evening Standard 22/09/2006)
Rolling stock downgrade raises serious safety issues
* Following the franchise award, Freedom of Information requests have established that Stagecoach’s promise of a 20% increase in seating across it services was false (it left the false information on its website for weeks afterwards). The ‘02.00 Agreement’ allowed the company to introduce cruelly uncomfortable travelling conditions for passengers. This was a striking reversal of public policy, given that in 2000 the Government’s ambition was “A bigger and better railway with reduced journey times, higher standards of safety, service and comfort”.
* On suburban services, the 20% increase in seating is a 20% increase in capacity. It is achieved by Stagecoach’s continuing programme to rip out 6,500 seats from suburban trains on the grounds that passengers don’t like the middle seat in blocks of three. A similar programme of seat reduction has been announced for some of the new outer-suburban Desiro trains, along with the removal of toilet facilities. This is dicing with passengers’ lives. Tests by Advanced Simulation Technology have confirmed that commuters forced to stand on overcrowded trains are three times as likely to be seriously hurt in a crash as those sitting down (Metro 20/04/07). Railways are one of the safer means of travel, but even SWT’s low-speed derailments at Epsom and Waterloo last autumn reportedly caused shock and terror.
* On the Waterloo-Portsmouth line commuters are now crammed into outer-suburban trains with much of the seating in blocks of three. Portsmouth is the only place on the South Coast where long-distance commuters are crammed into outer-suburban trains. A website set up to complain about this treatment has accumulated over 1,200 signatures containing trenchant criticisms of Stagecoach. Passengers complain of back problems and fear sciatica and deep vein thrombosis. Dialogue with SWT has drawn agreement for just a single peak train to be formed of less-cramped seating. This train will clearly overload.
* On the Waterloo-Weymouth line, long-distance commuters endure the medium-distance Desiro trains taken from the Portsmouth main line. Even these are very basic units, described by Rail Gazette International as ‘more commuter than inter-city’. There are growing concerns about their stability at speed. Regular commuters hold tight as London-bound trains approach Worting Junction west of Basingstoke. On 26 April, the buffet trolley, containing boiling water, flipped in a vestibule as the train crossed the points. It had reached about 45 degrees when standing commuters grabbed it and prevented it ending up on its side. These are not the only concerns. On 23 April there was a crash at the side of a carriage of the Bournemouth portion of the 16.35 from Waterloo as it passed Millbrook, as if a brick had hit the train. However, the carriage side was unmarked and the conductor stated that this was ‘one of the trains’ idiosyncrasies’.
* Rail journalist Barry Doe has effectively highlighted the huge disparity between the treatment of passengers on the Waterloo and Liverpool Street lines – both exceptionally busy with commuter traffic and a number of long-distance services. On SWT passengers get very basic facilities on their journey from Waterloo to Southampton (79 miles) and Bournemouth/Poole (108/114 miles). On National Express’ services from Liverpool Street, passengers get an inter-city operation with excellent restaurant facilities for the journey to Ipswich (69 miles) and Norwich (115 miles). National Express was outbid by Stagecoach for SWT.
* Without consultation, SWT has withdrawn the inter-city style Wessex Electric trains from the Waterloo-Weymouth line. They had badly neglected them (hazard warning tape in the gangways between coaches; sharp spikes protruding from broken seat frames, seats collapsing; and air-conditioning in need of updating) but they could potentially offer quality accommodation for the journey of about two and three quarter hours between Waterloo and Weymouth and had not even reached mid-life (about 20 years for modern electric trains). They are currently rusting in sidings, but Go Ahead’s Southern is to take the bulk of the fleet for their Victoria-Gatwick-Brighton services: long-distance trains for a 50 minute journey. SWT’s justifications for this change have included increased seating (3 extra seats per 5-coach train on the Waterloo-Weymouth line), spare parts difficult to obtain (but presumably only difficult for Stagecoach to obtain?), (to a meeting of angry commuters at Petersfield on 22/03/07) a commercial decision to reduce hire costs (a euphemism for profiteering?) and, finally, back to increased seating.
* On the Waterloo-Reading line, even the new outer-suburban trains are too good for Stagecoach passengers. They have been replaced by 5-year-old class 458 units which SWT had returned to the leasing company on the grounds that they were too unreliable to operate. The class 458s are reportedly cheap to hire because, by withdrawing them in the first place, Stagecoach had left them with an uncertain future.
What’s wrong with SWT’s rolling stock?
* The new outer-suburban and medium-distance Desiro trains are littered with design faults. A carriage is typically worth £1m, but the average cost of the Desiro carriages which Stagecoach initially ordered for hire was not much more than £800,000, though the cheapness was veiled by including the value of the long-term maintenance contract in publicity (£644m worth of trains became a “£1bn fleet’).
* The trains, unlike those ordered for the Southern and South Eastern franchises, were built by Siemens, which is causing major disruption by running months late with the Portsmouth area re-signalling scheme, and has installed a bus information system in Vancouver which is judged unlikely ever to work.
* Seats have a hideously uncomfortable back profile and cushions – some passengers put scarves, cushions etc behind their backs or keep their outer coats on (an option that will disappear in warmer weather). These seats are also being installed in the reduced-seat suburban fleet.
* Trains are very rough riding and can cause trauma. Cups move to the edge of tables, coats drop off racks, and people on their feet are thrown sideways. Even conductors find it difficult to keep their balance. One has complained of repeatedly bruising his legs against the sides of seats. Another has complained of breaking her finger nails.
* Corridors very narrow. Passengers with larger items of luggage frequently get stuck and impede the movement of others.
* Luggage space severely inadequate. The cramped seating means there is no longer stowage space between the backs of seats.
* Severe wind-chill in the vicinity of the air-conditioning inlets. Another reason why people keep on their outer coats. Passengers complain of clogged sinuses and sore eyes. Real concerns that eye tissues could be damaged. The air current and noise from the air-conditioning are what one might expect in a makeshift industrial unit. Some people keep on their outer coats due to the low temperatures (15C-19C with a high wind-chill factor from the air conditioning).
* On the outer-suburban units, the narrow seats and wide floor-level heating ducts mean that commuters using the seat nearest the window have to sit with one foot on the other. Real fears of deep-vein thrombosis.
* The announcement system is pathetic. Guards can’t seem to adjust it to give correct announcements when trains turn round at Waterloo or split at Southampton. Wrong announcements cause panic.
* External destination panels give only final destination (which is ‘London Waterloo’ for a large percentage of Stagecoach trains). Other operators’ Electrostar trains have moving banners which show all the stations served.
* Armrests are too short, glossy, and slope downwards. Virtually useless.
* The pull-down tables on the back of the aircraft-style seating stay up on their own. But in standard class accommodation, they have large catches which serve no purpose unless a tray becomes loose. These are presumably a safeguard against having to repair loose trays, but they prevent the use of lap top computers.
* The discomfort on the Desiros is giving a severe boost to passenger stress. First class ticket holders who cannot find spare seats on trains like the 05.45 Poole-Waterloo frequently storm out of the first class area knocking into other passengers with their bags. The lack of space for luggage often causes heated arguments. Passengers are told they must keep their luggage with them for security reasons, but find that the only way they can do this is to keep it on an adjacent seat. Even when there is space on the luggage racks, some passengers are not physically strong enough to lift up heavy pieces of luggage. In the past passengers have always been told not to put heavy items of luggage on racks; such advice is missing from the Desiros, presumably because their dense seating leaves no room for luggage at ground level. In the event of a crash, very heavy flying luggage could kill seated passengers.
* Most operators introduced inflation-smashing fare increases in January, but Stagecoach was exceptional in introducing big car parking charges at the same time. A Surbiton commuter complained in the Evening Standard that he now paid more to park than to commute into central London.
* Stagecoach introduced car parking charges at Totton’s diminutive car park at the same time. Season tickets are available but, with so few spaces, would be a waste of money. Cardboard notices are posted instructing drivers to obtain tickets from the pay and display machine when the booking office is closed (as it is during the majority of operating hours – even advertised opening hours are aspirational). The charges became effective before either parking spaces or the boundary of railway land had been marked out. One passenger got a warning notice for parking legally in the public approach road. The pay and display machine has never been provided. Passengers can get parking tickets from the fares machine on platform 1, but there is nothing to tell them this, or to say the tickets are accessible only under “most popular destinations’ on the touchpad.
Record fare increases
* Long-distance commuters have sometimes opted for first class travel to guarantee a seat. On the 05.45 from Poole to Waterloo, and no doubt other services, the rolling stock downgrade means that first class season ticket holders from Winchester often stand or travel in standard accommodation. They are then given a couple of pounds’ refund if they are lucky.
* Stagecoach has recently announced record 20% fare increases on trains arriving in London between 10.00 and noon on Mondays to Fridays. This is to stop commuters travelling more cheaply after the peak. But part of the Government’s strategy on overcrowding is to get people to stagger their journey times. The existing fare, now of very limited use for day trips, is cynically branded a ‘Super Off-peak Cheap Day Return’.
* This new disadvantage has been accompanied by Stagecoach claims that the trains in question are bursting at the seams. They may be seasonally busier, for example during school holidays when many young people make educational or leisure visits to London. But the general case is far from proven; by way of example, on 28 March, the Poole train which arrives at Waterloo at 10.23 had scores of empty seats.
* More generally, Stagecoach has been propagating scare stories about a 50% increase in custom over the next 10 years, but the reply of 23 February to a Parliamentary Question from Susan Kramer MP stated “The Southern Regional Planning Assessment for the railway (which includes the area served by South West Trains); published January 2007, forecasted a possible increase in passenger demand in the morning peak period of 18.7 per cent. between 2002-03 and 2016”.
* Ed Davey MP has complained to the Office of Rail Regulation that SWT’s huge increases for non-season ticket users are an abuse of monopoly power and in breach of the new Gender Equality Duty because they are likely to effect part-time workers, the majority of whom are women. Fares on some routes have already gone up 35%. A train from London to Wimbledon costs 32p a mile but from Wimbledon to Surbiton passengers pay 48p a mile. (Evening Standard 02/05/07)
Contempt for passenger stress
* Tests have reliably established that commuters suffer substantial stress, especially from overcrowding, cancellations, and anxiety about missing connections. Government concerns about stress are so great that last year saw a National Stress Awareness Day.
* The trains which SWT withdrew from the Waterloo-Weymouth line were the most reliable third-rail electric trains in the South East. The trains which they returned to service on the Waterloo-Reading line had previously been abandoned by them because of their unreliability, which gave them an uncertain future and exceptionally cheap re-hire charges.
[Wednesday 02/05/07 – an example of performance: 06.34 Bournemouth-Waterloo reduced to 9 coaches, 4 of them cramped outer-suburban stock; train is defective and 77 minutes late. Knock-on effects: 06.38 Portsmouth-Waterloo 53 minutes late; passengers on the 07.12 Waterloo-Brighton thrown off at Basingstoke; 07.15 Southampton-Waterloo 57 minutes, with all intermediate stops after Basingstoke axed for operational convenience; 07.24 Portsmouth-Waterloo via Eastleigh 38 minutes late and diverted via Guildford; 07.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 19 minutes late; 07.36 Southampton-Waterloo 56 minutes late, with all intermediate stops after Basingstoke axed for operational convenience; 07.52 Portsmouth-Waterloo via Eastleigh 13 minutes late and diverted via Guildford; 08.51 Portsmouth-Waterloo via Eastleigh diverted via Guildford; 09.00 Waterloo-Portsmouth 26 minutes late; 09.05 Waterloo-Poole axed. 09.32 Portsmouth-Southampton 17 minutes late because no crew in place; 09.42 Waterloo-Basingstoke axed; 09.53 Waterloo-Alton 18 minutes late; 10.00 Waterloo-Portsmouth 13 minutes late; 10.05 Waterloo-Poole 36 minutes late. 10.09 Waterloo-Portsmouth 13 minutes late; passengers on the 10.15 Waterloo-Haslemere thrown off at Guildford; 10.45 Salisbury-Waterloo axed between Salisbury and Basingstoke; 10.57 Brighton-Basingstoke axed between Brighton and Barnham; 11.44 Alton-Waterloo axed between Alton and Farnham; 12.35 Waterloo-Weymouth axed between Waterloo and Woking.]
* SWT won’t hold connections for even seconds. Despite operating the slowest schedules since the steam era, train doors are locked, and trains disappear from departure boards, up to one minute before scheduled departure times.
* SWT admits that, since new ticket machines were installed at Waterloo, ticket sales have increased and over 50% of sales at the station are now through machines. What this demonstrates is that anxiety about missing trains through SWT’s long ticket queues has been a significant factor in ‘ticketless travel’. So it seems reasonable to take a more generous attitude towards selling tickets on trains. However, SWT is stepping up penalty fares and bombards passengers with warnings. It is effectively saying, as in this entry on its website homepage, “See if we care about stress”:
“You’re two minutes to departure and running to catch the train. You’ve slept through the alarm, it’s pouring down, your umbrella’s turned inside out in the wind—it’s not a good day. You reach the station out of breath, take one look at the ticket queue [my underlining] and another at your watch. You can’t be late for that meeting. You panic, head straight for the platform and hop on board. It may be tempting to do it at one time or another. “I’ll buy it on the train,” you think. “That’s all right, isn’t it?” Well, no. The National Rail Conditions of Carriage clearly state that all passengers must have a valid ticket or authority to travel for the journey they intend to make, unless a train operating company specifies otherwise [my underlining]. And now South West Trains will be enforcing this more consistently.”
* A recent survey by Passenger Focus found that SWT stations had all their ticket windows closed on 16% of visits (not due to the visits being outside the advertised opening hours either). This was worse than average for the train operators which were checked. SWT’s telesales team took an average of 8.4 minutes to answer the phone (with 30% of calls taking over 10 minutes to be answered by call centre staff) and 10% of calls resulting in no information or incorrect information being given.
* In the latest franchise round, the Government announced that it would seek to procure some service improvements in the Salisbury-Eastleigh-Weymouth triangle. The draft timetable which was sent to the official watchdog, Passenger Focus, with little time for comment shows that many passengers on the Waterloo-Weymouth line will be vastly less-well served.
* The specification was that the existing London-Weymouth services would be accelerated by omission of some stops; the existing Waterloo-Poole services would extend to Weymouth to make alternative provision for passengers affected by the omission of stops from the existing Weymouth services; and the Waterloo-Southampton services would extend to Poole in place of the Brockenhurst-Wareham services which are so slow and poorly programmed that they require 3 train units against 2 in BR days.
* What Stagecoach has produced is Waterloo-Weymouth services just 3 minutes faster than at present, with 3 stops omitted and 2 others added; the slower Weymouth services to lose their Totton and Ashurst stops; and the Poole services to sit at Southampton for 15 minutes and Brockenhurst for 25 minutes, with one train unit needed simply because of these dwell times.
* This has no real benefits for anyone, but some spectacular disadvantages. Totton and Christchurch are the only two intermediate towns between Southampton and Bournemouth. Journey speeds between the two, across the environmentally sensitive New Forest National Park, would crash to 19mph, compared with the 30mph average speed on the remote Central Wales line. London-Totton off-peak passengers would see their journeys increase by about 20 minutes unless they change at Southampton and rely on the connections that SWT won’t hold for even a few seconds. And they would generally spend all this extra time in cramped suburban stock.
* All these adverse effects could be avoided simply by switching the paths of the faster and slower Weymouth trains. Totton, New Milton and Christchurch could have direct, roughly half-hourly, services to and from Southampton, This is a commercially attractive proposition which BR realised in 1967 for New Milton and Christchurch (Totton then had an hourly service but its population has since doubled to 30,000). Comment from Stewart Palmer, SWT Managing Director, to Dr Julian Lewis MP: “the changes have been driven entirely by the train service specification that DfT laid down”.
* The South Hampshire Rail Users’ Group is probing the true position with a Freedom of Information request. At the Hampshire County Council’s recent Rail Forum, Mr Palmer seemed to blame “DfT hacks” for just about everything. Presumably Stagecoach is bitter that the new franchise isn’t another licence to print money.
Southern Daily Echo and SWT polls
* With Stagecoach the major train operator in the Southampton area, it is scarcely surprising that 78.9% of people who voted in an Echo poll thought that the railways should be re-nationalised. The findings were published on 19/03/07. This is broadly comparable with the result of SWT’s own poll which established that 67% of participants thought Stagecoach shouldn’t have been awarded the new SWT franchise (SWT falsified the result by publishing figures lifted a month before the poll closed, which were much more favourable to them)
Voices of discontent
* Note this claim from Building on Success which Stagecoach used in promoting its franchise bid: “Stagecoach’s success has been built on listening to customers and using their special insight to improve services even further”.
* For comments from a further 1,400 dissatisfied SWT customers, see www.class442.co.uk and www.no450.co.uk
DON’T CARE, WON’T CARE
‘Modern Railways’ columnist Alan Williams, who was briefly inclined to embrace Stagecoach at the time SWT commemorated his career with a plaque on Effingham Junction station, has seemingly returned to reality.
In the February edition, he wrote:
“One weekend last October, notices appeared at SWT stations advising passengers ‘not to travel in the London area at all’. Had terrorists struck again? Had there been an outbreak of some terrible, highly contagious disease? No. It was simply that Network Rail had closed all lines between Queenstown Road and Byfleet & New Haw, and therefore also the branches to Hampton Court, Kingston, Shepperton, Chessington, Epsom and Effingham. In short, the entire South Western suburban service was being replaced by buses.
A shuttle service was operated between Effingham and Guildford. Out of interest, I toddled down to the station to see what was going on. The place was deserted. When the shuttle from Guildford arrived, the very few passengers – far fewer than one would normally expect – were advised by the conductor to make their way to the car park for the bus. This requires the negotiation of two flights of stairs and a fairly lengthy walk – certainly far enough to get thoroughly soaked in bad weather.
One of the very few passengers was a young woman with a child and pushchair, who had not been warned at Guildford of the road replacement service. The driver of the bus was not the least interested in checking or selling tickets. But despite the bus being virtually empty, he adamantly refused to let the young woman on board with her pushchair. When, somewhat distressed, she asked what she might do, he curtly suggested she should summon a taxi. And with that he departed with his almost empty bus, leaving her standing in the middle of an empty car park.
Now Effingham is a pretty quiet place on a wet Sunday afternoon even when trains are running. A public telephone it has. A taxi rank it has not. But why should passengers be left to summon taxis for themselves in any case? If you buy a rail ticket to a destination, you should not then have to fork out again for a taxi to complete your journey. For her, a replacement service this most definitely was not. In the event, having determined that this performance was likely to be repeated all over again on her return journey later, the young woman decided to abandon her trip and caught the next, equally empty, shuttle train back to Guildford. I hope she claimed a full refund for her ticket – she was certainly entitled to it”.
HITTING RETIRED STAFF
“Former South West Trains Personnel - SWT has recently informed retired members of staff that they will no longer be issued with an SWT Travel Pass. It is claimed that to do so breaches the Employment Equality (Age) Regulations 2006. I am seeking advice as to whether anything can be done about this. It would be helpful if someone could provide me with a copy of an SWT document specifying that retired staff are entitled to such a pass.” (Old Southeronians’ newsletter)
BROADCASTER FRED DINENAGE ATTACKS AGAIN
“For sheer brass neck you’ve got to give it to South West Trains, haven’t you? They only introduced a six per cent fare rise for all passengers in January – now they’re going to raise fares again – this time by up to 20 per cent. The charges will come in from May for passengers who travel on lines from Weymouth, Salisbury, Southampton and Portsmouth. Passengers who leave between 9.30am and 12 noon will pay up to 20 per cent on top of what they do now. There’s been anger from customers and MPs, who say the railway watchdog should step in. A spokesman for South West Trains said: “We want to encourage passengers to travel at other times of day.” In the middle of the night presumably?” (Southern Daily Echo 31/03/07)
DISCOURAGING RAIL TRAVEL
“So when is the off-peak period? It used to be 9.30am after the rush hour. You could then get a cheap day return to London with the Tube included and see the day sightseeing. Now it is noon. Who’s going to want to go to London at noon? The time you get there (2pm) most places will be closing in three hours. I did not think I would ever say this but I feel sorry for the government. They are trying desperately to get us to use the train but South West Trains are trying to discourage us. Well I will take the car so I can spend the whole day there instead of half a day. Sorry the car wins again!” David Morgan. (Southern Daily Echo 28/03/07)
‘BOARDED-UP’ KEW BRIDGE
“Kew Bridge is now a penalty fares station, so to avoid a fine you need to buy a ticket before you board a train. The booking office at the station is a sorry sight and has been boarded up for years. The only ticket machine is on the London-bound platform. It’s just too bad if you want to travel in the opposite direction and find it difficult to climb stairs. South West Trains doesn’t exactly make life easy for passengers.” E. Parr (Evening Standard 03/04/07)
SLAM DOOR TRAINS IN HAZARDOUS CONDITION
“My wife and I recently returned from a Swiss railway holiday which we could not fault. On flying into Southampton Airport, we were met at the station by signs offering a choice of a two hour plus wait for the next train to Brockenhurst or to take a bus. There being no room for luggage on the lower deck of the bus we were obliged to carry our luggage upstairs. On arrival in Brockenhurst we took the ‘Heritage’ train [to Lymington] which comprised coaches well past their useful life-span. The interior presented a squalid picture including filthy floor coverings which in places were hazardous due to missing sections. The windows were very dirty. Is there any chance of this disgraceful service being shut down before an unsuspecting Swiss visitor happens upon this unforgettable example of our national ‘heritage’?” – Mike Kelly (Lymington Times 29/01/07)
NOT PROPERLY SERVING TWICKENHAM
“An investigation has been launched into the long delays endured by spectators leaving London sports venues… Twickenham rugby ground, where the capacity has been increased from 75,000 to 82,000 has problems, with spectators facing delays of up to two hours to board trains” (Evening Standard 12/03/07)
[Before the match on 15 April, SWT’s website warned of the likely high demand for travel between central London and Twickenham. On the afternoon of the 15th, the same website showed that due to the unexpectedly large passenger demand, the 16.11 and 17.11 from Shepperton to Waterloo would be diverted via Twickenham (meaning that passengers at stations on the original route would be left to wait for other services). Forward planning too much trouble?]
“South West Trains is now employing four people on every gate to block access to platforms 60 seconds before trains leave. I missed my train last week through this and was told I was “unlucky that my train was on time”. It would appear that SWT would be happier if it didn’t have the nuisance of customers. – Ian Llew” [Evening Standard, 9/1/07]
APPALLING CAR PARK CHARGES
“I am appalled at the way in which South West Trains has increased car parking charges at Southampton Central station. The weak justification states the money will be invested in further spaces etc. The same thing was said last year but no improvements have been made. During the last 12 months there has been no increase in the number of spaces or the security enhanced at the car parks. I park there daily and the lighting hasn’t worked for the last six months at the entrance to the car park near Overline House. Car windows are regularly smashed. Although I’ve reported the lighting several times to staff, nothing is done.
South West Trains, stop punishing your customers and give something back to us instead. The new franchise has come at a cost to the poor commuter, yet again! There is no justification to charge £6.60 a day on top of the increased costs of travel. It will soon be cheaper to drive to work than use a train.” [Correspondent in Southern Daily Echo 10/1/07]
ABANDONED IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT
(From article by Marcus Leroux in The Times. Also reported for example in the Southern Daily Echo, The News (Portsmouth), The Metro (London) and on BBC TV)
“When a rail company’s replacement bus service broke down in the middle of the night, miles from its destination, the passengers thought that the journey could not get any worse. They didn’t count on the possibility that the train’s staff would hop into a taxi and disappear into the frosty night, leaving them stranded in the snow for several hours. This was the South West Trains service from Waterloo to the middle of nowhere, via Woking.
The coach driver assured the five incredulous passengers that a second taxi was on its way for them. But after waiting for more than an hour they came to the conclusion that it would never arrive. They phoned their own taxi. Two hours and £180 later the last passenger, Adrian Yalland, arrived home in Southampton at 5.40am, four and a half hours after he had left London.
Mr Yalland told how he and his fellow passengers looked at each other in disbelief as the train driver and the guard got off the coach and sped off in a taxi about 2.30am, only 15 minutes after the coach had broken down at a roundabout near Woking. “We had to do a double take and ask each other if it had really happened,” he said. “There was no heating on the bus and it was freezing. One man was only wearing a shirt so I had to give him my jacket because he was so cold.” To make matters worse, the taxi had five empty seats and was going to Basingstoke, the destination of three of the passengers.
Alex Waite, an actuary from Winchester, was also on the broken down bus. “I was staring out of the window thinking that it couldn’t get worse,” he said. “Then it started to snow.”
South West Trains admitted that it was embarrassed by the blunder. The company said that the guard and driver needed to go as quickly as possible for another job, and that the first taxi could not have taken passengers because they may have been diverted at any time on its way to Basingstoke. A spokesman said: “The guard and the driver of the train had to get to their next location, but this doesn’t make up for leaving passengers stranded in the middle of the night. South West Trains will now be contacting the bus company to try to find out why another bus was not provided.
“We will do all we can to make sure that this embarrassing incident doesn’t happen again. I can understand why the passengers would be upset — once you get to the end of the night you just want to get home.” Mr Yalland, who runs a travel company, will be reimbursed for the taxi ride, but is far from satisfied. “It was just incredibly rude and illustrates the attitude they have towards customers,” he said. “They treated us with absolute contempt.”
Something to watch
The Times of 12 April 2007 reported that senior Scottish Labour politicians have held talks about the possibility of Network Rail taking control of trains north of the border when the First Scotrail franchise ends in 2011. This could pioneer a new structure for the rail industry which sees the end of franchising. It is unlikely, however, that such a change would be agreeable to Mr Souter. So it will be interesting to see how the issue evolves, and especially the attitude of the Scottish Nationalist Party.
UNETHICAL STAGECOACH BUS OPERATIONS
* Climate change is predicted to bring the risk of global upheaval within the current century: more drought; more famine; more unsettled and destructive climates. The Government accepts that getting people into trains and buses will need to play an important role in reducing the UK’s carbon emissions. In London, where the Mayor can determine routes, timetables and fares, bus travel has increased by 59% and operators still make a decent 7% return. Elsewhere in Britain bus travel is in decline.
* The regulated and successful London bus service doesn’t appeal to Mr Souter, who declared “We kind of like uncertainty” and disposed of his heavily subsidised London operation for a profit of £120 million.
* However, Mr Souter does seem proud of his reputation as a Scots bruiser who drove other bus operators off the road. It was revived for e’motion magazine, which is accessible on SWT’s website. No matter that the Monopolies and Mergers Commission condemned such practices as predatory, deplorable and contrary to the public interest.
Stagecoach still thriving on ‘bus wars’
* So what kind of operating environment does appeal to Mr Souter? BBC2’s ‘Are we there yet?’ programme of 20/03/07 focused on the ‘bus wars’ between 40 companies, including Stagecoach, in Greater Manchester. As an example of what is happening, Route 42 is operated by several companies, so the bus stop timetables can be meaningless because passengers can’t tell which bus will be operated by the company which will accept their ticket. Bus operators can run services to suit themselves. Buses clog the streets and get in the way of the ‘Metrolink’ trams (Stagecoach has just been chosen as preferred bidder for the next Metrolink franchise). Some bus drivers from Poland don’t have sufficient grasp of English to deal with even simple queries. Worst of all, the mass of buses in the city centre became a danger. Stagecoach was part of this latter phenomenon, fighting a war on the Stockport route. Eventually a cyclist died in a bus crash and the Traffic Commissioner was called in to impose some kind of order.
* In South Yorkshire the programme focused on the busy 265 Stagecoach route between Sheffield and Barnsley. Even the lower off-peak loadings appeared high enough to provide a good profit, on the basis of normal costing criteria. However, Stagecoach suddenly demanded £100,000 for continuing the service, and the council did not have powers to demand sight of the company’s relevant financial data.
* In these contexts, it is not surprising that the Government is interested in introducing some degree of bus regulation across Britain. Mr Souter’s response? A report in ‘Today’s Railways’ states: “Brian Souter has threatened to pull out of bus operations in major British cities in that event. He says he would prefer to sell his operations and give bus depots to developers for housing or supermarkets than allow councils to dictate how he should run his business.” So nothing has changed since he deprived Southampton of its bus station for a huge profit which got Stagecoach out of the red for the first time.
Scottish Nationalist Party issue - concerns about Stagecoach interference in politics
* Note this article in Glasgow’s Sunday Herald of 22 April:
“THE SNP were embroiled in a "cash for policies" row last night after they dropped a key transport pledge that would have hurt the commercial interests of their main financial backer. The party's plans for re-regulating Scotland's buses were missing from its manifesto, which was published after the SNP accepted a £500,000 donation from Brian Souter, the owner of Stagecoach. The U-turn has been attacked by opposition politicians who are demanding to know if the donation and policy shift are linked.
The row centres on the Nationalists' plan to reform Scotland's ailing transport network. Delegates at last October's SNP conference in Perth backed a resolution on re-regulating bus services, a policy that was also included in the Nationalists' 2003 election manifesto. However, the policy was absent when the party published its manifesto earlier this month.
The pledge to re-regulate the bus network, which would hand control of services to local authorities, has been dropped in favour of "greater integration" of the public transport network and extra investment. The manifesto U-turn has raised suspicions as it was made around the same time that Brian Souter, the owner of bus company Stagecoach, gave the SNP £500,000 to boost its election coffers.
Souter, a millionaire from Perth, is a vociferous critic of re-regulating the buses. He and his sister, Ann Gloag, capitalised on the deregulation of the network in the 1980s by purchasing dozens of firms and flooding routes with the newly purchased vehicles.
As late as last year, Souter savaged plans by a House of Commons select committee to give local authorities more control over services. He said: "The report is nothing more than regurgitated regulation. It is a blatant attempt to renationalise the bus industry by the back door by confiscating bus companies' revenues."
The Sunday Herald also understands Souter told a Scottish minister in a meeting last year that his company would consider pulling out of the country if re-regulation was introduced. Similarly, Souter reportedly told industry colleagues he would sooner sell his bus depots to housing developers than hand over control of services to councils.
The row is embarrassing for the SNP as it raises awkward questions about the influence of its big-business donors on party policy. Labour was severely criticised after accepting a £1 million donation from Formula One chief Bernie Ecclestone in 1997, only then to announce the sport would be exempt from a ban on all sports sponsorship by tobacco companies.
An SNP source close to party leader Alex Salmond said the policy had been dropped over "the last few months", but said that not every policy adopted at conference automatically becomes a manifesto commitment.
Mark Ballard, the Green transport spokesman, hit out at the policy about-turn: "I'm very concerned that since Brian Souter's cash appeared in the SNP bank account the commitment to re-regulating the bus network has disappeared from their manifesto. At best this is a downgrading of an important policy. At worst it could be cash for policies. "The SNP must explain why a policy that received unanimous support at their last conference has disappeared."
A spokesman for Scottish Labour said: "The SNP have always pretended to be squeaky clean when it came to big donations. At the very least, questions have to be asked about whether they are in the pockets of big business, rather than doing what is best for the whole of Scotland."
An SNP spokesman said re-regulation had been dropped, but said in a statement: "The resolution stands as a statement of conference policy. The SNP manifesto expresses our costed priorities for the next four-year term. These priorities include £1.1 billion of investment in transport improvements, abolition of road tolls, and piloting a new scheme to give free bus travel."
Basingstoke schoolchildren stranded
* From the Basingstoke Gazette, 16/03/2007:
“PARENTS have criticised a company's decision to cancel a school bus route.
Bus operator Stagecoach South cancelled route 658 from Beggarwood to Brighton Hill Community College and Aldworth Science College, in South Ham, on March 5 because the service was no longer financially viable. Buses operated on the route in the mornings and afternoons. But several parents claim no notice was given about the cancellation and a dozen children were left stranded at the bus stop.
Beggarwood resident Jill Palmer, whose 11-year-old son Elliott and 13-year-old daughter Stephanie attend Brighton Hill Community College, said: "It's absolutely absurd. We live in the catchment area for Brighton Hill College, but there are no transport links to the school. No notice was given and the whole thing has been handled very unprofessionally. I've just paid £150 for a bus pass for my two children and now they can't even get the bus. We live just less than three miles from the school, and it would take them about 45 minutes to walk there. It's all right now, when it's light, but I'm not happy for them to be walking when it's dark."
The mum drives her children to school in the morning, but in the afternoon they have to catch two buses to get home - which sometimes takes more than an hour.
Mrs Palmer, of Oceana Crescent, added: "This will encourage people to use their cars even more. In this neighbourhood alone, we have 15 or 16 cars going the same route to drop the children off in the morning. "
Parent Sam Thorn said her 15-year-old daughter has to leave the house at 7.20am, catch a bus from Beggarwood to Morrison’s supermarket, and then walk along Western Way to Aldworth Science College. She said: "We are really concerned about the children's safety. Many were left stranded and late for school last Monday because they had to find another way to get there.”
Attacking free bus travel for pensioners
Despite receiving huge subsidies, Stagecoach linked with First Group and Go-Ahead to attack Hampshire County Council’s bus free local travel scheme for people aged 60 and over. Their challenge was on the basis that “local” should be given the most restrictive possible interpretation. A counter-attack was launched by the Southern Daily Echo, and people came forward in large numbers to point out that the scheme was intended to relieve social isolation among older people - a key plank of government policy.
The Echo’s petition to protect the existing scope of concessionary travel attracted some 10,000 signatures. The Prime Minister subsequently congratulated the paper on its campaign, calling it “a very fine example of all that is best about local media” (Southern Daily Echo 28/11/2006).
So how much does ethically-limited Stagecoach care about older people? The editor of the Echo was surprised when Edward Hodgson, director of Hampshire Bus complained that carrying pass-waving passengers on his vehicles reduced the number of regular passengers attracted to the service. On 4 December, just 4 days before the Evening Standard reported the Stagecoach founders’ little £100 million bonus (later increased to £175 million), Andrew Dyer, Managing Director of Stagecoach South, had a letter published in the Echo, in which he accused the paper of “deliberately trying to undermine bus services in South Hampshire” with its petition. He opined that the paper should be urging the government to give the bus companies even more subsidy.
The bus companies eventually received extra funding, despite the huge advantage of guaranteed income which the scheme gave them. We understand that Torbay’s pensioner population was less lucky and that their concession was reduced to free travel on Stagecoach Torbay services only.
PROBLEMS WITH SIEMENS ARE INTERNATIONAL
The resignalling work being undertaken by Siemens in the Portsmouth area is now months behind its scheduled completion date and the BBC has reported that it could go on even until Christmas. But will it ever be completed successfully? Note the following report from CBC: “TransLink admits the electronic information signs at stops along a major bus route between downtown Vancouver and Richmond don't work, can't be fixed and could soon be gone. The digital signs along the 98 B-line between downtown Vancouver and Richmond are supposed to let people waiting at the bus stop know when the next bus will arrive. The digital bus signs along the Vancouver-Richmond bus route don't work, TransLink officials admit.
The signs, which are linked to a GPS system on the buses, haven't been working for the past week, freezing up and requiring frequent reboots. "The signs at the bus stops have been duds," said TransLink spokesman Ken Hardie, adding the company that installed the system said it cannot be fixed. "This system unfortunately just has never worked properly. Siemens has basically thrown up its hands and say they can't make it work."
Hardie said the GPS part of the system is working, and will continue to be used to hold green lights if buses are running late. Officials haven't decided whether to continue to reboot the signs, or turn them off altogether. Translink has already spent $30 million for a new system to provide real-time estimates on other major bus routes throughout Greater Vancouver. It's expected to be installed by August, and Hardie said he is confident the new system will work better than the old one.”
Germany’s IG Metall Union has launched a lawsuit against Siemens, alleging that they have illegally financed a smaller union which is considered more employer-friendly. The action is another blow to Siemens’ leadership, after a string of scandals involving a multi-million-pound slush fund to buy business and allegations of blackmail. (Evening Standard 03/04/07) Continue Article
MORE PASSENGER DISSERVICE FROM SWT
Monday 19/02/07 The Guard of the 17.05 Desiro train from Waterloo announced that all four toilets in the Weymouth portion were out of use, but passengers could use the station facilities at Southampton or Bournemouth. At Southampton the train was diverted from its normal platform 4 (which has toilet facilities) to platform 2 (which hasn’t).
Friday 23/02/07 06.06 Totton-Yeovil axed yet again. On this occasion the screens showed the 05.45 Poole-Waterloo as calling at 06.21, and also making additional stops at Redbridge and Millbrook. Redbridge passengers were advised to join the front 5 coaches. The train then sailed non-stop through Redbridge and Millbrook.
Monday 26/02/07 / Monday 19/03/07 More non-regular passengers than usual on the 17.05 Waterloo-Weymouth. You could tell by the panic and mass exodus as it was announced to passengers in the rear portion that the next stop would be Bournemouth (‘Bournemouth’ means ‘Totton’). These wrong announcements occur day after day.
March 2007 SWT’s website gained an announcement about train information by individual route: “The route filter has been disabled due to the high demand for this service. The normal service will resume once the demand has reduced sufficiently”. No apology of course.
Friday 09/03/07 There was no announcement when the 16.35 from Waterloo started to move from Totton before the doors opened. Passengers were about to activate the alarm when the train stopped again, having failed to pull up far enough at the initial attempt.
Monday 19/03/07 As so often happens since Stagecoach reduced first class seating on the Wessex main line, a number of first class season ticket holders had to travel in standard class on the 05.45 Poole-Waterloo. When the guard carried out her ticket check, she said she would deal with refund forms on the platform at Waterloo as the pad was too heavy to carry. She eventually relented and made another trip through the train with the pad.
Monday 02/04/07 SWT’s website showed that the 08.12 Reading-Waterloo was 10 minutes late and reduced to 4 coaches due to an unusually large passenger flow! Clearly there were boarding difficulties due to SWT’s failure to provide enough coaches, but how typical that they tried to blame their passengers when the problem no doubt arose from the reinstatement of the unreliable class 458 units to boost profits.
Thursday 05/04/07 06.06 Totton-Yeovil axed once again. SWT’s Control refused to stop the London train at Totton, so the station manager arranged a taxi which got to Southampton with two and a half minutes to spare for the London connection.
May 2007 A Totton commuter received a friendly letter from SWT inviting him to renew his season ticket to London. A list of fares, at January 2006 rates was included, for a range of stations excluding Totton. That speaks volumes about Stagecoach customer service standards.
PASSENGER FOCUS ‘MYSTERY SHOPPER’ EXERCISE ON TICKET SALES
Passenger Focus commissioned an independent survey of ticket sale facilities. The SWT highlights are:
SWT stations had all their ticket windows closed on 16% of visits (not due to the visits being outside the advertised opening hours either). This was worse than average for the train operators which were checked.
SWT’s telesales team took an average of 8.4 minutes to answer the phone (with 30% of calls taking over 10 minutes to be answered by call centre staff) and 10% of calls resulting in no information or incorrect information being given.
Comment on ticket machines:
“I lost £1.40 in the machine. The screen did not respond easily and it seemed sticky. I had to go to a second machine and pay by card. I did not inform SWT of loss as the ticket office was closed.”
SWT simply dismissed the survey as ‘one moment in time’ (Evening Standard 21/03/07).
[That’s par for the course. In issue 19 of their ‘E-motion’ magazine, SWT stated “Rail users on the South West Trains network can be confident that they have Jocelyn Pearson (Passenger Focus’ Link Manager for SWT) on their side”. Quite so, but they can be equally confident that Passenger Focus’ views and findings will be ignored or refuted, reflecting the arrogance identified by Christian Wolmar in his book ‘Stagecoach’: “---- there is a fundamental defensiveness about Stagecoach’s attitude to the press, borne of an arrogance and deep conviction that the company is right and everyone else is wrong.” For more ‘moments in time’, see Appendices 1 and 2.]
No doubt inadequate booking facilities are sensitive because SWT’s website is proclaiming the extension of their Penalty Fares scheme, passengers are treated ad nauseam to train and station announcements about the risk of a penalty if they board before buying a ticket, and silhouette posters are displayed on platforms of people who have been taken to court over minimal amounts.
BASINGSTOKE BLOCKADE SHAMBLES
The closure of the main lines through Basingstoke for a staggering ten days from 06 to 15 April was publicised well in advance, but there was often woeful failure to keep to the additional journey time of, typically, 45 minutes.
On commuting days, the 05.45 from Poole was re-timed to start at 05.40 and reach Waterloo at 08.24 instead of 07.46. The associated timetable leaflet showed that the train would call additionally at Fareham, Havant and Guildford, but it actually had extra stops at Haslemere and Worplesdon as well. On 12 April, it was delayed at Haslemere due to signalling problems. The Worplesdon stop was then axed. This did little good, as there was a much longer delay at Woking because of a train failure. The service eventually reached Waterloo at 08.50, having taken 69 minutes longer than usual. It was then to form the 08.30 to Portsmouth.
On 14 April, the 19.05 Waterloo-Weymouth (replacing the 19.35) filled up very quickly. One woman was heard complaining that the previous service, on which she had reserved seats, had been axed due to no crew being available to work the inward train. There were delays along the line to Havant, due to following a slower Portsmouth train. The service then stopped outside Havant station and the guard announced that it would be further delayed due to an incident along the line. He then announced that the signallers had just informed him that the power had been switched off in the area, at which point the electric train started moving again. By Southampton the service was over 20 minutes late. Although the 19.05 from Waterloo normally serves principal stations between Southampton and Bournemouth, there was no connection and passengers had to wait for a late-running service from Micheldever. The ‘normal’ 19.05 from Waterloo gets to Totton at 20.29. On this occasion, passengers arrived at 21.42: journey extended by 73 minutes.
Fortunately, sceptical commuters who thought services would not be back to normal at the reopening of the line on Monday 16 April were wrong. The re-laid and re-signalled track worked fine until late evening on 18 April, when it caused a spectacular collapse of service. At least one service ran over 100 minutes late and Stagecoach contributed to the misery by omitting stops and throwing delayed passengers off their trains.
WHAT A DIFFERENCE 12 YEARS DOESN’T MAKE
In justifying rail privatisation in January 1995, Conservative Secretary of State Dr Brian Mawhinney stated “We want responsiveness to passengers’ wishes. We want, in the railways, all the characteristics of the best of British industry. The Sainsburys of this world respond rather well to their customers’ changing demands without any help from the state, thank you very much. We want that responsiveness for the railway too”.
In outlining how customer service would form a central plank of National Express’ franchise bid for the East Coast Main Line, former SRA Chairman and Chief Executive Richard Bowker recently said, “We need to see transport as a retail business. Customers want cheap tickets and integrated travel. We must take our cue from the high street, which over the last 10 to 15 years has made the process of buying things far simpler”.
[This seems to indicate that National Express would maintain the high standard of customer service established on the route by GNER but achieved on only a handful of other franchises. This is a very positive start to the franchise bidding – if only we had a customer-focused operator on SWT!]
The Department for Transport plans that Windsor line trains should use the international platforms from December 2008. The longer term strategy is that other services should move across the main Waterloo station, away from the short platforms 1-4.
NEW FOREST TRANSPORT FORUM 15/03/07
By David Mead
Delegates to the forum, held at Appletree Court in Lyndhurst, were given a presentation entitled "Putting Passengers First" – a Government consultation document on proposed changes for the future operation of bus and community transport services. The issues are national, with no specific regional detail. The overall mission statement is that the DfT sees the bus as a key in tackling congestion, improving accessibility, protecting the environment and supporting the economy. We are looking at enhanced Quality Bus Partnerships which could include network planning, minimum frequencies, timetables and where appropriate, maximum fares. HCC’s initial response is to welcome the proposals, which will enable the voluntary and community sector to play a much larger role in providing transport. A draft Road Transport Bill will be presented in Spring 2007 and will incorporate results of the consultation.
Delegates were then given news of Hampshire Action Teams for the New Forest. Hampshire has been divided into sectors, the New Forest being one of them, and under the leadership of an appointed County Councillor various meetings with working groups, special interest groups (eg. railways), voluntary and community organisations are being arranged to brain storm realistic actions for tomorrow’s transport. Delegates were given a workshop paper to complete and we were welcome to make our own key comments for a constructive New Forest transport policy. (Among my personal proposals were for better co-ordinated rail/bus integration with affordable fare policies).
The forum was then updated on current transport issues by the Transport Officer for HCC and also a NFDC Councillor. Key points:-
- Lymington hospital passenger loadings on 56/56A bus services
have been disappointing. (This could influence any possible station
- Lymington Cango services also have disappointing loadings - extended for further subsidised trial period before final decision made about retaining them.
- New School Travel initiatives, including routing services to schools/colleges to provide for after school activities and special £1.00 flat fares for students on some routes. (This is part of a HCC county wide initiative to encourage more use of buses by pupils and students who are not entitled to free bus travel).
- Blue Star routes 36/36A/37 now become H1, H2 and H3.
- Blue Line Totton area bus services (30/31/32) to be re-branded and re-numbered - councils will be informed in due course.
- Long Term Agenda Aspirations - proposed closure of the existing Totton Station and building a new station west of Junction Road.
PASSENGER FOCUS EVENT ON THE SOUTHERN FRANCHISE 28/03/07
Meeting, held at Gatwick Airport, considered ‘Where are we now and what do we want from the next franchise?”.
Chris Burchell, Southern Managing Director, outlined 5 years’ progress since Go Ahead took over from Connex. Punctuality was up; slam door trains replaced; full establishment of fully trained drivers; management improvements; station upgrades and world class train maintenance facilities; passenger satisfaction up 19%. Southern’s [longstanding] slogan is “Expect more”. It sets out to be a listening and responsive company; staff are recruited for attitude – “Are you a people person?”
Issues for the future are capacity (demand outstripping forecasts, but passengers in excess of capacity have reduced); the Brighton Route Utilisation Strategy (decision imminent); next level of punctuality; smartcards; sustainability (moral and social responsibility); accessibility.
[The Route Utilisation Strategy has since been published. Gatwick Express will remain and be transferred to the Southern franchise. These services will extend to and from Brighton during the commuting peaks. New Electrostar trains will be built, and Southern is expected to take on more than half the class 442 Wessex Electric units which Stagecoach dumped on SWT]
Chris Curtis, Network Rail’s Route Enhancement Manager, said Network Rail has been in recovery mode but safety is now the best ever. Cost of operating will be half of what it was in 2004. Broken rails reduced by half. Train miles up 25% in 12 years. Route Utilisation Strategy compares future demand with current capacity. There is a £200m fund for small improvements. Can be used for things like improving speeds at junctions.
For the future Network Rail is looking at a modular low-maintenance station concept. There would be three station sizes and all sizes would have the full range of basic facilities like ticket machines and toilets. Plans to redevelop Redhill station in conjunction with property developers who would build on the existing car park and build a new one. Gatwick is expected to see a 60% increase in rail passengers by 2015; plans for redevelopment with better circulation and connectivity and a new platform 7; possibly new tracks at East Croydon (slow line operates at 107% of theoretical capacity); and quicker turnaround times at Victoria. Looking at one good station for Newhaven instead of the current three. Funding problems with plugging the Lewes-Uckfield gap, but developers might help. Politicians edgy about taking things away; benefits of service changes must be clear.
Thameslink services will change from December 2008 to enable construction work on the central core. 12 coach trains should arrive by December 2011 and increased services through the core by 2015. London Bridge station will be completely rebuilt.
Questions raised included the long delay in deciding the Brighton Route Utilisation Strategy (pressure from airport authority not to abandon Gatwick Express in favour of commuter services); need to transfer Redhill-Tonbridge line to Southern franchise (this is intended) so that trains from Victoria could have a Reigate portion; electrification of Ashford-Hastings line (no spare electric trains in the peaks).
Roger Jones of the Department for Transport said train operators take revenue risk outside the London area (not practicable in London) and are incentivised to drive down costs. Main issues for government are performance improvement; increase in capacity; and environment. Under the Railways Act 2004, private sector can innovate to give value for money; minimum level of service specified but operators can provide more; national network protected; level playing field in competition. DfT doesn’t dictate exact timetable. Franchising is a staged and gated process. Once the specification is set, ministers have no involvement; they “just open the brown envelope”. Consultation taken very seriously; DfT can ask operators to vary the service.
New Southern franchise from December 2009. Detailed planning work and consultation January-July 2008; Invitations to Tender January 2009; bids by April 2009; decision around July 2009. Timetable issues include a new Brighton-Southampton service; integration with the East London Line; and interface with Thameslink.
Passenger Focus wants to maximize benefits for passengers. Recent experience suggested there was quite a way to go. There was also a presentation on the findings of passengers’ markings on their own journey experiences and group exercises on what passengers want from various aspects of the rail experience. As we don’t know the outcome of all this research activity, it would be premature to comment.
HAMPSHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL RAIL FORUM 16/04/07
This event gave a useful overview of rail issues in Hampshire.
Stewart Palmer, Managing Director of South West Trains, claimed there was an overall improvement [?] to services throughout Hampshire and admitted that the 20% increase in seating on SWT did not include suburban services (contrary to SWT’s earlier claims). He stated that the [hated] rolling stock cascade was designed to provide extra seats [contrary to what SWT led angry passengers at Petersfield to believe during a meeting on 22/03/07]. Over 50% of tickets at Waterloo now sold through machines [not surprising given the long queues at the booking office]. Investment will be concentrated on the major footfall stations, with just routine painting at other stations. Huge suppressed demand at Southampton Airport Parkway for parking [not surprising given poor service level at so many other stations in Southern Hampshire]. A disability-compliant footbridge at the station was a major issue. It costs about £3,500 to provide one parking space. Plans to move to more 10-car and then 12-car trains; 15 cars unlikely. Disingenuous spin by DfT about extra carriages – SWT can’t fund [money used to boost Stagecoach founders’ personal wealth?]; if DfT want changes to the franchise specification, they will have to do it themselves; none of us can influence their decisions.
Complaint from a wheelchair user that loss of the Reading/Basingstoke-Brighton trains denied him rail access to Brighton – journeys via Clapham Junction not practicable. Concerns about failure to join up Stagecoach buses and trains, with one councillor complaining that Stagecoach would be happier if it didn’t have to bother with passengers [nothing new there]. Also passenger concerns about industry claims that there is no spare capacity on the Netley line but, during the Basingstoke shutdown, many more services via Netley.
Gavin Johns, Network Rail’s Route Enhancement Manager for Wessex, outlined strategic plans for the next 10-20 years: peak overcrowding to be addressed; use of capacity to be improved; freight capacity to be developed. Major renewals like Basingstoke needed about every 40 years. Work in hand would particularly increase capacity on the Reading line. Possibility of a new station south of Reading; new station at Chineham, north of Basingstoke could be explored. It would now be straightforward to provide a freight train bypass line along the northern side of Basingstoke station, but traffic does not require this at present. Stations on Basingstoke-Salisbury line to be increased to 10-car length by December 2009. Disability access to be provided at six stations under the Access for All programme. Plans to relay tracks through the narrow Buriton tunnel (south of Petersfield) on more stable foundations by 2010, to remove the current speed limit. Farnham area to be re-signalled – SWT would like quicker turnarounds at Alton [at end of long single-track sections] to reduce rolling stock requirements [odd since they are prepared to devote a whole train to long layover times at Brockenhurst in the December 2007 timetable]. Southampton area re-signalling due in 2010. Options for revamping the Reading station infrastructure by 2014.
Allen Marsden – a consultant and formerly Manager, Regional and Local Government with EWS – said EWS carrying 70% more freight than in 1990. Now has a 12% share of the market. Big names like ASDA, TESCO, M&S, IKEA, B&Q and ARGOS are using rail. Road congestion has been a major factor. But 60 or 84 tonne lorries lurking – could damage rail competition. Channel Tunnel has been a freight disaster- 80m tonnes of freight traffic to be won. Hatfield killed Royal Mail traffic. But we are doing better than France where SNCF losing 25% of freight a year. Over 50% of rail freight in this country is port-related. Essential to cater for bigger containers. Hampshire is an exemplar of best practice.
Nick Farthing, Chair of Three Rivers Partnership and of Logistics Sub-committee of the Hampshire Economic Forum, urged a partnership approach and campaigning. Chandlers Ford service shows what can be achieved. But may be too late to save Reading-Brighton service. Latter less busy off-peak, but would anyone close a lane of the M3 at less busy times? People need to get business case together for improvements and fight hard.
APPENDIX 1 - DIARY OF A TOTTON-WATERLOO COMMUTER –11
Monday 19/02/07 A fellow passenger on the 06.46 from Totton swore at the annoying "you must buy a ticket to get on one of our trains" announcement - so it's not just me that it irritates - she also referred to knowing "that announcement" off by heart. No satellite signal on the screens by the ramp to the Waterloo & City line.
Tuesday 20/02/07 Apparently the cancellation of the 07.07 from Totton to Romsey on Friday last week was due to shortage of train crew, and the cancellation was repeated every 2 hours during the day (09.01, 11.01 etc). The 06.46 from Totton left just before its scheduled departure time, rushing to stand about 9 minutes at Southampton Central for the rear half from Weymouth to attach. About 5 minutes late at Waterloo. No satellite signal on the screens by the ramp to the Waterloo & City line.
Wednesday 21/02/07 Did not travel.
Thursday 22/02/07 The 05.41 from Salisbury (06.43 arrival at Totton) was a 2-coach train in First TransPennine Express livery. At Winchester on the 06.46 from Totton, the train was announced as "Pokesdown, Christchurch, New Milton..." before the guard cut in and said "please ignore the on-board announcement system until it resets itself". 5 minutes late at Waterloo due to "slow running from Clapham Junction" (or to put it another way, the reason we were late is that we didn't go fast enough - if only all announcements were so informative!). No satellite signal on the screens by the ramp to the Waterloo & City line. Just before departure of the 21.05 from Waterloo, the regular beggar was going through the train - and then during the journey SWT had the cheek to run the "you must buy a ticket to get on one of our trains" announcement.
Friday 23/02/07 Totton ticket office was closed at 06.00. The 06.06 from Totton to Yeovil Junction was shown on departure indicator as cancelled, with a replacement 06.21 stop provided on the 06.30 departure from Southampton Central (as is part of the regular stopping pattern for this train on Saturdays - nobody knows why it isn't the case during the working week). Totton ticket office opened 31 minutes late. The 06.21 departed 3 minutes late, but omitted the Redbridge and Millbrook stops that were clearly shown on the departure indicator (including the advice to alight from the first 5 carriages at Redbridge), still arriving at Southampton 1 minute before its scheduled departure time. During the journey, the guard commented on the risk of bruises as the train swayed as we went over a junction - when passengers commented that this didn't happen with the previous stock, he replied in a way that could be paraphrased as "you might well think that, I couldn't possibly comment". No satellite signal on the screens by the ramp to the Waterloo & City line. Shortly before departure of the 18.35 from Waterloo, a very full train, we heard the automated announcement "The next station is London Waterloo. All change please", which everyone ignored. 10 minutes late at Winchester due to "a freight train and a late running Virgin service being placed in front of us at Basingstoke".
Monday 26/02/07 At Winchester, the announcement on the 06.46 from Totton said that the train was calling at "Pokesdown, Christchurch, New Milton..." No satellite signal on the screens by the ramp to the Waterloo & City line.
Tuesday 27/02/07 The 06.43 arrival at Totton was shown as the next arrival on platform 2 well after the train had left the station – it was shown in fact until the 07.07 to Weymouth arrived at the platform. The 07.07 to Weymouth and 07.07 to Romsey BOTH left before their scheduled departure time. No satellite signal on the screens by the ramp to the Waterloo & City line. The 18.35 from Waterloo was 5 minutes late by Winchester with no reason given.
Wednesday 28/02/07 At Southampton Central before 07.00 the first train for the Portsmouth line was shown as cancelled, but the "Next Train To" displays showed services to stations on the line as "On time" with the time of the next train - the scheduled time of the first train having been airbrushed out of history. No satellite signal on the screens by the ramp to the Waterloo & City line and no response yet to my query about them to Transport for London.
Thursday 01/03/07 No satellite signal on the screens by the ramp to the Waterloo & City line. Two minutes before departure time of the 18.35 from Waterloo, we heard the announcement "The next station is London Waterloo. All change please". The annoying "you must buy a ticket" announcements are still being played twice per journey.
Friday 02/03/07 Totton ticket office was closed at 06.05 with a notice in the station window reporting the closure. At Southampton Central, the passenger information screen right outside the duty manager's office was not working. The 06.30 from Southampton Central left just before its scheduled departure time and had no refreshments available on this very full 10 coach service. On the approach to Basingstoke, the train gave a few sideways lurches which caused laptops to move on tables. Approaching Waterloo we got the full list of stations for the whole journey repeated in an announcement. No satellite signal on the screens by the ramp to the Waterloo & City line. The 19.05 from Waterloo was late into the station and was met with a large scrum of passengers after a Portsmouth line cancellation due to a failed windscreen wiper. The Portsmouth passengers were being transported to an additional stop at Woking with many standing in the vestibules and aisles. At Clapham Junction, we heard the announcement "Passengers leaving the train here should move forward due to the short platform at this station" - but Clapham Junction had been announced by the guard as being for pick-up only. As the guard was explaining the incoming Portsmouth train was terminated early at Woking due to the fault, but would be forming the outgoing service back from Woking to Portsmouth, someone called out "absolute rubbish". After Woking the guard apologised for the "previous overcrowding". Running 10 minutes late at Winchester, 8 minutes late at Totton.
Monday 05/03/07 Noted that due to most passengers (including myself) declining to pay SWT an additional £400 per year, half of the Totton station car park is effectively out of use with the knock-on effects seen on the surrounding street parking. Totton ticket office was just opening up at 06.50 with a temporary staff member. Departure indicators on both platforms showed "We regret that owing to a fault no information can be displayed at present". A fellow passenger had to ask where the car park ticket machine was and was (a) surprised that it wasn't in the car park itself and (b) even more surprised that car park tickets could only be found under "More Popular Destinations" on the platform ticket machine - "not obvious is it?" he said. Given the absence of departure information, the temporary staff member was asked if trains were running to time - "I have no idea, sir". The absence of departure information meant that safety related information, such as advance warning that the Virgin service to Edinburgh was about to pass through the station at high speed, was lost - and no verbal announcement was made to compensate. Lots of litter was left on the platform, including an empty vodka bottle. The 07.07 to Romsey was made up of two class 158 carriages in First Transpennine Express livery - another fellow passenger had to ask if this was indeed the Romsey service - and, as typically happens now, it left the station before its scheduled departure time. No passenger information screens have been installed at Redbridge - possibly the only SWT station without them! Blank passenger information screen at Millbrook. All passenger information screens were out of action at Southampton Central, but at least station staff were making announcements about which services were leaving from which platforms. On the 07.30 from Southampton Central found they are still playing the annoying "you must buy a ticket" announcement twice per journey. No passenger information screens were working at Southampton Airport Parkway, Winchester and Woking. 5 minutes late at Waterloo - no reason given. No satellite signal on the screens by the ramp to the Waterloo & City line. The 18.35 from Waterloo left a few minutes late, which the guard reported to be due to "late arrival at London Waterloo" - a pretty content-free announcement. There were two annoying "you must buy a ticket" announcements on the train and one on the platform at Southampton Central.
Tuesday 06/03/07 Totton ticket office was closed at 06.45. The 06.43 arrival from Salisbury was shown as delayed with announcement that this was due to a fallen tree at Chandlers Ford. The downside HelpPoint was getting engineering attention from someone with TDM marked on their jacket. As the 06.46 left Totton, the expected arrival time of the 06.43 changed to 07.09, but the 07.07 departure to Romsey which uses the same stock was still shown as running to time. In-carriage displays on the 06.46 from Totton were stuck just showing “06:09”. The train suddenly lost power on arrival at Southampton Central, leaving passengers sitting in the dark for a few seconds until the emergency lighting kicked in – passengers were only back with normal lighting after the second half of the train had been joined. After full power was restored, the in-carriage displays were working again - perhaps they had to reboot the train to fix the display problem! The "you must buy a ticket" announcement heard before Southampton Central, after Southampton Airport Parkway and after Winchester. No satellite signal on the screens by the ramp to the Waterloo & City line. Stock for the 19.05 from Waterloo arrived just before the scheduled departure time and left 4 minutes late due to "a failed train at Clapham Junction causing congestion between Clapham Junction and Waterloo" on the incoming service. An "all change" announcement was actually made after the scheduled departure time, but was ignored by all except one passenger who looked up at the in-carriage display with a wry smile. Approaching Clapham Junction, we heard the announcement "Passengers leaving the train here should move forward due to the short platform at this station" - but Clapham Junction had again been advertised for picking-up passengers only. Five minutes late at Winchester. The annoying "you must buy a ticket" announcement was played after leaving Waterloo, Winchester and Southampton - 3 times in the same journey (and 6 times today - aargh!).
Wednesday 07/03/07 Totton ticket office was open (for a change). The stock for the Romsey shuttle is becoming more surreal - again a pair of Class 158 carriages in the First TransPennine Express livery, but this time with the destination displays at the front and back of the train showing "Hitchin". The annoying "you must buy a ticket" announcement was heard on Totton station and twice on the 06.46 from Totton. The guard apologised for the "short delay" outside Waterloo. Some fellow passengers were discussing the Class 442 trains, saying "They're a lot wobblier these trains, aren't they" and also discussing that their train last night had filthy windows – and when a comment was made to the guard, he simply ignored them. Five minutes late at Waterloo. No satellite signal on the screens by the ramp to the Waterloo & City line. Passengers joining the 18.05 from Waterloo were greeted by the guard making an announcement of the "final call" for the service.
Thursday 08/03/07 Totton ticket office was open with a temporary staff member - the permanent staff member being off all week apparently. The 06.43 arrival from Salisbury and the 07.07 departure to Romsey were both shown as cancelled. Noted that platform announcements are inaudible if you have moved along the platform to get into the 4th or 5th carriage of the incoming train. At Southampton Central, the 06.46 from Totton (07.00 from Southampton Central) is described on the platform indicators as having "1st class in coachs (sic) 1 and 6" at the same time as "this train has 5 coaches". Trying to buy a hot drink from the buffet trolley, I was told that the steward had to start from the other end of the carriage! Stopped outside Waterloo, the guard apologised for the "unscheduled stop". Pulling in to the platform we heard "Welcome to this South West Trains service to Weymouth" "calling at Woking.......Weymouth". No satellite signal on the screens by the ramp to the Waterloo & City line. The Waterloo & City line was very crowded this evening, with restricted access to the platforms which were so packed that passengers on incoming trains were having to queue a long time to get out of the carriages. Strange announcement that the platform indicators were not working so we should check the front of the train for the destination - at Bank on the Waterloo & City line? Would Waterloo be a lucky guess? On the 19.05 from Waterloo, noted that the in-carriage displays listed the stations served but had a very large gap after New Milton - and this was mimicked by the voice announcement which went silent for an extended period before continuing from Hinton Admiral. Coming out of Totton station at 20.30, I disturbed a rat which scurried into the pile of rubbish that has accumulated by the commercial office to the left of the steps up to the station footbridge.
Friday 09/03/07 As the 06.46 from Totton was leaving Winchester, the guard announced we would be making an additional stop at Basingstoke but the expected time of arrival at London Waterloo would still be 08.14 - as if! Slow running approaching Basingstoke where a large number of people were waiting on the platform. After leaving the station, the driver announced "Can the guard please contact the driver". The guard then apologised for the overcrowding but announced "due to a cancellation of a West of on the approach to Woking. After Woking, the guard apologised for the "severe overcrowding". Stopped after Wimbledon with the driver announcing in a resigned tone "Can the guard contact the driver?" and the horn sounded before we moved again. Very slow running after Clapham Junction - arrived at Waterloo 29 minutes late. As the automated announcement said "thank you for travelling on South West Trains", a fellow passenger was heard to reply "Oh shut up". No satellite signal on the screens by the ramp to the Waterloo & City line. A commuter nightmare on the 19.05 from Waterloo - before we set off a man sat down next to me and starting munching through a Burger King meal, a man behind me was loudly taking his child through some Florence Nightingale homework over his mobile phone, there was one automated "you must buy a ticket before you get on one of our trains" announcement and 2 guard "you must have a valid ticket for the duration of your journey" announcements. The automated announcement repeated shortly after leaving Waterloo and then the guard (for the third time in 15 minutes) announced the need to have a valid ticket. The automated announcement was repeated once again during the journey. With 6 similar announcements in a single journey, this is getting stupid.
Monday 12/03/07 My season ticket, issued at the end of December, is already fading badly. No satellite signal on the screens by the ramp to the Waterloo & City line and no response to my query about them to Transport for London - as this was submitted on 23 February, so they are well outside the 7 day response promised in their acknowledgment.
Tuesday 13/03/07 Totton ticket office was closed at 06.05. 06.06 from Totton was refurbished class 158 stock which was extremely brightly lit - despite being refurbished, there were no "how to complain" passenger information notices visible. At Southampton Central, the newsagent on platform 1 was closed and the large screen over platform 1, normally used to show Network Rail information, was blank. The guard on the 19.05 from Waterloo apologised for the "slow progress down the line" due to "a broken down train" and then "one track is currently out of use" and that we were "doing grandmother's footsteps from signal to signal". 15 minutes late at Clapham Junction. After leaving Clapham Junction, the guard reported "There was a problem at Clapham Junction and if you are travelling to Wimbledon or one or two other stations we are not stopping at, please see the duty station manager at Basingstoke who will make special arrangements for you". Approaching Basingtoke, he announced to passengers who had "joined the train in error" that there was a "connecting service being held at Basingstoke on platform 3 fast back to Clapham Junction". He also reported that he had "tried to have this train stop additionally at Wimbledon" but this was "not possible due to congestion this evening. Sorry for the misinformation at Clapham Junction and the delay to your journeys" and "we don't appear to be having a very good evening". 17 minutes late at Totton.
Wednesday 14/03/07 At Southampton Central, the large screen over the platform 1 entrance is still blank. Stock for 19.05 from Waterloo arrived just 3 minutes before the scheduled departure time and left (obviously without cleaning) 2 minutes late. A fellow passenger looked confused at the long gap between the announcement of New Milton and Hinton Admiral by the automated announcements, which always happens on this service. The annoying "you must buy a ticket" announcement was heard 3 times during the journey. At Totton, the shelter on the down platform has been removed and the area it used to be temporarily fenced off - unfortunately, the fencing extends so far forward that passengers are forced to cross the yellow safety line in order to pass along the platform.
Thursday 15/03/07 Totton ticket office was closed at 05.45. After the stock for the 06.06 Totton to Romsey service had passed through platform 2 on its way to Totton Yard, the platform indicator was still showing "STAND CLEAR This train is not in service" - perhaps there is a detector that tells the system that the train has left the platform that is on the main line after the junction into the yard, as this problem has been seen with stock for other Totton-Romsey services. The 05.48 to Waterloo was 3 minutes late at Totton. As the train approached Southampton Central, the automated announcement was so keen for people to change there for Salisbury, that it mentioned it twice in the list of "change here for..." stations. At Southampton Central, the large screen over the platform 1 entrance is still blank. On the 19.05 from Waterloo the guard "had a problem with the announcement system - only just been able to access it"
Friday 16/03/07 I caught the 05.11 from Southampton Central, travelling to Coventry (train located on platform 3 in an empty station, so everyone had to use the footbridge). In an outbreak of customer friendliness not previously evident at Southampton Central, the train got a small wave from platform staff as it departed on time. As we approached Oxford, the guard announced the next station as Edinburgh - for which he apologised but he made a general hash of announcing all the connecting services at Oxford as well. The shop was not open until after departure from Oxford, one and a half hours into the journey. Changed at Coventry for Rugby but did not see any departure summary screens on the platform and had to go to the station entrance to find where to go for the connecting service. On the 17.05 from Waterloo, I noted the apparent increase in people eating smelly food on packed commuter trains.
Monday 19/03/07 A new shelter has been installed on the down platform at Totton (still with barriers, but these have been slightly moved back from the platform edge) - the shelter has 8 glazed panels, leading to some speculation about how long they will last. Apparently all instances of graffiti and vandalism on the station must now be reported to the police - but they may take a dim view of the station being unmanned from about 12.45 on a Friday afternoon all the way through to Monday morning. Still no response from Transport for London regarding the screens by the ramp to the Waterloo & City line at Waterloo. On the 18.05 from Waterloo, in the second carriage of the ludicrously named "The Fab 444" unit, passengers were subjected to a distinctly un-Fab noisy fan for the duration of their journey.
Tuesday 20/03/07 "RJIS data load" error on the ticket machine at Totton. The 06.06 to Romsey left just before the scheduled departure time. At Southampton Central, the large screen over the platform 1 entrance is still blank. 18.05 from Waterloo 4 minutes late at Totton.
Wednesday 21/03/07 When the 18.35 from Waterloo arrived at Southampton Central, the rear half of the train which forms a stopping portion, had the incorrect announcement "This train is for Weymouth and the next station is Bournemouth". [It’s happening all the time! – Editor]
Thursday 22/03/07 On the 06.30 from Southampton Central, a fellow passenger was complaining that the staff in the ticket machine at Southampton Airport Parkway had broken his credit card by ramming it into the chip and pin device and almost cracking it in two. Ground to a halt at Shawford station (as snow started to fall) with the announcement "can the guard contact the driver" and the carriage going on to emergency lighting. The guard then apologised for the "slight delay", reporting "an electrical problem with the heating and lights". We then proceeded to Winchester, still on emergency lighting, arriving about 5 minutes late. At Winchester the guard reported that the "driver is currently trying to rectify the problem". Then all lighting went off for a few seconds, before being put back onto emergency lighting. As we left Winchester, about 20 minutes late, the guard reported that the delay was due to "power supply problems in the area causing electrical problems on the train due to the weather conditions" (ironic cheers from the passengers drowned out the rest of the announcement as there had already been speculation about the "wrong sort of snow"). Still on emergency lighting, we arrived 20 minutes late at Waterloo.
Friday 23/03/07 Totton ticket office was closed at 06.10. Half of the main departure board at the Southampton Central platform 4 entrance was blank (and it was the half that normally shows the next departures). 19.35 from Waterloo departed late due to "operating difficulties between London Waterloo and Clapham Junction" - 7 minutes late at Winchester.
Monday 26/03/07 Considerable amount of litter in the downside "premium" car park at Southampton Central. Travelling on the 07.00 from Southampton Central, noted that the downside platform indicators at Southampton Airport Parkway were showing "we regret that owing to a fault no information can be displayed at present" downside. Still no response from Transport for London regarding the screens by the ramp to the Waterloo & City line at Waterloo - over a month against their promised 7 day response. Joined the 19.05 from Waterloo 3.5 minutes before departure time to be greeted with the announcement "This train is approaching its final destination, London Waterloo". The stopping pattern of the outgoing service was announced shortly afterwards with the usual long gap in the announcement between New Milton and Hinton Admiral.
Tuesday 27/03/07 Waterloo & City line closed this evening - the notice said "signal problems at the Waterloo end" but the announcement said "points failure". 19.55 from Southampton Central left just before the scheduled departure time. 20.01 from Totton to Romsey also left before its scheduled departure time.
Wednesday 28/03/07 The new shelter on the down platform at Totton has had the tarmac underneath and around it replaced with brick paving - which appears to be a totally pointless waste of money. Redbridge station still has no departure indicators installed on the platform, just the frame for one has been installed and then forgotten about. Millbrook station is missing some of its notices with the empty framework just remaining. The 21.05 from Waterloo to Poole was announced by the guard as the 23.05 departure and there was no buffet service on this long-distance train. Long pauses during the announcement of stations served, variously between Brockenhurst/Sway and Totton/Ashurst New Forest. Long waits at stations. The roof of the new shelter on the down platform at Totton partially obscures the view of the departure indicator from along the platform.
Thursday 29/03/07 Finally Transport for London had responded about the screens by the ramp to the Waterloo & City line at Waterloo as follows "Thank you for your feedback form about faulty display screens at Waterloo station. The screens themselves are not actually the responsibility of London Underground. They were installed by an external company (who are responsible for them and who paid for them as well), and the original intent was for them to display Sky News (similar to the large broadcast screen at Victoria mainline station). There is apparently a cabling problem with them (which is why they don't show any signal most of the time). It has been consistently flagged by station staff at Waterloo, using our fault reporting system. Now that we have received word from a customer as well (yourself), staff at Waterloo have escalated the issue further, and hopefully the problem will be resolved. There may be delays in doing that. Depending on the nature of the work, it may be necessary to carry it out during our engineering hours (the small window between last train of the night and first train of the following morning), but it has been flagged once again." Broken glass in the gutter of the street outside Totton station. On the 06.46 from Totton to Waterloo, a passenger complained that the buffet stewardess had rammed the trolley into his leg. [Who would be a buffet stewardess on the wildly swaying class 444 trains? – Editor]
Friday 30/03/07 More on the new shelter on the down platform - graffiti has already been etched into the glass and apparently you cannot see the departure indicator from within the shelter. Timetables for the Easter engineering work at Basingstoke are not available at Totton or Southampton Central, but a notice on the platform at Southampton Central advises a correction to the published timetable (just not published here). 07.07 from Totton to Romsey left just before its scheduled departure time. 07.30 from Southampton Central left just before its scheduled departure time.
Monday 02/04/07 Glass on down platform at Totton and a window broken in the nearby New Forest Ceiling Ltd office looked like the responsible projectile had come from the station. Ticket machine was not taking notes - the Totton ticket office was open at 05.50, but a passenger had already had to ask fellow passengers for change to buy a ticket for the 05.48 departure. The Easter timetable is now available, just 4 working days before it comes into operation. The CCTV camera covering the ticket machine has apparently captured scenes of the machine being kicked and attempts to pull the cable out of the wall. Totton is apparently under Southampton area management again after a short stint under Bournemouth. On the 09.51 to Waterloo overheard comments from fellow passengers "never have enough luggage space on these trains" and "the old trains had lots of space". On the 21.05 from Waterloo, there was a gap in the announced stations between Brockenhurst and Sway. Extended stop at Earlsfield due to "signalling difficulties around the Earlsfield area". 14 minutes late at Winchester.
Tuesday 03/04/07 When the 18.35 from Waterloo arrived at Southampton Central, the rear half of the train, which forms a stopping portion, had the incorrect announcement "This train is for Weymouth and the next station is Bournemouth". 20.01 from Totton to Romsey left before its scheduled departure time.
Wednesday 04/04/07 07.16 from Totton to Waterloo left before its scheduled departure time. Having joined the 20.05 from Waterloo, heard the announcement "we are now approaching London Waterloo". When the correct announcement was made, there was a large gap between some of the stations in the stopping pattern. 5 minutes early(!!) at Basingstoke but 6 minutes late at Totton.
Thursday 05/04/07 06.06 from Totton was cancelled just before its scheduled departure time due to "points failure in Totton yard". Totton station staff tried to get the 06.30 from Southampton Central to stop additionally at Totton due to the cancellation but "Control" declined to arrange it, so passengers were taxi-ed to Southampton Central arriving with just 2.5 minutes to spare to catch the 06.30.
06/04/07 - 17/04/07 Did not travel.
Wednesday 18/04/07 The bicycle lockers at Totton are apparently out of use (they were originally provided with support from Hampshire County Council). 07.07 from Totton to Romsey was in Transpennine livery. The platform indicators at Southampton Central for the 07.30 to Waterloo displayed both "This train has 5 coaches" and "Please Note: 1st class in the front and middle of this service" (implying the correct 10 coaches). 4 minutes late at Waterloo due to "congestion in the Wimbledon area". Before the departure of the 18.35 from Waterloo, passengers heard "the train is now approaching..." before the announcement was cut off. Passengers were given inappropriate advice to move to the front half of the train for stations to Weymouth 3 times at, and shortly after leaving, Waterloo - inappropriate because in this very crowded train they would give up their seat in the rear half but then not get a seat in the front half, far better to advise passengers to move forward after Winchester. Wrong announcement in the rear half of the train at Southampton Central "the next station is Bournemouth". Extremely out of date "how to complain" notices were displayed on the train, giving details of Rail Passengers' Committees that have not existed for almost 2 years.
Thursday 19/04/07 06.46 from Totton was 7 minute late at Waterloo due to "congestion coming into Waterloo", congestion apparently being a standard excuse now.
Friday 20/04/07 06.46 for Waterloo left Totton before the scheduled departure time, rushing to stand idle for 9 minutes at Southampton Central. Platform indicators at Southampton Central incorrectly showed "This train has 5 coaches". Also left Southampton Central and Southampton Airport Parkway before the scheduled departure time. Guard apologised for late arrival at Waterloo due to "following a late running train from Woking". 9 minutes late at Waterloo.
APPENDIX 2 – REPORTS OF POOR PERFORMANCE, A MAJOR CAUSE OF OVERCROWDING ON SWT
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.
Sunday 18/02/07 07.54 Reading-Waterloo 18 minutes late. 08.09 Waterloo-Reading 12 minutes late DUE TO NO ROLLING STOCK IN PLACE. 08.10 Portsmouth-Brighton 9 minutes late and AXED between Portsmouth and Havant. 11.34 Kingston-Waterloo 10 minutes late. 14.17 Guildford-Ascot AXED DUE TO NO CREW. 15.13 Ascot-Guildford AXED DUE TO NO CREW. 16.17 Guildford-Ascot AXED DUE TO NO CREW. 17.13 Ascot-Guildford AXED DUE TO NO CREW. 18.17 Guildford-Ascot AXED DUE TO NO CREW. 16.42 Portsmouth-Southampton 10 minutes late and AXED between Portsmouth and Fratton.
Monday 19/02/07 04.40 Havant-Portsmouth AXED. 05.45 Portsmouth-Waterloo AXED between Portsmouth and Hilsea. 06.11 Shepperton-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 06.23 Portsmouth-Waterloo AXED between Portsmouth and Hilsea and 9 minutes late. 06.42 Portsmouth Waterloo 7 minutes late DUE TO ROLLING STOCK LATE FROM DEPOT; Farncombe stop AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 07.11 Shepperton-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 07.24 Reading-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 07.42 Reading-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 07.46 Effingham Junction-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 08.11 Shepperton-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 16.03 Waterloo-Guildford REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 16.09 Waterloo-Guildford REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 17.02 Waterloo-Guildford REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 17.16 Waterloo-Chessington REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 17.32 Waterloo-Guildford REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 17.48 Waterloo-Southampton REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 18.00 Waterloo-Epsom REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 18.35 Waterloo-Reading REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 18.46 Waterloo-Chessington REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 18.50 Waterloo-Reading REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 18.57 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 18.20 Waterloo-Exeter 20 minutes late. 19.20 Paignton-Basingstoke 21 minutes late. 19.53 Ascot-Guildford AXED between Ascot and Aldershot. Passengers on the 20.23 Ascot-Guildford THROWN OFF at Aldershot DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 21.30 Guildford-Aldershot AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK.
Tuesday 20/02/07 05.10 Exeter-Waterloo REDUCED TO 8 COACHES. 05.45 Portsmouth-Waterloo AXED between Portsmouth and Hilsea. 07.00 Aldershot-Waterloo AXED. 07.02 Woking-Waterloo REDUCED TO 8 COACHES. 07.24 Reading-Waterloo AXED. 07.24 Waterloo-Dorking 6 minutes late. 07.30 Shepperton-Waterloo AXED. 07.47 Woking-Waterloo REDUCED TO 8 COACHES. 08.00 Shepperton-Waterloo AXED. 16.05 Waterloo-Reading AXED DUE TO NO CREW. 17.05 Waterloo-Reading AXED between Waterloo and Clapham Junction. Passengers on the 17.07 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo THROWN OFF at Barnes. 17.13 Waterloo-Strawberry Hill AXED. 17.42 Reading-Waterloo AXED DUE TO NO CREW. 17.43 Waterloo-Shepperton AXED between Waterloo and Richmond. 18.05 Waterloo-Aldershot AXED between Waterloo and Clapham Junction. 18.13 Waterloo-Shepperton AXED between Waterloo and Richmond. 18.43 Waterloo-Shepperton AXED between Waterloo and Twickenham. 21.33 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo AXED DUE TO NO CREW.
Wednesday 21/02/07 Passengers on the 00.05 Waterloo-Bournemouth THROWN OFF at Southampton. 04.54 Basingstoke-Waterloo 30 minutes late; all intermediate stops after Woking AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 05.45 Portsmouth-Waterloo 19 minutes late. Passengers on the 05.50 Waterloo-Reading THROWN OFF at Twickenham DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 06.35 Salisbury-Totton 18 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 07.00 Shepperton-Waterloo AXED. Passengers on the 07.00 Aldershot-Waterloo THROWN OFF at Ascot. 07.24 Reading-Waterloo AXED. 07.30 Shepperton-Waterloo AXED. 07.42 Reading-Waterloo AXED between Reading and Ascot DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 07.52 Portsmouth-Waterloo AXED. 08.00 Shepperton-Waterloo AXED. Passengers on the 10.45 Salisbury-Waterloo THROWN OFF at Grateley DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 12.50 Waterloo-Salisbury AXED between Waterloo and Basingstoke DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 17.05 Waterloo-Aldershot AXED between Waterloo and Clapham Junction. Passengers on the 17.07 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo THROWN OFF at Barnes. 17.13 Waterloo-Strawberry Hill AXED. 17.43 Waterloo-Shepperton AXED between Waterloo and Richmond. 17.44 Alton-Waterloo AXED DUE TO DUFF TRAIN. 18.05 Waterloo-Aldershot AXED between Waterloo and Clapham Junction. 18.13 Waterloo-Shepperton AXED between Waterloo and Richmond. 18.43 Waterloo-Shepperton AXED between Waterloo and Twickenham. Passengers on the 23.30 Waterloo-Reading THROWN OFF at Wokingham.
Thursday 22/02/07 Passengers on the 00.05 Waterloo-Bournemouth THROWN OFF at Southampton. 04.30 Portsmouth-Waterloo AXED between Portsmouth and Fratton; all intermediate stops between Havant and Woking AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 05.15 Salisbury-Waterloo 12 minutes late. 05.18 Portsmouth-Waterloo delayed between Guildford and Woking. 06.00 Haslemere-Waterloo 16 minutes late. 07.15 Waterloo-Portsmouth 15 minutes late. 07.30 Aldershot-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 07.44 Alton-Waterloo REDUCED TO 8 COACHES. 08.22 Epsom-Waterloo AXED DUE TO NO CREW. 14.05 Waterloo-Poole 30 minutes late. 14.09 Waterloo-Southampton 5 minutes late. 14.20 Waterloo-Paignton AXED between Waterloo and Woking. 14.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 5 minutes late. 16.15 Alton-Waterloo 16 minutes late; all intermediate stops after Woking AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 18.00 Waterloo-Portsmouth 16 minutes late DUE TO DUFF TRAIN. 18.09 Waterloo-Portsmouth 21 minutes late DUE TO DUFF TRAIN. 18.15 Waterloo-Fratton 29 minutes late DUE TO DUFF TRAIN. 18.18 Waterloo-Haslemere 19 minutes late DUE TO DUFF TRAIN. 18.23 Waterloo-Basingstoke 29 minutes late DUE TO DUFF TRAIN. 18.50 Waterloo-Salisbury 17 minutes late DUE TO DUFF TRAIN. 19.00 Waterloo-Portsmouth 20 minutes late; passengers THROWN OFF at Fratton DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 20.15 Portsmouth-Waterloo AXED between Portsmouth and Fratton. 20.45 Portsmouth-Waterloo AXED DUE TO NO CREW. 21.17 Portsmouth-Waterloo 20 minutes late and AXED between Portsmouth and Fratton. Passengers on the 23.30 Waterloo-Reading THROWN OFF at Wokingham.
Friday 23/02/07 Passengers on the 01.05 Waterloo-Southampton THROWN OFF at Basingstoke. 05.10 Exeter-Waterloo REDUCED TO 8 COACHES. 06.06 Totton-Yeovil AXED. 07.37 Guildford-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 07.38 Waterloo-Southampton 17 minutes late.
Saturday 24/02/07 06.41 Exeter-Waterloo 31 minutes late. 07.10 Waterloo-Paignton 30 minutes late. 07.14 Basingstoke-Yeovil 25 minutes late. 08.00 Weymouth-Waterloo 15 minutes late. 08.05 Dorking-Waterloo AXED DUE TO NO CREW. 08.20 Yeovil-Waterloo 24 minutes late. 08.25 Exeter-Waterloo 22 minutes late. 09.57 Brighton-Paignton AXED as far as Chichester. 10.20 Yeovil-Waterloo 17 minutes late. 10.29 Brockenhurst-Lymington AXED. 10.44 Lymington-Brockenhurst AXED. 13.57 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo 13 minutes late. 18.10 Exeter-Waterloo 8 minutes late. 18.57 Brighton-Reading 19 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 19.00 Weymouth-Waterloo 7 minutes late. 19.00 Romsey-Totton 8 minutes late. 21.32 Reading-Portsmouth AXED between Reading and Basingstoke and between Hilsea and Portsmouth. 21.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 8 minutes late. 21.37 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo 12 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 21.40 Brighton-Salisbury 7 minutes late. 22.44 Alton-Waterloo 7 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. Passengers on the 23.35 Waterloo-Salisbury THROWN OFF at Basingstoke. 23.39 Waterloo-Southampton REDUCED TO 8 COACHES; passengers THROWN OFF at Eastleigh.
Sunday 25/02/07 08.15 Waterloo-Exeter 18 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 10.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 39 minutes late. 12.15 Waterloo-Yeovil 12 minutes late. 19.29 Brockenhurst-Lymington AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 19.44 Lymington-Brockenhurst AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 19.59 Brockenhurst-Lymington AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 20.14 Lymington-Brockenhurst AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 20.19 Haslemere-Waterloo 10 minutes late. 21.56 Guildford-Waterloo AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK.
Monday 26/02/07 13.57 Brighton-Basingstoke 20 minutes late. 14.05 Waterloo-Poole 17 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK; all intermediate stops between Brockenhurst and Bournemouth AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 15.50 Waterloo-Woking 10 minutes late DUE TO NO CREW. 16.05 Waterloo-Poole REDUCED TO 9 COACHES (PARTLY FORMED OF SUBURBAN STOCK). 16.11 Shepperton-Waterloo AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 16.15 Waterloo-Portsmouth REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 16.24 Waterloo-Dorking REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 16.33 Waterloo-Guildford REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 16.35 Waterloo-Weymouth REDUCED TO 9 COACHES (PARTLY FORMED OF SUBURBAN STOCK). 18.05 Waterloo-Aldershot 6 minutes late. 18.12 Waterloo-Shepperton 7 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 18.15 Waterloo-Fratton REDUCED TO 8 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 18.30 Waterloo-Portsmouth REDUCED TO 8 COACHES. 18.36 Waterloo-Hampton Court REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 18.42 Reading-Waterloo 6 minutes late DUE TO NO CREW. 18.45 Waterloo-Fratton REDUCED TO 8 COACHES. 18.45 Portsmouth-Waterloo 14 minutes late. 18.50 Waterloo-Reading 10 minutes late. 18.57 Brighton-Reading 15 minutes late. 20.07 Portsmouth-Waterloo 15 minutes late. 20.41 Shepperton-Waterloo 21 minutes late. 21.11 Shepperton-Waterloo AXED. 21.30 Southampton-Waterloo AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK.
Tuesday 27/02/07 Passengers on the 01.05 Waterloo-Southampton THROWN OFF at Eastleigh. 05.18 Portsmouth-Waterloo AXED between Portsmouth and Fratton. 05.10 Exeter-Waterloo REDUCED TO 6 COACHES and delayed at Andover DUE TO DUFF STOCK. Again too much trouble to tell first class season ticket holders that the front half of the 05.45 Poole-Waterloo was running back to front. Stock for the 06.06 Totton-Yeovil arrived at Totton yard at about 06.04; train departed at 06.14 and arrived at Southampton Central just before 06.24, with the 06.21 ‘connection’ to Portsmouth not held. 06.19 Woking-Portsmouth 31 minutes late DUE TO NO CREW; all intermediate stops before Basingstoke AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 006.38 Portsmouth-Waterloo AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 06.42 Portsmouth-Waterloo AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 06.55 Portsmouth-Waterloo 22 minutes late and AXED between Portsmouth and Fratton DUE TO NO ROLLING STOCK IN PLACE. 7.00 Aldershot-Waterloo AXED DUE TO NO CREW. 07.09 Haslemere-Waterloo AXED DUE TO NO CREW. 07.10 Havant-Waterloo 18 minutes late. 07.29 Portsmouth-Waterloo 30 minutes late. 15.27 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 16.35 Waterloo-Weymouth REDUCED TO 9 COACHES (PARTLY FORMED OF SUBURBAN STOCK). 18.59 Effingham Junction-Waterloo 12 minutes late. 18.35 Dorking-Waterloo 11 minutes late. 18.50 Dorking-Waterloo 10 minutes late. 20.15 Waterloo-Haslemere 11 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK.
Wednesday 28/02/07 07.09 Waterloo-Epsom REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 07.12 Waterloo-Shepperton REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 07.52 Epsom-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 08.11 Shepperton-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 08.47 Woking-Waterloo 20 minutes late DUE TO PASSENGER BEING TAKEN ILL. 09.55 Southampton-Waterloo AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 09.57 Brighton-Reading 16 minutes late. 11.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 25 minutes late. 11.39 Waterloo-Southampton 10 minutes late. 12.05 Waterloo-Poole 10 minutes late. 14.05 Waterloo-Poole 21 minutes late. 14.45 Waterloo-Portsmouth AXED. 14.50 Waterloo-Reading 15 minutes late DUE TO NO CREW. 14.57 Brighton-Basingstoke 11 minutes late. 15.15 Portsmouth-Waterloo AXED. 15.51 Portsmouth-Waterloo 8 minutes late. 16.02 Haslemere-Waterloo AXED. 16.20 Waterloo-Exeter 8 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 18.09 Waterloo-Guildford 16 minutes late; all intermediate stops before Raynes Park AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 18.30 Waterloo-Portsmouth 12 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 18.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 13 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 18.39 Waterloo-Southampton 11 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 18.41 Waterloo-Basingstoke REDUCED TO 8 COACHES; 11 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 18.42 Reading-Waterloo 13 minutes late. 18.53 Windsor-Waterloo 9 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 19.01 Reading-Brighton 13 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 19.07 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo delayed DUE TO DUFF STOCK; all intermediate stops between Twickenham and Barnes AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 20.15 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK.
Thursday 01/03/07 07.57 Waterloo-Strawberry Hill AXED. 07.58 Waterloo-Windsor REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 14.05 Waterloo-Poole 19 minutes late. 14.17 Portsmouth-Waterloo 28 minutes late; Clapham Junction stop AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 14.20 Waterloo-Paignton 11 minutes late DUE TO PASSENGERS TRANSFERRING BETWEEN TRAINS (GOOD TO KNOW THAT PASSENGERS GOT THE BLAME, WHEN THE REAL CAUSE WOULD HAVE BEEN WRONG INFORMATION DISPLAYED OR INTENDED STOCK TOO DUFF TO RUN). 14.30 Waterloo-Portsmouth 31 minutes late. 14.45 Portsmouth-Waterloo 17 minutes late. 16.30 Waterloo-Portsmouth 20 minutes late. 16.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 10 minutes late. 18.37 Weybridge-Waterloo 33 minutes late. 18.42 Reading-Waterloo 18 minutes late. 18.50 Waterloo-Reading REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 18.52 Waterloo-Weybridge REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 19.01 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo 12 minutes late. Passengers on the 19.05 Waterloo-Reading THROWN OFF at Twickenham. 19.15 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo AXED DUE TO NO CREW. 19.37 Weybridge-Waterloo 21 minutes late. 19.39 Waterloo-Guildford AXED DUE TO NO CREW. 20.03 Weybridge-Waterloo 42 minutes late; all intermediate stops after Staines AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 20.12 Reading-Waterloo 50 minutes late. 20.22 Waterloo-Weybridge AXED. 20.42 Reading-Waterloo AXED. 21.07 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo 23 minutes late. 21.23 Windsor-Waterloo AXED. 21.33 Weybridge-Waterloo AXED. 22.23 Windsor-Waterloo AXED.
Friday 02/03/07 13.00 Weymouth-Waterloo 12 minutes late. 16.04 Reading-Brighton 30 minutes late. 16.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 5 minutes late. Passengers on the 16.45 Portsmouth-Waterloo THROWN OFF at Woking DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 16.57 Southampton-Weymouth 15 minutes late. 17.05 Waterloo-Weymouth 10 minutes late. 17.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 15 minutes late; Poole portion 20 minutes late. 18.05 Waterloo-Poole 18 minutes late. 18.57 Brighton-Reading 17 minutes late. 18.59 Effingham Junction-Waterloo 11 minutes late. 19.00 Waterloo-Portsmouth AXED between Waterloo and Woking DUE TO DUFF STOCK; 22 minutes late DUE TO PASSENGERS TRANSFERRING BETWEEN TRAINS. 19.02 Waterloo-Guildford AXED DUE TO NO CREW. 19.03 Woking-Waterloo 11 minutes late. 19.05 Waterloo-Poole 10 minutes late. 19.10 Chessington-Waterloo 14 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 19.45 Portsmouth-Waterloo 15 minutes late. 19.51 Portsmouth-Waterloo 11 minutes late. 20.33 Waterloo-Guildford 11 minutes late DUE TO NO CREW. 20.38 Guildford-Waterloo AXED DUE TO NO CREW. 21.17 Portsmouth-Waterloo 28 minutes late DUE TO NO CREW.
Saturday 03/03/07 Passengers on the 01.05 Waterloo-Southampton THROWN OFF at Eastleigh. 14.15 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo AXED DUE TO NO CREW. 14.54 Basingstoke-Waterloo 13 minutes late. 15.03 Woking-Waterloo 21 minutes late. 15.42 Waterloo-Basingstoke 12 minutes late. 15.58 Guildford-Waterloo 20 minutes late. 16.08 Guildford-Waterloo 13 minutes late. 16.58 Guildford-Waterloo AXED DUE TO NO CREW. 22.49 Guildford-Waterloo AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK.
Sunday 04/03/07 15.24 Reading-Waterloo AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 17.54 Waterloo-Bournemouth 12 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 18.15 Waterloo-Yeovil 8 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 18.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 22 minutes late DUE TO NO CREW. 18.56 Reading-Brighton 16 minutes late. 19.15 Waterloo-Exeter 12 minutes late. 19.20 Exeter-Waterloo 11 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 19.24 Eastleigh-Portsmouth 32 minutes late. 19.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 24 minutes late.
Monday 05/03/07 Screens at Totton out of use and booking office still unstaffed 25 minutes after opening time. Screens at Southampton out of use except to say the 06.17 to Yeovil wasn’t in public service, which was incorrect though even the emergency lighting in the front coach had failed. 06.45 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. Passengers on the 07.23 Waterloo-Alton THROWN OFF at Woking DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 07.37 Twickenham-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 09.14 Alton-Waterloo AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 12.20 Waterloo-Plymouth 40 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK; passengers THROWN OFF at Exeter. 15.54 Hampton Court-Waterloo AXED. 16.06 Waterloo-Hampton Court AXED. 16.24 Hampton Court-Waterloo AXED. 17.48 Plymouth-Waterloo AXED between Plymouth and Exeter DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 18.05 Waterloo-Aldershot AXED between Clapham Junction and Ascot DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 18.23 Axminster-Exeter 35 minutes late. 19.00 Weymouth-Waterloo 27 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. Passengers on the 20.33 Waterloo-Guildford THROWN OFF at Effingham Junction. 21.38 Guildford-Waterloo AXED between Guildford and Effingham Junction.
Tuesday 06/03/07 05.30 Waterloo-Weymouth 9 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 05.45 Poole-Waterloo several minutes late from Southampton Central; this was due to confusion when the delayed 06.15 to Edinburgh was wrongly announced and shown on the screens as not being in public service. Although the 06.06 Totton-Yeovil usually departs early, on this occasion it didn’t arrive from the siding until departure time and left a minute late; no apparent reason. 06.42 Reading-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 07.24 Reading-Waterloo AXED between Reading and Bracknell. 07.50 Waterloo-Reading AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 08.20 Guildford-Waterloo AXED. 08.37 Guildford-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 08.46 Guildford-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 09.25 Reading-Waterloo AXED. 15.09 Waterloo-Portsmouth 23 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK; ran fast from Woking to Basingstoke DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 16.35 Waterloo-Weymouth REDUCED TO 5 COACHES. 16.36 Waterloo-Hampton Court REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 16.39 Waterloo-Guildford REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 17.02 Waterloo-Guildford REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 17.27 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 17.30 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo 30 minutes late DUE TO DUFF TRAIN; all intermediate stops after Twickenham AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 17.57 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo 31 minutes late DUE TO DUFF TRAIN; all intermediate stops after Twickenham AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 18.01 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo 21 minutes late; all intermediate stops after Kingston AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 18.07 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo 20 minutes late. 18.09 Waterloo-Guildford REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 18.20 Waterloo-Exeter 23 minutes late DUE TO DUFF TRAIN. 18.27 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo 31 minutes late; all intermediate stops between Twickenham and Waterloo AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 18.35 Dorking-Waterloo AXED DUE TO DUFF TRAIN. 18.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 18 minutes late DUE TO DUFF TRAIN. 18.54 Hampton Court-Waterloo 21 minutes late. 18.57 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo 19 minutes late. 19.01 Reading-Brighton 18 minutes late DUE TO DUFF TRAIN. 19.06 Shepperton-Waterloo 16 minutes late. 19.08 Guildford-Waterloo 20 minutes late; passengers THROWN OFF at Wimbledon. 19.10 Chessington-Waterloo 12 minutes late. 19.20 Waterloo-Woking 25 minutes late. 19.33 Dorking-Waterloo AXED between Dorking and Ashstead. 19.36 Waterloo-Hampton Court AXED between Waterloo and Raynes Park. 19.42 Shepperton-Waterloo omitted all intermediate stops between Shepperton and Teddington DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 19.54 Hampton Court-Waterloo omitted all intermediate stops between Surbiton and Waterloo DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 20.16 Waterloo-Chessington AXED between Waterloo and Raynes Park. 20.33 Woking-Waterloo 15 minutes late DUE TO DUFF TRAIN. 20.41 Shepperton-Waterloo 17 minutes late DUE TO DUFF TRAIN. 20.45 Portsmouth-Waterloo 21 minutes late. 20.46 Guildford-Waterloo 17 minutes late. 20.46 Waterloo-Chessington 13 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 20.50 Waterloo-Woking omitted all intermediate stops DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 21.00 Waterloo-Portsmouth 12 minutes late.21.12 Waterloo-Shepperton omitted all intermediate stops before Norbiton DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE.
Wednesday 07/03/07 06.33 Waterloo-Guildford REDUCED TO 4 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 07.00 Aldershot-Waterloo 20 minutes late; all intermediate stops after Ascot, except Staines and Clapham Junction, AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 07.11 Woking-Waterloo AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 07.30 Aldershot-Waterloo 15 minutes late; all intermediate stops after Staines, except Clapham Junction, AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 07.58 Guildford-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 08.47 Woking-Waterloo REDUCED TO 8 COACHES. 11.17 Portsmouth-Waterloo AXED between Portsmouth Harbour and Fratton. 14.47 Plymouth-Waterloo AXED between Plymouth and Exeter. 17.40 Exeter-Axminster AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 18.20 Waterloo-Reading 20 minutes late. 18.23 Axminster-Exeter AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK.
Thursday 08/03/07 00.05 Waterloo-Bournemouth AXED between Eastleigh and Brockenhurst. 04.58 Guildford-Waterloo omitted all intermediate stops after Effingham Junction DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 05.41 Salisbury-Totton AXED DUE TO NO CREW. 05.48 Dorking-Waterloo AXED between Dorking and Leatherhead. 07.07 Totton-Romsey AXED DUE TO NO CREW. 16.20 Waterloo-Exeter REDUCED TO 3 COACHES. 17.42 Reading-Waterloo 11 minutes late. 17.50 Waterloo-Yeovil REDUCED TO 6 COACHES. 18.05 Dorking-Waterloo 15 minutes late. 18.36 Shepperton-Waterloo AXED (and replaced by an ‘additional service’ at 18.45 – presumably a mechanism for distorting the statistics). Passengers on the 19.01 Reading-Brighton THROWN OFF at Basingstoke DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 20.58 Waterloo-Windsor 11 minutes late. 21.00 Waterloo-Portsmouth 7 minutes late. 21.40 Brighton-Salisbury AXED between Brighton and Barnham DUE TO DUFF STOCK.
Friday 09/03/07 Morning peak services severely disrupted by signalling problems at Wimbledon; many commuter trains arrived at Waterloo 10-15 minutes late. Passengers on the 06.56 Reading-Brighton THROWN OFF at Basingstoke. 07.37 Twickenham-Waterloo AXED. 07.42 Waterloo-Shepperton AXED. 07.52 Epsom-Waterloo AXED. 07.54 Hampton Court-Waterloo AXED. 08.08 Waterloo-Hampton Court AXED. 08.11 Shepperton-Waterloo AXED. 08.22 Epsom-Waterloo omitted stops at Earlsfield and Vauxhall DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 08.54 Hampton Court-Waterloo AXED. 12.20 Waterloo-Plymouth AXED between Waterloo and Basingstoke. 14.47 Plymouth-Waterloo AXED between Plymouth and Exeter. 18.24 Basingstoke-Waterloo 15 minutes late; stops at Weybridge, Walton-on-Thames and Surbiton AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. Passengers on the 18.45 Salisbury-Waterloo THROWN OFF at Grateley. 21.40 Chessington-Waterloo AXED between Chessington and Motspur Park.
Saturday 10/03/07 07.30 Waterloo-Portsmouth 12 minutes late; passengers THROWN OFF at Petersfield. 08.20 Yeovil-Waterloo REDUCED TO 3 COACHES and 37 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 09.01 Poole-Waterloo REDUCED TO 5 COACHES; train then delayed at Basingstoke for 6 minutes because a passenger was taken ill (due to overcrowding?). 11.20 Waterloo-Salisbury REDUCED TO 3 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 12.05 Waterloo-Poole REDUCED TO 5 COACHES. 15.20 Waterloo-Yeovil 22 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 16.00 Weymouth-Waterloo REDUCED TO 5 COACHES. 16.07 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo 19 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK (advertised as “revised” but not stated which stops were AXED DUE TO OPERATIONALCONVENIENCE). 17.35 Waterloo-Weymouth REDUCED TO 5 COACHES. 18.57 Brighton-Reading 7 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 19.12 Reading-Waterloo 17 minutes late. 19.35 Waterloo-Weymouth REDUCED TO 5 COACHES. 19.38 Guildford-Waterloo 18 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 21.32 Reading-Portsmouth AXED between Reading and Winchester DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 21.50 Waterloo-Reading 9 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK.
Sunday 11/03/07 06.55 Southampton-Waterloo 18 minutes late. 07.16 Wimbledon-Guildford 21 minutes late. 07.50 Waterloo-Woking 8 minutes late DUE TO NO CREW. 08.26 Guildford-Waterloo 10 minutes late DUE TO NO CREW. 13.39 Waterloo-Reading 22 minutes late. 15.24 Reading-Waterloo AXED between Reading and Bracknell. 18.09 Waterloo-Reading 27 minutes late.
Monday 12/03/07 Half-hourly service between Waterloo and Hampton Court AXED THROUGHOUT THE DAY between Waterloo and Surbiton. 05.45 Poole-Waterloo 6 minutes late. 07.36 Portsmouth-Southampton AXED DUE TO NO CREW. 07.57 Waterloo-Strawberry Hill was being attended by engineers at departure time. 16.35 Waterloo-Weymouth REDUCED TO 9 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 17.30 Waterloo-Portsmouth 7 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 19.42 Waterloo-Shepperton 12 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. Passengers on the 23.45 Waterloo-Portsmouth THROWN OFF at Haslemere.
Tuesday 13/03/07 13.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 9 minutes late. 16.15 Portsmouth-Waterloo AXED between Portsmouth and Fratton DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 17.05 Waterloo-Weymouth REDUCED TO 9 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK ( = Desiro suburban trash all the way to Poole). 18.15 Waterloo-Fratton REDUCED TO 8 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 18.45 Waterloo-Portsmouth REDUCED TO 8 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 18.57 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo omitted Earlsfield stop DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 19.00 Waterloo-Epsom AXED. 19.01 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo 17 minutes late. 19.06 Shepperton-Waterloo AXED. 19.12 Waterloo-Shepperton AXED. 19.20 Waterloo-Honiton 34 minutes late. 19.20 Waterloo-Woking 42 minutes late. 19.27 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo 61 minutes late. 19.30 Waterloo-Portsmouth 33 minutes late. 19.33 Woking-Waterloo AXED. 19.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 21 minutes late. 19.39 Waterloo-Southampton 26 minutes late. 19.39 Waterloo-Guildford 56 minutes late. 19.40 Chessington-Waterloo 27 minutes late. 19.42 Waterloo-Shepperton AXED. 19.42 Shepperton-Waterloo 35 minutes late. 19.42 Waterloo-Basingstoke 26 minutes late. 19.45 Waterloo-Portsmouth 64 minutes late. 19.50 Waterloo-Woking 45 minutes late. 19.50 Waterloo-Salisbury 36 minutes late. 19.54 Basingstoke-Waterloo 20 minutes late and omitted all intermediate stops after Woking DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 19.53 Waterloo-Alton21 minutes late. 19.54 Hampton Court-Waterloo AXED. 19.57 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo 52 minutes late. 20.00 Waterloo-Portsmouth 22 minutes late. 20.03 Woking-Waterloo 31 minutes late. 20.03 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo AXED. 20.05 Waterloo-Poole 36 minutes late. 20.09 Waterloo-Fratton 15 minutes late. 20.10 Chessington-Waterloo 43 minutes late. 20.15 Alton-Waterloo 23 minutes late. 20.15 Waterloo-Haslemere 19 minutes late. 20.20 Waterloo-Exeter 30 minutes late. 20.23 Waterloo-Alton AXED between Waterloo and Woking. 20.24 Hampton Court-Waterloo 17 minutes late. 20.27 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo AXED. 20.30 Waterloo-Portsmouth 37 minutes late. 20.33 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo AXED between Waterloo and Twickenham. 20.33 Woking-Waterloo 51 minutes late. 20.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 29 minutes late. 20.38 Guildford-Waterloo 19 minutes late. 20.39 Waterloo-Southampton 30 minutes late. 20.40 Chessington-Waterloo AXED. 20.46 Guildford-Waterloo 61 minutes late; passengers THROWN OFF at Wimbledon DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 20.50 Waterloo-Woking 20 minutes late. 20.54 Hampton Court-Waterloo 31 minutes late. 20.56 Salisbury-Bristol 33 minutes late. 20.57 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo 19 minutes late. 21.03 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo AXED between Waterloo and Barnes. 21.03 Woking-Waterloo 34 minutes late. 21.08 Portsmouth-Waterloo 23 minutes late. 21.09 Waterloo-Dorking AXED. 21.11 Shepperton-Waterloo 37 minutes late. 21.12 Waterloo-Basingstoke 18 minutes late. 21.20 Waterloo-Woking 12 minutes late. 21.24 Hampton Court-Waterloo 23 minutes late. 21.33 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo AXED between Waterloo and Barnes. 21.39 Waterloo-Guildford 26 minutes late. 21.51 Portsmouth-Eastleigh 30 minutes late. 21.57 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo AXED. 22.20 Waterloo-Woking AXED between Waterloo and Wimbledon. 22.35 Dorking-Waterloo AXED. Passengers on the 23.39 Waterloo-Southampton THROWN OFF at Eastleigh.
Wednesday 14/03/07 Passengers on the 00.05 Waterloo-Bournemouth THROWN OFF at Eastleigh. 04.55 Southampton-Waterloo AXED between Southampton and Eastleigh. 05.42 Reading-Waterloo AXED between Reading and Bracknell. 05.45 Portsmouth-Waterloo 15 minutes late. 06.23 Ascot-Guildford AXED between Ascot and Aldershot. 07.10 Chessington-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 07.20 Yeovil-Waterloo AXED between Yeovil and Salisbury. 07.20 Waterloo-Reading AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 07.54 Waterloo-Dorking REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 08.37 Guildford-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 09.02 Dorking-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 09.12 Reading-Waterloo AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK. Passengers on the 09.57 Brighton-Reading THROWN OFF at Basingstoke. 13.01 Reading-Brighton AXED between Reading and Basingstoke. 14.00 Romsey-Totton 10 minutes late. 15.57 Brighton-Reading 20 minutes late DUE TO DUFF TRAIN. 16.00 Weymouth-Waterloo 18 minutes late DUE TO DUFF TRAIN. 16.37 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 16.42 Southampton-Portsmouth AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 16.51 Portsmouth-Waterloo 16 minutes late DUE TO DUFF TRAIN. 17.01 Poole-Waterloo 13 minutes late. 17.09 Waterloo-Portsmouth 13 minutes late. 18.15 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. Passengers on the 18.20 Yeovil-Waterloo THROWN OFF at Salisbury DUE TO NO CREW. 18.37 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo 13 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 18.57 Brighton-Reading 15 minutes late. 19.30 Waterloo-Portsmouth 49 minutes late DUE TO DUFF TRAIN. Passengers on the 20.00 Waterloo-Portsmouth THROWN OFF at Woking DUE TO DUFF TRAIN. 20.30 Waterloo-Portsmouth diverted via Eastleigh. 21.08 Guildford-Waterloo 20 minutes late. 21.35 Portsmouth-Havant AXED between Portsmouth and Fratton. Passengers on the 23.45 Waterloo-Portsmouth THROWN OFF at Haslemere.
Thursday 15/03/07 Passengers on the 00.05 Waterloo-Bournemouth THROWN OFF at Southampton. Bridge hit by road vehicle: 05.10 Exeter-Waterloo, 06.20 Honiton-Waterloo and 07.10 Waterloo-Paignton omitted all intermediate stops between Basingstoke and Salisbury (unclear from SWT’s website whether these services were diverted via Southampton). 07.33 Weybridge-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 08.50 Waterloo-Salisbury AXED. Emergency track works: passengers on the 22.10 Weymouth-Eastleigh THROWN OFF at Brockenhurst. Passengers on the 22.35 and 23.05 Waterloo-Poole THROWN OFF at Southampton.
Friday 16/03/07 Passengers on the 00.05 Waterloo-Bournemouth THROWN OFF at Southampton. 08.37 Guildford-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 18.23 Axminster-Exeter AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 21.10 Weymouth-Waterloo 47 minutes late. Passengers on the 23.05 Waterloo-Poole THROWN OFF at Southampton.
Saturday 17/03/07 Passengers on the 00.05 Waterloo-Bournemouth THROWN OFF at Southampton. 08.39 Waterloo-Guildford AXED DUE TO NO CREW. 09.20 Waterloo-Reading 21 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK; all intermediate stops before Staines AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 10.08 Guildford-Waterloo AXED DUE TO NO CREW. 10.07 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo AXED DUE TO NO CREW. 13.50 Waterloo-Templecombe REDUCED TO 2 COACHES. 18.38 Guildford-Waterloo 21 minutes late; passengers THROWN OFF at Wimbledon DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 19.46 Waterloo-Chessington AXED between Waterloo and Raynes Park.
Sunday 18/03/07 10.05 Bournemouth-Waterloo 31 minutes late. 12.54 Waterloo-Bournemouth 20 minutes late.
Monday 19/03/07 Passengers on the 00.50 Waterloo-Haslemere THROWN OFF at Guildford. 05.16 Portsmouth-Southampton AXED. 05.50 Portsmouth-Waterloo 25 minutes late. 06.15 from Portsmouth simply advertised at Waterloo as ‘delayed’; stops at Havant, Petersfield, Haslemere and Guildford AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 06.21 Southampton-Fratton AXED. 06.42 Portsmouth-Waterloo 36 minutes late; all intermediate stops from Havant to Guildford inclusive AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 06.45 Waterloo-Portsmouth AXED. 07.50 Waterloo-Guildford REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 07.52 Waterloo-Weybridge being attended by an engineer at departure time. 07.53 to Alton simply advertised at Waterloo as ‘delayed’; subsequently AXED. 08.02 Woking-Waterloo AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 08.03 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo AXED. 08.06 Waterloo-Hampton Court 19 minutes late. 08.10 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo AXED. 08.24 Hampton Court-Waterloo AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 09.17 Portsmouth-Waterloo AXED between Portsmouth and Havant. 15.35 Dorking-Waterloo AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 17.01 Poole-Waterloo 20 minutes late. 18.45 Portsmouth-Waterloo 17 minutes late. 19.23 Waterloo-Surbiton AXED. 21.23 Ascot-Guildford AXED between Ascot and Aldershot.
Tuesday 20/03/07 07.33 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo AXED between Waterloo and Strawberry Hill. 07.46 Effingham Junction-Waterloo AXED between Effingham Junction and Raynes Park. 07.58 Guildford-Waterloo 12 minutes late; all intermediate stops between Effingham Junction and Raynes Park AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 08.33 Waterloo-Guildford AXED. 11.57 Brighton-Basingstoke AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 12.42 Waterloo-Basingstoke 11 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 17.02 Waterloo-Guildford REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 17.15 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 18.13 Waterloo-Shepperton REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 18.52 Waterloo-Weybridge REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 17.15 Portsmouth-Waterloo AXED between Portsmouth and Fratton. 18.30 Guildford-Ascot AXED DUE TO NO CREW. 19.53 Ascot-Guildford AXED DUE TO NO CREW. Passengers on the 23.39 Waterloo-Southampton THROWN OFF at Eastleigh.
Wednesday 21/03/07 Passengers on the 00.05 Waterloo-Bournemouth THROWN OFF at Eastleigh. 04.55 Southampton-Waterloo AXED between Southampton and Eastleigh. 05.12 Guildford-Waterloo AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 06.06 to Yeovil departed from the down platform at Totton; this is possibly unprecedented for a train in passenger service and has given rise to speculation about the reason. 06.15 Waterloo-Portsmouth 15 minutes late. 06.35 Salisbury-Totton 31 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK; passengers THROWN OFF at Chandlers Ford. 06.36 Waterloo-Hampton Court 14 minutes late. 06.41 Woking-Waterloo AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 07.15 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 07.15 Waterloo-Portsmouth 11 minutes late; passengers THROWN OFF at Havant. 07.24 Reading-Waterloo AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 07.24 Hampton Court-Waterloo 9 minutes late; all intermediate stops between Surbiton and Wimbledon AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 07.32 Dorking-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 07.58 Guildford-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 08.01 Totton-Romsey AXED between Totton and Southampton DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 08.02 Woking-Waterloo AXED DUE TO NO CREW. 08.12 Waterloo-Basingstoke 13 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 08.23 Windsor-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 08.24 Portsmouth-Waterloo 18 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 08.54 Basingstoke-Waterloo 6 minutes late; all intermediate stops after Woking AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 11.17 Portsmouth-Waterloo AXED between Portsmouth and Fratton. 11.39 Waterloo-Southampton AXED DUE TO NO CREW. Passengers on the 14.44 Alton-Waterloo THROWN OFF at Farnham DUE TO NO CREW. 13.20 Waterloo-Woking REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 16.33 Waterloo-Guildford REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 16.58 Waterloo-Windsor REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 18.32 Waterloo-Guildford REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 18.37 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 18.41 Waterloo-Basingstoke REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 19.30 Guildford-Ascot AXED DUE TO NO CREW. 19.30 Waterloo-Portsmouth 14 minutes late. 20.53 Ascot-Guildford AXED DUE TO NO CREW. 23.00 Guildford-Ascot AXED DUE TO NO CREW.
Thursday 22/03/07 00.27 Ascot-Aldershot AXED DUE TO NO CREW. 05.45 Poole-Waterloo 20 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 05.45 Portsmouth-Waterloo 30 minutes late. 06.23 Portsmouth-Waterloo 19 minutes late; passengers THROWN OFF at Woking. 06.38 Portsmouth-Waterloo 14 minutes late. 06.42 Waterloo-Portsmouth 23 minutes late. 06.43 Southampton-Waterloo 26 minutes late. 06.50 Southampton Airport-Waterloo 20 minutes late. 07.10 Havant-Waterloo AXED. 07.39 Farnham-Waterloo AXED between Farnham and Woking DUE TO NO CREW. A Surbiton commuter complained of being jammed in an overcrowded train for 40 minutes whilst engineers attended the doors. 08.42 Waterloo-Basingstoke AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 08.45 Waterloo-Portsmouth AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 08.53 Bristol-Salisbury Axed between Bristol and Westbury DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 16.01 Pole-Waterloo AXED between Poole and Bournemouth DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 16.28 Waterloo-Windsor REDUCED TO 4 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 17.41 Waterloo-Basingstoke REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 17.45 Waterloo-Havant REDUCED TO 9 COACHES. 18.23 Waterloo-Basingstoke REDUCED TO 8 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 18.58 Waterloo-Windsor REDUCED TO 4 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK.
Friday 23/03/07 06.06 Totton-Yeovil 29 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK; passengers THROWN OFF at Sherborne. 07.04 Bournemouth-Waterloo REDUCED TO 5 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 08.20 Yeovil-Waterloo AXED between Yeovil and Sherborne DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 15.03 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo AXED DUE TO NO CREW. 15.46 Waterloo-Chessington AXED DUE TO NO CREW. 16.40 Chessington-Waterloo AXED DUE TO NO CREW. 17.45 Waterloo-Havant REDUCED TO 9 COACHES. 18.07 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo 10 minutes late DUE TO NO CREW. 19.24 Waterloo-Dorking 12 minutes late. 19.27 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo 11 minutes late.
Saturday 24/03/07 05.20 Waterloo-Portsmouth 17 minutes late. 05.30 Waterloo-Weymouth 21 minutes late DUE TO NO CREW. 06.30 Guildford-Ascot 18 minutes late. 06.33 Woking-Waterloo 20 minutes late. 06.39 Haslemere-Waterloo 24 minutes late. 07.30 Waterloo-Portsmouth AXED. 07.33 Waterloo-Guildford 17 minutes late. 08.45 Portsmouth-Waterloo AXED between Portsmouth and Haslemere. 09.36 Portsmouth-Southampton AXED between Portsmouth and Southampton and 6 minutes late.
Sunday 25/03/07 Passengers on the 00.05 Waterloo-Bournemouth THROWN OFF at Eastleigh. Passengers on the 01.05 Waterloo-Southampton THROWN OFF at Eastleigh. 06.35 Southampton-Portsmouth AXED between Southampton and Fareham. 07.10 Salisbury-Exeter 7 minutes late. 08.17 Guildford-Ascot AXED between Guildford and Aldershot DUE TO NO CREW. 10.10 Brighton-Reading 14 minutes late and AXED between Brighton and Cosham DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 11.16 Basingstoke-Waterloo 9 minutes late DUE TO DUFF TRAIN. 11.26 Guildford-Waterloo 18 minutes late DUE TO DUFF TRAIN; intermediate stops between Woking and Weybridge AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 11.40 Romsey-Totton 15 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK; passengers THROWN OFF at Redbridge DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 11.44 Waterloo-Windsor 9 minutes late DUE TO NO CREW. 11.52 Woking-Waterloo 6 minutes late DUE TO DUFF TRAIN; all intermediate stops after Kew Bridge AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 13.54 Waterloo-Southampton 20 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 15.20 Exeter-Waterloo 13 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 16.09 Waterloo-Reading 18 minutes late. 16.14 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo 7 minutes late and AXED between Waterloo and Richmond. Passengers on the 16.16 Basingstoke-Waterloo THROWN OFF at Surbiton DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 17.10 Windsor-Waterloo 17 minutes late. 17.10 Reading-Waterloo 15 minutes late. 18.00 Waterloo-Petersfield 10 minutes late.
Monday 26/03/07 07.50 Waterloo-Guildford REDUCED TO 4 COACHES.
Tuesday 27/03/07 Chaos towards the end of the morning peak DUE TO DUFF TRAIN at Wimbledon. 16.04 Reading-Brighton AXED between Reading and Basingstoke DUE TO DELAY ON PREVIOUS JOURNEY. Passengers on the 17.01 Poole-Waterloo THROWN OFF at Southampton Central DUE TO NO CREW. 21.15 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo 12 minutes late DUE TO NO CREW.
Wednesday 28/03/07 05.05 Waterloo-Reading delayed DUE TO DUFF TRAIN. 05.42 Reading-Waterloo delayed DUETO DUFF TRAIN. 05.50 Waterloo-Reading delayed DUE TO DUFF TRAIN. Passengers on the 06.03 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo THROWN OFF at Wimbledon DUE TO DUFF TRAIN. 06.12 Reading-Waterloo AXED DUE TO DUFF TRAIN. Passengers on the 06.20 Waterloo-Reading THROWN OFF at Staines DUE TO DUFF TRAIN. 06.30 Aldershot-Waterloo 45 minutes late; all intermediate stops after Ascot AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 06.42 Reading-Waterloo delayed DUE TO DUFF TRAIN. 07.20 Waterloo-Reading AXED DUE TO DUFF TRAIN. 07.24 Reading-Waterloo AXED DUE TO DUFF TRAIN. 07.27 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo AXED between Waterloo and Raynes Park DUE TO DUFF TRAIN. 07.30 Aldershot-Waterloo had all intermediate stops after Ash Vale AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 08.07 Waterloo-Reading AXED. 09.12 Reading-Waterloo AXED. 09.42 Reading-Waterloo AXED. Passengers on the 21.35 Dorking-Waterloo THROWN OFF at Worcester Park DUE TO DUFF STOCK.
Thursday 29/03/07 07.10 Havant-Waterloo REDUCED TO 5 COACHES. 07.51 Southampton-Portsmouth AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 08.15 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo 6 minutes late. 15.30 Guildford-Ascot AXED between Guildford and Aldershot DUE TO NO CREW. 17.55 Southampton-Waterloo 34 minutes late and REDUCED TO 5 coaches DUE TO DUFF STOCK; all intermediate stops after Basingstoke AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 18.00 Weymouth-Waterloo 28 minutes late. 19.00 Guildford-Ascot 21 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. Passengers on the 21.00 Waterloo-Portsmouth THROWN OFF at Fratton.
Friday 30/03/07 05.18 Portsmouth-Waterloo AXED between Portsmouth and Fratton. 05.23 Staines-Reading ‘delayed’. The 06.06 Totton-Yeovil usually starts early, sometimes leaving passengers behind; on this occasion the stock arrived at 06.05 and departed at 06.14. Passengers on the 06.56 Reading-Brighton THROWN OFF at Basingstoke DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 07.51 Southampton-Portsmouth 7 minutes late. 09.57 Brighton-Reading AXED between Brighton and Basingstoke DUE TO DUFF STOCK. Passengers on the 12.20 Waterloo-Plymouth THROWN OFF at Templecombe DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 12.35 Paignton-Waterloo 35 minutes late; passengers THROWN OFF at Salisbury. 16.15 Gillingham-Waterloo AXED between Gillingham and Salisbury DUE TO DUFF STOCK. No toilet facilities on the Weymouth portion of the 16.35 from Waterloo. 17.40 Exeter-Axminster AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 17.48 Plymouth-Waterloo AXED between Plymouth and Exeter DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 18.23 Axminster-Exeter AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK. Passengers on the 19.20 Waterloo-Exeter THROWN OFF at Yeovil. 21.00 Exeter-Salisbury AXED between Exeter and Yeovil. 22.57 Exeter-Salisbury AXED. 23.00 Romsey-Southampton AXED DUE TO NO CREW. Passengers on the 23.41 Waterloo-Guildford THROWN OFF at Leatherhead. Passengers on the 23.50 Waterloo-Guildford THROWN OFF at Effingham Junction.
Saturday 31/03/07 Friday evening’s cancellations remained on SWT’s website all day, mixed up with current train running information. Passengers on the 07.10 Salisbury-Exeter THROWN OFF at Yeovil. 09.20 Exeter-Waterloo AXED between Exeter and Yeovil. 08.46 Honiton-Waterloo AXED between Honiton and Yeovil. 08.51 Portsmouth-Waterloo AXED between Portsmouth and Fratton and 8 minutes late DUE TO ‘UNUSUALLY LARGE PASSENGER FLOW’! 12.05 Waterloo-Poole 37 minutes late; all intermediate stops between Brockenhurst and Bournemouth AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 12.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 25 minutes late. 13.09 Waterloo-Portsmouth 12 minutes late DUE TO NO CREW. 14.01 Totton-Romsey AXED between Totton and Southampton. 14.16 Brockenhurst-Wareham 17 minutes late. 14.57 Brighton-Basingstoke 8 minutes late. 15.03 Woking-Waterloo AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 15.05 Dorking-Waterloo AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 16.03 Waterloo-Guildford 6 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 16.28 Guildford-Waterloo AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 20.35 Waterloo-Weymouth REDUCED TO 5 COACHES.
Sunday 01/04/07 Friday evening’s cancellations remained on SWT’s website all day, mixed up with current train running information. Passengers on the 08.07 Basingstoke-Paignton THROWN OFF at Exeter. 09.16 Wimbledon-Guildford 34 minutes late. 12.25 Paignton-Basingstoke AXED between Paignton and Exeter. 12.49 Clapham Junction-Reading AXED between Clapham Junction and Putney. Putney and Richmond stops of the 15.09 Waterloo-Reading AXED. 16.48 Waterloo-Shepperton 17 minutes late. 16.51 Waterloo-Chessington 18 minutes late. 16.54 Epsom-Waterloo AXED. 17.00 Waterloo-Portsmouth 15 minutes late. 19.42 Chessington-Waterloo 11 minutes late.
Monday 02/04/07 06.30 Waterloo-Weymouth delayed because of animals on the line at Ashurst (fencing in disrepair?) 07.37 Twickenham-Waterloo AXED DUE TO NO CREW. 07.41 Shepperton-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 07.58 Weymouth-Waterloo REDUCED TO 5 COACHES. 08.12 Reading-Waterloo 10 minutes late AND REDUCED TO 4 COACHES DUE TO UNUSUALLY LARGE PASSENGER FLOW (TRUST STAGECOACH TO BLAME PASSENGERS FOR FILLING UP THEIR HALF-LENGTH TRAIN!) 14.05 Waterloo-Poole 20 minutes late; all intermediate stops between Brockenhurst and Bournemouth AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 15.16 Brockenhurst-Wareham 15 minutes late. 15.41 Shepperton-Waterloo delayed due to delay to previous service; Stops at Hampton Wick, Kingston and Norbiton AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 16.50 Waterloo-Reading REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 18.50 Waterloo-Salisbury 16 minutes late. 19.05 Waterloo-Poole 14 minutes late. 19.09 Waterloo-Portsmouth 13 minutes late. 19.12 Waterloo-Eastleigh 12 minutes late. 19.15 Waterloo-Havant 12 minutes late. 19.20 Waterloo-Bristol/Honiton 13 minutes late. 19.30 Waterloo-Portsmouth 15 minutes late. 19.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 22 minutes late. 19.45 Waterloo-Havant 17 minutes late. 20.00 Waterloo-Portsmouth 20 minutes late. 20.12 Reading-Waterloo 10 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 20.50 Waterloo-Woking 14 minutes late. 21.05 Waterloo-Poole 19 minutes late. 21.12 Waterloo-Basingstoke 21 minutes late. Passengers on the 21.17 Portsmouth-Waterloo THROWN OFF at Reading.
Tuesday 03/04/07 Passengers on the 01.05 Waterloo-Southampton THROWN OFF at Surbiton. 06.56 Reading-Brighton 12 minutes late. 14.35 Waterloo-Weymouth REDUCED TO 5 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 14.50 Waterloo-Reading DELAYED DUE TO NO CREW. 15.37 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo AXED between Waterloo and Twickenham DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 16.00 Weymouth-Waterloo REDUCED TO 5 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 18.24 Waterloo-Dorking REDUCED TO 4 COACHES.
Wednesday 04/04/07 Passengers on the 01.05 Waterloo-Southampton THROWN OFF at Surbiton. 05.38 Honiton-Waterloo 17 minutes late. 06.20 Honiton-Waterloo 25 minutes late. 16.06 Waterloo-Hampton Court AXED due to duff stock. 16.54 Hampton Court-Waterloo AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 17.35 Dorking-Waterloo 35 minutes late due to delay on previous journey; all intermediate stops after Epsom AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 19.02 Waterloo-Woking AXED. 21.15 Alton-Waterloo AXED DUE TO NO CREW.
Thursday 05/04/07 06.06 Totton-Yeovil AXED between Totton and Southampton. Passengers on the 06.12 Reading-Waterloo THROWN OFF at Wokingham DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 06.15 Portsmouth-Waterloo 24 minutes late; stops at Petersfield, Guildford and Woking AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 15.35 Waterloo-Weymouth REDUCED TO 5 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 15.38 Guildford-Waterloo 5 minutes late. 16.52 Waterloo-Weybridge 8 minutes late. 17.05 Waterloo-Aldershot 7 minutes late. 17.12 Reading-Waterloo 7 minutes late. 17.35 Waterloo-Reading 9 minutes late. 17.45 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo 7 minutes late. 18.01 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo 10 minutes late. 18.13 Waterloo-Shepperton AXED between Waterloo and Twickenham DUE TO NO CREW. 19.51 Portsmouth-Waterloo 5 minutes late. 23.41 Waterloo-Guildford BROKE DOWN at Worcester Park.
[WITH THE ONGOING PROBLEMS AT PORTSMOUTH AND TOTAL SHUTDOWN AT BASINGSTOKE, NO RECOGNISABLE MAIN LINE SERVICES 06/04/07-15/04/07 SO REPORTS SUSPENDED]
Monday 16/04/07 07.50 Waterloo-Guildford REDUCED TO 8 COACHES. 07.50 Brighton-Basingstoke AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 13.51 Portsmouth-Waterloo 10 minutes late; all intermediate stops after Basingstoke AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 14.09 Waterloo-Portsmouth 10 minutes late. 14.51 Portsmouth-Waterloo 10 minutes late. Passengers on the 15.55 Southampton-Waterloo THROWN OFF at Eastleigh DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 16.42 Waterloo-Basingstoke REDUCED TO 4 COACHES.
Tuesday 17/04/07 15.24 Basingstoke-Brighton 5 minutes late ‘DUE TO UNUSUALLY LARGE PASSENGER FLOW’. 16.04 Reading-Brighton AXED between Reading and Basingstoke. 16.15 Waterloo-Portsmouth REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 16.24 Waterloo-Dorking DELAYED DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 18.45 Waterloo-Portsmouth 9 minutes late; passengers THROWN OFF at Havant DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 20.42 Waterloo-Shepperton REDUCED TO 4 COACHES and delayed. 23.45 Waterloo-Portsmouth 23 minutes late.
Wednesday 18/04/07 05.41 Salisbury-Totton AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 12.20 Waterloo-Plymouth 43 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 14.20 Waterloo-Paignton 20 minutes late. 14.45 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo 8 minutes late DUE TO NO CREW. 15.03 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo 8 minutes late. Passengers on the 15.23 Waterloo-Alton THROWN OFF at Woking DUE TO NO CREW. 16.01 Honiton-Exeter 14 minutes late. 16.24 Waterloo-Dorking REDUCED TO 4 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 16.42 Reading-Waterloo AXED. 17.02 Waterloo-Guildford REDUCED TO 4 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 17.52 Waterloo-Weybridge 17 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 18.05 Waterloo-Aldershot 18 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 18.10 Exeter-Waterloo 12 minutes late. 18.20 Waterloo-Reading 13 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 18.36 Waterloo-Hampton Court REDUCED TO 4 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 18.51 Portsmouth-Waterloo 20 minutes late. 18.54 Poole-Waterloo 26 minutes late. Passengers on the 19.10 Paignton-Basingstoke THROWN OFF at Salisbury. 19.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 54 minutes late. 19.50 Waterloo-Salisbury 102 minutes late; all intermediate stops after Basingstoke AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 19.51 Portsmouth-Waterloo 25 minutes late; passengers THROWN OFF at Woking. 19.54 Poole-Waterloo 25 minutes late. 19.55 Southampton-Waterloo 58 minutes late. 20.24 Basingstoke-Waterloo AXED. 20.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 18 minutes late. 20.51 Portsmouth-Waterloo 11 minutes late. 20.54 Basingstoke-Waterloo AXED. 20.55 Southampton-Waterloo 21 minutes late. 21.10 Weymouth-Waterloo 35 minutes late. 21.42 Waterloo-Portsmouth omitted virtually all intermediate stops by running via Guildford instead of via Eastleigh – in meaningful terms it was AXED. 21.53 Waterloo-Alton 35 minutes late. 21.54 Basingstoke-Waterloo 26 minutes late. 22.05 Waterloo-Poole diverted via Havant with huge delays. 22.23 Waterloo-Alton AXED. 22.39 Waterloo-Southampton AXED between Waterloo and Woking.
Thursday 19/04/07 06.06 Totton-Yeovil REDUCED TO 2 COACHES; seemed to have been arranged in a rush by someone who didn’t know what they were doing - the guard’s announcement included a stop at Tisbury Loop, which is a passing point on single track with no platforms! 06.43 Southampton-Waterloo REDUCED TO 5 COACHES. 07.14 Alton-Waterloo 25 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 07.30 Aldershot-Waterloo AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 07.32 Dorking-Waterloo 16 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 07.39 Farnham-Waterloo 20 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 07.52 Epsom-Waterloo 13 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 08.32 Waterloo-Guildford 15 minutes late. 17.05 Waterloo-Weymouth 12 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 18.37 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 18.57 Brighton-Reading 10 minutes late.
Friday 20/04/07 05.45 Poole-Waterloo 10 minutes late; a number of following main line trains were similarly delayed. 06.34 Bournemouth-Waterloo 24 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 07.38 Waterloo-Southampton delayed; stops at Farnborough and Fleet AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE.
Saturday 21/04/07 05.30 Poole-Waterloo 16 minutes late. 07.00 Southampton-Winchester 6 minutes late DUE TO NO CREW. 07.00 Woking-Alton AXED between Woking and Aldershot DUE TO NO CREW. 09.50 Waterloo-Salisbury AXED between Waterloo and Andover. 10.12 Reading-Waterloo 23 minutes late; stops at Feltham, Twickenham and Richmond AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 11.53 Windsor-Waterloo 10 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 19.00 Waterloo-Portsmouth 18 minutes late; passengers THROWN OFF at Haslemere.
Sunday 22/04/07 Morning services between Alton and Farnham disrupted DUE TO DUFF TRAIN. Another total closure through Basingstoke, with diverted trains allowed huge amounts of slack running time. The 18.54 Waterloo-Weymouth waited 8 minutes at Woking and 10 minutes in the
Monday 23/04/07 Delays in the Basingstoke area until afternoon due to duff signalling. 04.54 Basingstoke-Waterloo AXED. 06.24 Basingstoke-Waterloo 21 minutes late. 06.54 Basingstoke-Waterloo 8 minutes late. 07.23 Waterloo-Alton AXED between Waterloo and Woking. 07.30 Aldershot-Waterloo AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 07.42 Waterloo-Basingstoke 18 minutes late; all intermediate stops before Woking AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 07.50 Waterloo-Reading AXED between Waterloo and Staines DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 13.45 Waterloo-Portsmouth AXED. 13.50 Yeovil-Waterloo 16 minutes late. 14.15 Portsmouth-Waterloo AXED. 14.30 Waterloo-Portsmouth AXED. 14.54 Basingstoke-Waterloo 55 minutes late; all intermediate stops AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 15.53 Waterloo-Alton sinisterly advertised on SWT’s website as REVISED, with no further information.17.30 Waterloo-Portsmouth REDUCED TO 5 COACHES. 17.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 30 minutes late. 17.57 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 18.02 Waterloo-Woking REDUCED TO 8 COACHES. 18.09 Waterloo-Portsmouth REDUCED TO 9 COACHES. 18.11 Waterloo-Basingstoke REDUCED TO 5 COACHES. 18.13 Waterloo-Shepperton REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 18.24 Waterloo-Dorking REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 18.30 Waterloo-Portsmouth REDUCED TO 8 COACHES. 18.58 Waterloo-Windsor REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 19.00 Weymouth-Waterloo 18 minutes late.
Tuesday 24/04/07 05.40 Basingstoke-Weymouth 5 minutes late. 05.45 Portsmouth-Waterloo AXED. 06.55 Portsmouth-Waterloo 24 minutes late; AXED BETWEEN PORTSMOUTH AND HILSEA and Clapham Junction stop AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 07.00 Aldershot-Waterloo 33 minutes late. 07.23 Ascot-Guildford 38 minutes late. 07.30 Aldershot-Waterloo 16 minutes late. 07.53 Ascot-Guildford 15 minutes late. 07.57 Romsey-Totton AXED between Romsey and Southampton DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 08.00 Guildford-Ascot 31 minutes late. 08.53 Ascot-Guildford AXED between Ascot and Aldershot. 09.01 Totton-Romsey AXED between Totton and Southampton DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 16.35 Waterloo-Weymouth REDUCED TO 9 COACHES (CRAMPED SUBURBAN STOCK ON THE BOURNEMOUTH PORTION). 17.43 Waterloo-Shepperton REDUCED TO 8 COACHES. 18.13 Waterloo-Shepperton REDUCED TO 8 COACHES. 18.15 Waterloo-Fratton REDUCED TO 9 COACHES. 20.22 Waterloo-Weybridge 13 minutes late; all intermediate stops between Putney and Hounslow AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. Passengers on the 23.15 Waterloo-Portsmouth THROWN OFF at Petersfield.
Wednesday 25/04/07 15.41 Shepperton-Waterloo AXED between Shepperton and New Malden. 16.06 Waterloo-Hampton Court 10 minutes late. 19.00 Weymouth-Waterloo 13 minutes late. 20.30 Waterloo-Portsmouth 14 minutes late DUE TO DUFF TRAIN in the Farncombe area. 20.45 Waterloo-Fratton 32 minutes late DUE TO DUFF TRAIN. 21.00 Waterloo-Portsmouth 25 minutes late DUE TO DUFF TRAIN. 22.35 Portsmouth-Havant AXED.
Thursday 26/04/07 07.20 Waterloo-Reading 6 minutes late. 07.53 Windsor-Waterloo AXED between Windsor and Staines DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 08.11 Shepperton-Waterloo 16 minutes late. 08.13 Portsmouth-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 08.24 Portsmouth-Waterloo 10 minutes late and AXED between Portsmouth and Havant DUE TO NO ROLLING STOCK IN PLACE. 13.45 Portsmouth-Waterloo 68 minutes late; passengers THROWN OFF at Woking. 13.51 Portsmouth-Waterloo 67 minutes late; passengers THROWN OFF at Basingstoke. 14.17 Portsmouth-Waterloo 50 minutes late. 14.45 Waterloo-Portsmouth delayed DUE TO NO CREW. 14.45 Portsmouth-Waterloo 33 minutes late; passengers THROWN OFF at Woking. 14.51 Portsmouth-Waterloo 20 minutes late. 15.45 Waterloo-Portsmouth AXED between Waterloo and Woking. 16.15 Waterloo-Portsmouth AXED between Waterloo and Woking. 16.30 Waterloo-Portsmouth 40 minutes late. 16.35 Waterloo-Weymouth REDUCED TO 9 COACHES (CRAMPED SUBURBAN STOCK ON THE BOURNEMOUTH REAR PORTION OF THE TRAIN). 16.39 Waterloo-Fratton AXED between Waterloo and Basingstoke. 16.45 Waterloo-Portsmouth AXED between Waterloo and Woking. 17.30 Waterloo-Portsmouth REDUCED TO 8 COACHES. 18.45 Portsmouth-Waterloo AXED between Portsmouth and Fratton. 19.46 Guildford-Waterloo 10 minutes late.
Friday 27/04/07 06.57 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo 10 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. Delays due to signalling problem: 14.39 Waterloo-Southampton; 14.42 Waterloo-Basingstoke; 14.50 Waterloo-Salisbury; 15.05 Waterloo-Poole. 17.30 Waterloo-Portsmouth 10 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 17.34 Guildford-Waterloo 8 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 17.45 Waterloo-Havant REDUCED TO 9 COACHES. 16.20 Waterloo-Exeter 6 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 19.22 Waterloo-Weybridge delayed DUE TO DUFF STOCK. Passengers on the 19.24 Portsmouth-Waterloo THROWN OFF at Haslemere DUE TO DUFF STOCK.
Saturday 28/04/07 06.45 Portsmouth-Waterloo 16 minutes late due to no rolling stock in place. 07.52 Waterloo-Weybridge 6 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 08.24 Portsmouth-Waterloo 8 minutes late. 08.45 Portsmouth-Waterloo AXED between Portsmouth and Fratton. 09.24 Waterloo-Dorking 11 minutes late DUE TO NO CREW. 09.36 Portsmouth-Waterloo 12 minutes late. 11.41 Shepperton-Waterloo 9 minutes late DUE TO DUFF SOCK; passengers THROWN OFF at Wimbledon. 12.20 Waterloo-Reading 8 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 12.50 Waterloo-Salisbury 38 minutes late. 13.05 Waterloo-Poole 28 minutes late. 13.09 Waterloo-Portsmouth 26 minutes late. 13.20 Waterloo-Yeovil 23 minutes late. 13.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 19 minutes late. 14.24 Basingstoke-Fareham 7 minutes late. 14.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 9 minutes late. 15.05 Waterloo-Pole 10 minutes late. 15.16 Brockenhurst-Wareham 10 minutes late. 15.42 Waterloo-Shepperton 17 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK; passengers THROWN OFF at Fulwell. 15.50 Waterloo-Woking 9 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 15.54 Waterloo-Dorking 7 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 15.57 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo 11 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 16.41 Shepperton-Waterloo AXED between Shepperton and Fulwell DUE TO DUFF STOCK.
Sunday 29/04/07 07.45 Guildford-Wimbledon 30 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 13.42 Portsmouth-Southampton 25 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 14.35 Southampton-Portsmouth AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK. Passengers on the 18.17 Portsmouth-Winchester THROWN OFF at Eastleigh DUE TO NO CREW. 20.24 Reading-Waterloo and 21.09 / 21.39 Waterloo-Reading OMITTED Putney and Richmond stops. Passengers on the 20.52 Woking-Waterloo THROWN OFF at Barnes. 21.14 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo AXED. 21.44 Waterloo-Windsor OMITTED all stops from Vauxhall to Sat Margarets inclusive except Clapham Junction. 21.50 Waterloo-Woking AXED between Waterloo and Clapham Junction.
Monday 30/04/07 05.45 Poole-Waterloo about 55 minutes late DUE TO SIGNALLING PROBLEMS AT BOURNEMOUTH AND LATE START FROM THE DEPOT. 05.54 Basingstoke-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 06.04 Bournemouth-Waterloo REDUCED TO 5 COACHES AND 7 minutes late: horrific overcrowding as it overtook the 05.45 from Poole which was 10 coaches with huge numbers of empty seats. 06.54 Weymouth-Waterloo 39 minutes late. 07.04 Bournemouth-Waterloo 30 minutes late. 07.15 Southampton-Waterloo AXED between Southampton and Eastleigh. 07.20 Poole-Waterloo 43 minutes late; passengers THROWN OFF at Southampton. 07.23 Waterloo-Alton REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 07.25 Weymouth-Brockenhurst 23 minutes late. 07.30 Aldershot-Waterloo 29 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 07.42 Reading-Waterloo 12 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 07.54 Poole-Waterloo 40 minutes late. 07.57 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo 10 minutes late. 08.00 Waterloo-Portsmouth AXED. 08.20 Waterloo-Exeter 17 minutes late. 08.23 Waterloo-Alton 10 minutes late. 09.14 Alton-Waterloo REDUCED TO 5 COACHES. Passengers on the 14.01 Poole-Waterloo THROWN OFF at Winchester DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 14.55 Southampton-Waterloo 33 minutes late; stops at Fleet and Farnborough AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 14.57 Brighton-Basingstoke AXED between Brighton and Hove DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 15.00 Weymouth-Waterloo 18 minutes late. 17.05 Waterloo-Weymouth stopped additionally at Woking (indicating cancellation of another service); with such slack schedules it was still on time at Southampton. 17.48 Plymouth-Waterloo delayed at Basingstoke DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 21.46 Guildford-Waterloo delayed at Bookham DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 21.51 Portsmouth-Eastleigh 12 minutes late.
APPENDIX 3 - MEDIA REPORTS ON THE ENVIRONMENT
Monday 19/02/07 – BRITAIN’S GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS UNDER-DECLARED Britain creates 200m tonnes of greenhouse gases which it is not declaring, according to a report by Christian Aid’s senior analyst. The report finds that a staggering quantity of unreported carbon dioxide is emitted around the world by the top 100 companies. This is believed to be the tip of the iceberg and the real figure is likely to reach billions of tonnes. Britain admits that it emits 552m tonnes of CO2 a year, the seventh highest figure in the world and more than the 112 smallest countries put together. Nearly three-quarters of FTSE 500 companies responded to last year’s survey. (Metro)
Monday 19/02/07 – IT MAY BE TOO LATE TO SAVE THE ICE CAPS New studies of Greenland and Antarctica have forced the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to conclude that there is a 50% chance that widespread ice sheet loss may no longer be avoided because of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Such melting would raise sea levels by 4 to 6 metres, causing major changes in coastline and inundating low lying areas. Areas such as the Maldives would be swamped and low lying countries such as the Netherlands and Bangladesh, as well as coastal cities including London, New York and Tokyo would face critical flooding. Relocating populations, economic activity and infrastructure would be costly and challenging. (Guardian)
Wednesday 21/02/07 – EU PROMISES 20% REDUCTION IN CARBON EMISSIONS BY 2020 The EU has agreed a pact to slash greenhouse gas emissions by 20% within 13 years unilaterally and pledged to push for an agreement with the US and other industrialised countries to cut them by 30% by the same deadline. European environment ministers made the target for 2020 binding on all 27 EU countries, but are yet to agree on how to share the burden of combating climate change, with countries such as Britain and Germany making much bigger cuts and other high-growth but less developed countries allowed more leeway. The 30% target is an opening bid for a new post-Kyoto international regime which would need to be agreed with other developed countries, primarily the US. The EU’s original 15 members are well short of reaching their target of an 8% cut by 2012, prompting the European Commission to propose bringing aviation within its emissions trading scheme and imposing tougher targets on all new cars. (Guardian)
Tuesday 27/02/07 – MAYOR WANTS TO MAKE LONDON ‘GREEN CAPITAL OF THE WORLD’ Ken Livingstone is calling for tough action to save the planet and make London the greenest capital on earth. He aims to cut the capital’s carbon emissions by 60% by 2025 (twice as fast as Government targets) by an immediate increase in the cost of air travel; neighbourhood power stations to prevent energy waste during transfer from the National Grid; use of solar and wind power and possibly wave power from the Thames; and getting Londoners to ditch their cars and travel to work by bike or bus. Other initiatives in his climate change action plan include: cutting energy use in homes, for example through low-energy light bulbs and switching off appliances; offering heavily subsidised loft and cavity wall insulation; ensuring all new affordable homes are zero- or low-carbon developments; and converting all 8,000 London buses to diesel-electric hybrid engines. He is also asking MPs to back an amendment to the Greater London Authority Bill to give him control of London’s recycling services. London produces 44 million tonnes of carbon dioxide each year, or 67 million tonnes if aviation is included. 34% of London emissions come from aircraft; 25% from homes; 22% from businesses; 14% from surface transport; and 5% from industrial processes. (Evening Standard)
Friday 02/03/07 – GREEN ENERGY INDUSTRY ATTACKS GOVERNMENT RATIONING OF GRANTS Britain’s renewable energy industry accused the government of presiding over a farce after a scramble for heavily rationed grants for solar panels and wind turbines led to one month’s allocation being snapped up in 75 minutes. As the Prime Minister prepared to commit Britain to a binding target of generating 20% of its electricity from renewables by 2020 at next week’s European summit, companies installing green technology said the government’s words were not being matched by its actions. Strong public demands for grants have forced the DTI to apportion the £12.5m it has allocated for households in monthly segments rather than see the entire budget snapped up in one tranche. More bad news ensued when figures were released showing that 12 out of 18 proposals for new onshore wind farms had been turned down by national and local planning bodies. (Guardian)
Monday 05/03/07 – OFFICIAL REPORT SAYS US CO2 TO RISE BY 20% A draft report prepared by the Bush administration admits that emission of greenhouse gases by the US will rise by 2020 to 20% above 2000 levels. The report should have been handed to the United Nations more than a year ago, but its publication has been delayed. The draft estimates that emissions of greenhouse gases will rise from 7.7bn tons in 2000 to 9.2bn tons in 2020. The US produces about a quarter of the world’s carbon dioxide and other gases believed responsible for warming the earth’s atmosphere. On 14 April campaigners will be demonstrating in cities across the US to call for 80% cuts by 2050. In the absence of binding commitments from the federal government, individual states have moved independently. California has led the field by aiming to cut its emissions to 1990 levels by 2020 and to meet the target of 80% below 1990 levels by 2050. (Guardian)
Monday 05/03/07 – UK PLANS TO CUT CO2 DOOMED TO FAIL An independent scientific audit of the UK’s climate change policies predicts that the government will fall well below its target of a 30% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions by 2020. The report argues that because much policy is based on voluntary measures, the predicted outcomes cannot be relied upon and are very optimistic. The true reduction is likely to be between 12 and 17%, making little difference to current CO2 emission levels. The policy of making all new homes built after 2016 “zero carbon” may not deliver because of poor enforcement. The researchers also think domestic energy consumption will continue to rise faster than the government predicts because of demand for more energy intensive products like plasma televisions. (Guardian)
Tuesday 06/03/07 – ASIAN SMOG FUELLING PACIFIC STORMS WILL MELT ARCTIC ICE Smog and air pollution from Asian cities have intensified storms over the Pacific Ocean, which will result in increased warming of the Arctic, according to scientists. Dr Renyi Zhang, an atmospheric scientist at Texas A&M University, says rapid industrialisation and urbanisation in Asia have caused severe air pollution over many countries, including China and India. Long-term satellite measurements have revealed a dramatic increase in aerosol (tiny particles of pollution such as soot when burning coal) concentrations. The increasing aerosol trend has been explained by sulphur dioxide and soot emissions, with an increase in the former of 35% per decade over the region. Damian Wilson, an atmospheric scientist at the Met Office in Exeter, said the Pacific storms formed in the central part of the ocean and headed west, hitting Canada and the northern US. They are caused by the temperature difference between the northerly and more southerly tropical latitudes, with the storms mixing the heat around. The deep convective clouds which make up many of the Pacific storms seem to arise in connection with pollution emission in Asia. From 1994 to 2005 these clouds had increased by “20% to 50% compared with the previous 10-year period. Northwards transfer of heat can have catastrophic consequences, such as the polar ice caps shrinking and sea level rising. (Guardian)
Tuesday 06/03/07 – SPANISH CARS MAY RUN ON ORANGE JUICE Valencia produces 4m tonnes of oranges a year, most of which are squeezed into juice. Most of the 240,000 tonnes of waste is sold as animal food but it could be turned into bioethanol. Each tonne of pulp could more than fill the average car’s petrol tank, producing 80 litres of fuel. When the new juice plant planned for the region is completed, waste output will rise to 500,000 tonnes. That would be enough to produce 37.5m litres of bioethanol. Valencia plans to use the technology being developed in Florida. A distribution network around the Valencia region would sell the fuel to locals, who would pay about 40% less per litre than they pay for petrol. The project could also cope with much of the fruit that farmers leave on trees where it is no longer profitable to harvest it. Local officials claim they could reduce the region’s dependency on petrol by up to 40%. Spain, with the rest of the EU, has a goal of replacing almost 6% of transport fuel with bioethanol or oilseed-based biodiesel by 2010. Valencia’s orange juice fuel would account for 1% of the country’s total transport fuel consumption (Guardian)
Wednesday 07/03/07 – GOVERNMENT DEPARTMENTS FAIL TO MEET BASIC GREEN TARGETS The Sustainable Development Commission – the Government’s own watchdog – has produced a scathing report which destroys the government’s environmental credentials. Ministers have been urging the public, companies and foreign leaders to adopt more environmentally friendly behaviour, but their own departments are failing to meet basic targets on carbon emissions, water and waste. Head of the Commission, Sir Jonathan Porritt, said “I have no doubt that people will see this as hypocrisy on their part”. The report finds that most departments are using energy less efficiently compared with previous years and that on average they produce more waste. The Department for Transport is the second worst offender on carbon emissions; they are up 50.2% in 2005-2006 compared with 1999-2000. The government target is to reduced levels by 12.5% between 2000 and 2010. (Guardian)
Friday 09/03/07 – DRAX TO CUT EMISSIONS Power station operator Drax has pledged to spend £67m on lowering greenhouse gases as it revealed a 140% rise in profits. The owner of Western Europe’s largest coal-fired power station said the investment would ensure it uses 10% renewable fuels by 2009. It follows a £100m project to improve efficiency at its plants. The investments were expected jointly to save over 3m tonnes of CO2 emissions each year, equalling the output of about 700 wind turbines. Drax also revealed pre-tax profits of £634.2m in 2006. (Metro)
Saturday 10/03/07 – WELL-OFF MEN BLAMED FOR CLIMATE CHANGE EMISSIONS A survey by Oxford University has found that 20% of people are responsible for 61% of climate change emissions from private transport, and most of these are men earning more than £40,000 a year. While most people emitted between one and three tonnes of CO2 in total through their personal travel in the previous year, the top 10% had an average of 19.2 tonnes from flying alone. The impact from air travel on global warming is higher than its carbon emissions alone because gases and water vapour are released at altitude. Taking this effect into account, the team calculated that aviation’s share of climate change impact is 70.4%. Car use has the second greatest impact. The data came from a survey of leisure travel using all modes of transport by 456 people at 278 addresses in Oxfordshire. (Guardian)
Saturday 10/03/07 – EUROPE SETS BENCHMARK FOR TACKLING CLIMATE CHANGE Europe has become the world leader in tackling climate change with 27 governments agreeing to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 20% and committing the EU to generating a fifth of its energy from renewable sources within 13 years. Germany’s chancellor was praised for steering through the decision despite opposition from France and Eastern Europe. She is due to host a summit in June of leading industrial countries at which she will seek to persuade the US, China, India and others to follow Europe’s example. The two-day EU summit which ended yesterday boosted Jacques Chirac and Tony Blair by recognising nuclear power as one way of reducing emissions. It also introduced the possibility that millions of homes will have to change to more energy-efficient light bulbs by moving to ban traditional bulbs by 2009. Greenhouse gas emissions have to be cut by 20% across the EU by 2020, although Europe will go further to 30% if an agreement can be struck with the US and other key countries. All 27 member countries have to achieve a 10% minimum target in the use of biofuels for transport by 2020. Meeting 20% of European energy consumption from renewable sources such as wind and solar energy is compulsory, but there can be great variations in how much member states contribute. Poland and the Czech Republic think they are being penalised unfairly because they could not afford the investment in renewable sources, and France’s priority was to water down the renewables pledge because most of its energy is supplied by carbon-free nuclear power. (Guardian)
Wednesday 14/03/07 – CLIMATE CHANGE BILL AIMS FOR 60% CUT IN CARBON DIOXIDE EMISSIONS BY 2050 Britain is to become the first country in the world to set legally binding targets for cutting its carbon dioxide emissions. The targets are aimed at cutting emissions by between 26 and 32 per cent by 2020, and 60 per cent by 2050. There will be a new system of 5-year ‘carbon budgets’ to cap total emissions, with limits set 15 years in advance to help business planning. Courts will have powers to name and shame ministers if targets are missed. An Independent Committee on Climate Change will be established to advise on progress towards hitting targets. It will be tasked with making annual progress reports to Parliament. Ministers will be required to produce 5-year reports on the potential impact of climate change and their responses. Government will be granted new powers to introduce regulations to help ministers impose future controls on emissions, such as a domestics emissions trading scheme. MPs Colin Challen, Peter Ainsworth and Chris Huhne, representing the three major parties, thought that a cut of 80% or 90% might be needed rather than 60%. The Green Party and Friends of the Earth also had concerns. In addition, there was criticism of delays through introducing the Bill in a draft form. However, the Bill was a victory for pressure groups which had been fighting for targets to be introduced and was seen as inspirational by Arnold Schwarzenegger, who is introducing a law committing California to an 80% reduction in emissions by 2050. (Independent)
Friday 16/03/07 – SCIENTISTS SAY EUROPE MAY FACE INTENSIFIED STORMS Scientists at the University of Colorado have produced computer models which predict that rapidly thinning Arctic sea ice may have reached a tipping point that threatens to disrupt global warming patterns, bringing intense winter storms and heavier rainfall to western Europe. Satellite images taken since 1979 show that the ocean ice cover in the region has declined steadily, with an estimated 38,000 square miles now being lost every year. Computer models predict that sea ice could vanish completely from the Arctic ocean as early as 2040. Sea temperatures in the Arctic have risen 3C in recent decades because of a build-up of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. The loss of Arctic sea ice will trigger erratic shifts in climate that will be felt around the world. The bitter Arctic fronts that blow across Colorado and the western United States may warm and bring less snow, while winter storm tracks across parts of Europe are expected to intensify and unleash torrential downpours. Four British scientists have reviewed five years of glacier observations in the Antarctic and identified four glaciers as retreating in unison, driving the thinning of the ice sheets and representing the greatest risk to sea levels. The glaciers are now sliding into the water between 20% and 100% faster than in recent decades. Antarctica and Greenland hold enough ice to raise global sea levels by 70m and, according to geological records, previous collapses of ice sheets have caused surges in sea levels of up to 20m in less than 500 years. (Guardian)
Tuesday 20/03/07 – BUSH APPOINTEES ‘WATERED DOWN GREENHOUSE SCIENCE’ Since the Democrats took over Congress last January, the Chairman of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Henry Waxman, has led efforts to uncover the extent of White House interference in scientific debate. Congress has been told that the Bush administration ran a systematic campaign to play down the dangers of climate change, demanding hundreds of politically motivated changes to scientific reports and muzzling a pre-eminent expert on global warming. The Bush administration has moved to exercise direct control over environmental agencies by installing political appointees, including Philip Cooney a former oil industry lobbyist, as chief of staff of the Council on Environmental Quality, and a 23- year-old college drop-out was made a public affairs officer at Nasa after working on Bush’s re-election campaign. Even non-controversial statements about climate change were deleted on Mr Cooney’s instructions. Dr James Hansen, who heads the Goddard Institute for Space Science in New York, told the Committee that ‘Scientific press releases were going to the White House for editing”. He himself had been restrained from giving press interviews by a junior political appointee, George Deutsch, who left Nasa after it emerged he had falsified his CV. (Guardian)
Monday 26/03/07 – PROGRESS COMES AT A HIGH PRICE FOR CHINA AND INDIA Tonnes of carbon dioxide emitted per head of population each year are: United States 20.2; the UK 9.6; China 3.5 and India 1.1. Industrial emissions at Linfen in China make it the most polluted place on earth, and people see the sun only a few days a year. Linfen symbolises the cost of development in China and India. Both economies are growing explosively, creating demand for power which is met by dirty, inefficient coal-fired plants that are slowly cooking the world’s atmosphere. By 2009, China is predicted to overtake the US as the world’s biggest emitter of greenhouse gases. Ancient glaciers are melting in the Southern Himalayas, and India is suffering catastrophic weather events. The environmental problems in China and India, which jointly have 2.4bn people have become an excuse for inaction elsewhere. Many Britons argue that any steps they take will be insignificant compared with the negative impact of economic growth in Asia. But there is some good news. Linfen is trying to clean up. By the end of this year, the city aims to close 160 of 196 iron foundries and 57 of 153 coking plants. The change is being driven by political considerations and business interests – nobody wants to invest in such a polluted place. Last year Linfen’s residents breathed 163 days of unhealthy air, 15 days fewer than in 2005. India is building the world’s largest wind farm site, with 500 turbines, outside Mumbai. Both countries are becoming increasingly conscious of environmental issues. Seventy per cent of China’s rivers are polluted and encroaching deserts threaten 400 million people. For an effective agreement to replace Kyoto from 2010, the US, China and India will all need to participate. (Guardian)
Tuesday 27/03/07 – GLOBAL WARMING STUDY WARNS OF VANISHING CLIMATES By the end of the century, up to two fifths of the land surface of the Earth will have a hotter climate unlike anything that currently exists. And in the worst case scenario, another 48% of the land surface will no longer exist on the planet at all. The changes will have a devastating effect on biodiversity hotspots like the Amazonian and Indonesian rainforests and will wipe out species that can no longer live in their preferred climate range. Studies already suggest that the ranges of species are shifting towards the poles at a rate of around 6kms a decade. Creatures that live in the tropics are used to a reduced range of climatic variability. Rising temperatures also bring greater risk of forest fires. Until now the effects of climate change have focused on the polar regions. But as the earth warms, climate regions will have nowhere to shift to. By 2100, between 12% and 39% of the land surface of the earth will have a new climate, while the combination of climatic conditions on 10% to 48% of the planet will have disappeared altogether. The climate model predicts that disappearing climates will be lost mainly from the tropical mountains and the edges of continents nearest the poles. Some of the losers are the tropical Andes, the African Rift mountains, the Zambian and Angolan highlands, the South African Cape region, south-east Australia, parts of the Himalayas and the Arctic. Studies were undertaken by the University of Wisconsin using emissions scenarios set out by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. (Guardian)
Friday 30/03/07 – EMISSIONS RISE AS COAL COMES BACK Britain’s carbon emissions rose by an estimated 1.25% last year. This was driven by unusually high gas prices which prompted a switch to coal for electricity generation. Government figures show that power station emissions, which accounted for 84% of all greenhouse gas output in 2005, totalled 560.6m tonnes last year. The figure is about 5.25% lower than in 1990, the year against which national targets are set. Emissions from all greenhouse sources were up 0.5% on 2005, but 15% below figures for 1990. Under the terms of the Kyoto accord, Britain must cut greenhouse gas emissions by 12.5% below 1990 levels by 2012. The Government insists it is still on track to double its commitment. (Metro)
Thursday 04/04/07 – PLANNING CURBS ON DOMESTIC GREEN ENERGY MAY BE EASED Communities Secretary Ruth Kelly is to announce that householders will be allowed to put up solar panels and wind turbines without applying for planning permission. However permission will still be needed where neighbours could be significantly affected, or where the technology is unlikely to bring substantial benefits, for example wind turbine in locations with little wind. (Guardian)
Wednesday 25/04/07 – CHINA COULD BECOME THE WORLD’S MAJOR POLLUTER China could overtake the United States as the world’s major source of greenhouse gases within months. Dr Fatih Birol, chief economist of the Paris-based International Energy Agency said the country’s economic growth had been so fast in 2006 and 2007 that the historic global shift of climate changing emissions from west to east which was previously predicted for 2009 or 2010 could now happen by November. Dr Birol said these predictions paled into insignificance if China took no measures to control emissions. At current rates it would be emitting twice as much CO2 as the world’s 26 richest countries put together. China has signed up to the Kyoto Protocol, but as a developing country does not have a cap on its emissions. US emissions in 2004 totalled 5,799 million tonnes of CO2 from 293 million people, compared with China’s 4,732 million tonnes from 1,296 million people. There is no sign that China is about to reduce its emissions – last year it built an average of five 300 megawatt coal-powered electricity plants a week - though it has made serious attempts to stem their growth -higher emission standards for its vehicles than the US, and plans to produce 16% of all its electricity from renewable sources by 2020. (Guardian)
APPENDIX 4 - MEDIA REPORTS ON TRANSPORT
February 2007 – MORE BUS CUTS The head of Solent Blue Line claims that District Councils in Hampshire pay only 33p for every £1 of travel under the pensioners’ concessionary bus scheme, so he is planning service cut. (Hampshire Chronicle)
[Cuts were made on Southampton-Hythe services around the same time, and follow last September’s cuts in the Totton and New Forest areas. However, the New Forest’s Southern Cango service which links the Sway area with Lymington has been reprieved again – Lymington Times 03/02/07]
Tuesday 20/02/07 – ROAD PRICING The prime minister will tell the 1.6m [which increased to 1.8m] people who signed an e-petition to condemn his road pricing plans that the Government intends to reject their views and go ahead with a series of pay-as-you-drive trials. He believes that to do nothing is not an option and that the petition has obscured rather than illuminated the arguments. Ministers are divided on the usefulness of e-petitions. (Guardian)
Wednesday 21/02/07 – EAST COAST RAIL FRANCHISE Virgin, Arriva, First and National Express are on the short list for the replacement franchise for long-distance services from King’s Cross, following GNER’s financial difficulties. Well-regarded GNER is exploring the possibility of a 29.9% stake in the new operating company. (Guardian)
[The fact that re-franchising has resulted in the loss of arguably the best operator (GNER) and retention of arguably the worst (SWT) is surely further justification – as if any were needed – of the Transport Committee’s robust criticism of the system]
Wednesday 21/02/07 – NEW TRAINS TOO HEAVY FOR TRACKS New commuter trains in the South East are wearing out the tracks because they are too heavy. The worst problems are on SWT, Southern and SouthEastern. On average the new 4-coach trains weigh 175 tonnes, 30 tonnes more than the older models. Tracks are meant to last between 5 and 30 years, depending on use, but drivers have reported bumpy and worn conditions after months. The problem is causing major concerns at senior industry level, and there are growing fears that it will get worse as passenger numbers grow. The problem arises from the rigid design of the bogeys. This follows the power supply problems when the trains were found to use far more electricity than expected. (Evening Standard)
Tuesday 27/02/07 – 10,000-NAME PETITION ON THE PENSIONERS CONCESSIONARY BUS SCHEME SNUBBED BY THE DEPARTMENT FOR TRANSPORT Southern Daily Echo’s petition to save Hampshire County Council’s county-wide scheme, following attempts to undermine it by bus companies - including of course greed-driven Stagecoach, has gone to the Department for Transport. Despite the Prime Minister having called the campaign “a very fine example of everything that is best about local media”, no Minister turned up to receive it. Instead, local MPs from all three major parties (Chris Huhne, Alan Whitehead, Desmond Swayne, Sandra Gidley and Mark Oaten) commendably attended. There was general disappointment at what was perceived as a ministerial snub. (Southern Daily Echo)
Tuesday 27/02/07 – NETWORK RAIL SHOULD PAY FOR ITS CATASTROPHIC FAILURE Christian Wolmar argues that Network Rail directors should forgo their six-figure bonuses this year in view of the organisation’s catastrophic failure to keep the infrastructure in safe condition, and the consequent fatal and dramatic derailment in Cumbria. (Evening Standard)
Wednesday 28/2/07 - LEVEL CROSSINGS MUST BE PHASED OUT The Office of Rail Regulation says level crossings are the most serious danger on the railways and wants new ones introduced only in exceptional circumstances, with bridges or underpasses provided instead. The call came as a man prevented another possible train crash after the barriers at his local level crossing near Hampton Court failed to lower. He tied his dog to a post and helped stop cars as the SWT service thundered past. In 2005, 9 pedestrians, 4 road vehicle drivers and 2 cyclists were killed at level crossings. (Evening Standard)
[The following morning a driver was killed and his passenger critically injured when his car was hit at Swainsthorpe crossing by a Colchester to Norwich express.]
Wednesday 28/02/07 – TRACK FAULT WAS RECORDED ON FILM BEFORE FATAL TRAIN SMASH The faulty track which derailed a Euston-Glasgow express, killing a woman passenger, was clearly visible on film taken from an inspection train before the derailment, but nobody looked at the video. The footage shot two days before showed that a crucial stretcher bar and bolts were missing from points on the track where the Virgin train derailed. Network Rail said it would take too long to identify trouble spots from the videos and they are therefore used only in crash investigations. (Evening Standard)
[Shutting stable doors comes to mind]
Wednesday 28/02/07 – NETWORK RAIL HAS REACHED STANDSTILL ON TACKLING DELAYS The Office of Rail Regulation concludes in its annual National Rail Review that Network Rail is failing to tackle delays as fast as it should. Delays which are Network Rail’s responsibility have fallen slowly if at all in the last 6 months. After three years of improvement, reductions in infrastructure failure and levels of delay are no longer falling. Passengers are increasingly dissatisfied with levels of overcrowding as demand continues to rise. Network Rail needs to show that it can continue to bring costs down through improved efficiency while improving safety and performance, so that capacity expansion may be affordable and offer good value for money. (Evening Standard)
Wednesday 28/02/07 – MOVE TO GIVE MAYOR OF LONDON POWERS OVER RAILWAYS Ministers have indicated that plans to hand the Mayor jurisdiction over all overground services in a 30-mile radius around the capital are advancing. An amendment to the Greater London Authority Bill would require the Mayor to put two train representatives from outside Greater London on the Transport for London board. Mrs Gwyneth Dunwoody, Transport Committee Chairman, said MPs should consider seriously before granting the Mayor authority beyond his constituency. (Evening Standard)
Thursday 01/03/07 – POINTS FAILURES UP IN MONTHS BEFORE CRASH Points failures on Britain’s railways increased in the months before last week’s fatal derailment because of a new greasing system. There were 6,894 faults in the 9 months to the beginning of January 2007, compared with 6,681 in the same period the year before. (Metro)
Thursday 01/03/07 – £10 MILLION RAIL BIDS BILL FOR NATIONAL EXPRESS National Express is keen to regain its position as Britain’s major train operator, and has spent £9.8 million on bids for new franchises. The company is currently bidding for the East Midland, Cross Country and East Coast Main Line franchises. (Evening Standard)
Friday 02/03/07 – PRIVATE EYE MISCELLANEA Richard Branson has taken another swipe at British Rail, to emphasise Britain’s debt of gratitude to Virgin, by linking the single death and low number of serious injuries in the Cumbrian derailment to the design of his Pendolino trains. However, the robustness of these trains has been built into new carriages generally over the past four decades. While the carriages displaced by Pendolinos rot in the sidings, flimsy Pacer units run on the West Coast mainline in Cheshire and the Government has vetoed every attempt to replace them.
Monday 05/03/07 – VIRGIN HOPES TO SEAL PENDOLINO ORDER The deal to procure 106 additional Pendolino carriages for the West Coast Main Line, giving a 25% increase in capacity, is close to being sealed. Rolling stock company Angel Trains backed out after the regulator, prompted by the Department for Transport, announced that it expected to refer carriage leasing companies to the Competition Commission. The DfT has now offered to guarantee long-term income from the additional carriages by ensuring their use is written into future West Coast franchise agreements. (Guardian)
Tuesday 06/03/07 – WHEN IT’S CHEAPER TO FLY THAN CATCH A TRAIN Researchers for Holiday Which? have found that cheap off-peak rail fares are advertised but usually almost impossible to buy. The fares actually available are higher than by plane, even if air tax – not included in the report – is added. Cheapest fares from London to Glasgow are: coach £22.50 (equivalent to 4p a mile) for a journey of 8-11 hours; plane £37.67 (equivalent to 5p a mile) for a journey of 82 minutes; and train £72 (equivalent to 9p a mile) for a journey of 5 hours 20 minutes. The fatalities per billion passenger kilometres are 0.2 for coach and train and nil for air. However carbon emissions per person are 9.2kg by coach; 11.9kg by train; and 96.4kg by air. Similar relativities apply to Birmingham-Edinburgh and Manchester-Exeter journeys, and these routes tend to be slower and more expensive. (Metro)
Wednesday 07/03/07 – PLEA TO OPEN FIRST CLASS ON PEAK TRAINS Lord Bassam, Labour’s transport spokesman in the Lords, says that where there is spare capacity on peak trains as the result of unfilled first-class seats, it should be open to all. (Evening Standard)
[That would be a culture shock for greed-driven SWT!]
Thursday 08/03/07 – BOOST FOR CROSSRAIL AS COSTS ARE CUT Hopes are rising that the delayed Crossrail train scheme will finally be built after the construction bill was slashed by around £2bn. A No. 10 summit chaired by the Prime Minister was told that the core cost had been cut fro £7.7bn to £6.1bn. Previously the government had put the total at £10.2bn, including a £2.5bn contingency fund for unexpected construction costs. Crossrail’s backers hope the government will pay a third of the bill, with the remainder split among city firms paying a 3% levy on their business rates and money borrowed by the Mayor. Construction would take 7 to 8 years. (Evening Standard)
Friday 09/03/07 – USED BRAKE PARTS ACCUSED OF RISKING LIVES ON HIGH SPEED TRAINS Drivers’ union Aslef has revealed that First Great Western is using partially-used or partly-worn brake pads on its Class 180 Adelante high-speed trains. The company said they had been used for 5 years with no known adverse effects and said it was an established safe practice. The 5-carriage trains carry up to 300 passengers at up to 125mph. Aslef says the practice is putting lives in danger and that those responsible must be brought to book. (Evening Standard)
Friday 09/03/07 – RAIL FLEET TO TURN HYBRID The Department for Transport has invited manufacturers’ proposals for a new fleet of trains to replace the InterCity 125 stock built by BR. They would be able to run on both diesel and electric power and have up to 100 more seats. DfT would order 500-2,000 carriages. Contracts would be awarded in 2008-09 and the fleet introduced in 2014. (Evening Standard)
Monday 12/03/07 – TRANSPORT HAS BEEN A TERRIBLE FAILURE BUT CAN BE FIXED Transport is a litmus test for delivering better public services. It is more straightforward than crime and education and there are few other factors to affect outcomes. The government’s promise in its draft climate change bill of a 60% cut in emissions by 2050 is bold. But this is the same government that is encouraging aviation to maybe triple by 2050, and aviation is one of the fastest growing sources of greenhouse gases. The solution is integrated transport, but this is more than park and ride schemes and bus and train timetables that meet up. It’s about weaning us off our addiction to unsustainable travel by redesigning our towns and using alternatives to the car and aeroplane much more. Road pricing must be at the heart of this, but needs a hugely expanded public transport system. A 5% shift from the car may require a 50% increase in public transport capacity. But the DfT’s target is 12% in every region between 2000 and 2010, which the Transport Committee sees as lacking ambition. Outside London, passengers have continued to defect to cars. For 10 years ministers have allowed bus companies rather than transport authorities to determine routes, fares and timetables. In London the Mayor’s unique ability to dictate routes has helped bus usage soar by 59%, and the bus companies still get a satisfactory 7% return. The rail network, close to capacity, will need many more billions from taxpayers. London’s population is forecast to grow by perhaps 1.2m - the size of Birmingham – by 2026. The city will need £50bn worth of commuter lines, light rail, Underground and bus expansion to maintain its financial cutting edge. The Mayor needs the same powers as most major western mayors to borrow and fund the interest from a tax on larger businesses which will owe their prosperity to better transport. (Richard Ware, Guardian)
Wednesday 14/03/07 – SOUTH EASTERN BANS SMOKING ON STATIONS In response to passenger feedback, smoking will be banned from 1 July on the 178 stations operated by South Eastern. (Evening Standard)
Wednesday 14/03/07 – PRICE RISES FOR SAVER TICKETS LIKELY Under proposals being considered by the Department for Transport, Saver tickets may rise for journeys just after the morning peak or just before the evening peak. The idea is being promoted by long-distance train operators, with the promise that the change would be ‘revenue neutral’ through a balancing reduction in some peak fares. Passenger Focus is concerned that railway staples like the cheap day trip could be endangered. Any increases will further anger passengers fed up with rising prices and overcrowding. (Guardian)
Thursday 15/03/07 – LYMINGTON LINE TO CLOSE FOR 8 WEEKS! The Brockenhurst Lymington line will be closed for 8 weeks from September to facilitate a £3m scheme to prevent flooding in residential streets around the Town station. (New Forest Post)
[The closure threat on the line has been lifted, but there is little likelihood of the old Ampress works halt being reopened to serve the new Lymington Hospital, despite the inadequacy of the hospital’s car park and unattractiveness of its bus services – Lymington Times 13/01/07 and 03/02/07]
Thursday 15/03/07 – 1,000 NEW CARRIAGES BUT YEARS OF PRICE RISES Rail passengers face annual inflation-busting fare rises into the next decade after the government announced a £1bn investment in new carriages to ease overcrowding. The government is committed to buy 1,000 extra carriages between 2009 and 2014 to ease sardine-like conditions on the worst affected routes, with routes in London and the South East the prime candidates. Farepayers contributed £4.8bn to the upkeep of the rail network last year amid mounting passenger anger over ticket costs and lack of seating. Train journeys are expected to rise 30% by 2020. (Guardian)
Thursday 15/03/07 – £3 BILLION OVERRUN ON ROAD SCHEMES The National Audit Office has revealed that taxpayers are facing a bill of more than £3bn to pay for cost overruns on nearly 200 road schemes. The average overrun hit 40% and the Treasury has introduced revised rules giving more pessimistic estimates for existing schemes. A new lane on the M5 between junctions 19 and 20 cost £17m against the original estimate of £6m. A crossroads on the A13 rose in cost from £5m to £13.4m. The A303 improvements at Stonehenge are now expected to cost £223m rather than £125m, and an extension of the M6 near Carlisle £175m rather than £46m. (Guardian)
Friday 16/03/07 – PRIVATE EYE MISCELLANEA Although Network Rail is officially a private company, its behaviour suggests otherwise. Within 72 hours of the Cumbria accident it had admitted responsibility and apologised unreservedly. The overarching need to maintain share prices means that private companies behave differently. It took Jarvis nearly two years to admit liability for the Potters Bar accident. Network Rail’s action will steal the bread from the mouths of the poor and needy in the legal profession; no wonder one of them has called for a public inquiry. / On the day of the initial report into the Cumbria derailment, Network Rail chief John Armitt gave a heroic performance for the TV cameras, saying he had considered resigning but his responsibility now was to stay with the company and make sure it understood what happened. He has another good reason for hanging on. The Sunday Times reckons he’s the highest paid employee in Britain, with salary and bonus approaching £900,000. His deputy pocketed a £315,000 bonus last year. Bonus payments are based on performance criteria, which evidently don’t include ensuring that trains stay on the tracks. / Richard Branson’s response to the initial Cumbria accident report was to demand more say for train operators in Network Rail’s maintenance regimes. It’s true that Network Rail sometimes ignores the effects of its actions (especially closing main lines for maintenance) but it’s unclear what Mr Branson could teach them when he thinks a driver can steer a derailed train ‘on the stone’. His most specific advice was that Network Rail’s maintenance should be run on a more local basis but, before the derailment, Network Rail sent troubleshooters into Cumbria because of serious concerns about its local management of maintenance. / Part of the brief of Transport Minister Steve Ladyman is to get people out of their cars. In his column in the Thanet Extra local paper of 23 February he deplored the modern tendency for “people to drive more and take the bus less”. If Britain is to “beat climate change and tackle congestion”, he observed, “that trend has to be changed”. Ten pages further on, the paper revealed that Kent’s 17 MPs between them racked up £55,000 in travel expenses last year, most of it by using their cars. Mr Ladyman claimed £4,225 for motoring expenses, £378 for train fares and £0.00 for bus travel.
Tuesday 20/03/07 - CROSSRAIL LIKELY TO BE FUNDED BY BUSINESS LEVY Sir Michael Lyons, the former chairman of the Audit Commission, is expected to propose that the Mayor of London should be given powers to levy a supplementary business rate of between 1.5p and 3p to finance Crossrail. He is also expected to recommend supplementary business rates for other major infrastructure projects, including transport schemes for cities like Manchester, Newcastle, Liverpool and Birmingham. The scheme could allow preparatory work on Crossrail to start next year, with full construction starting in 2009. The business rate proposals are likely to get a warm response from office developers keen to open up London’s East End. (Guardian)
Thursday 22/03/07 – CROSSRAIL TO INCLUDE NEW WOOLWICH STATION Campaigners have won their battle for a Crossrail station at Woolwich. Costs have been cut from £350m to £160m and the deal will be mainly funded by property developer Berkeley Homes. (London Lite)
Monday 26/03/07 – THE TRAINS THAT MAKE US FEEL LIKE SARDINES According to Transport 2000, overcrowding is spreading to provincial commuter routes. Some of the most overcrowded trains are around Newcastle, Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds, Birmingham and Cardiff. (Metro)
Tuesday 27/03/07 – PADDINGTON CRASH ‘AS SENSELESS AS TERRORISM’ Prosecutors considering the 1999 Paddington rail crash which killed 31 people and injured 400 said it was ‘as senseless and unnecessary’ as an attack by terrorists. It had been the result of ‘a catalogue of failures to act’. The failures started at the top of Railtrack and permeated the whole organisation. (Metro)
[Network Rail, Railtrack’s successor, was fined £4m for the accident and ordered to pay £225,000 towards prosecution costs – The London Paper 30/03/07]
Tuesday 27/03/07 – CROWDED TRAINS BOSS IS PAID £1 MILLION Former SRA chief Richard Bowker has picked up £1m in his first three and a half months as head of National Express. Between mid-September and 31 December he received £359,000 and incentive shares now worth £700,000. A National Express’ employee’s average annual pay is about £25,000. The 07.01 Cambridge to Liverpool Street is one of the country’s 10 most crowded trains. (Evening Standard)
Friday 30/03/07 – PRIVATE EYE MISCELLANEA First Capital Connect claimed that banning discounted tickets on evening-peak trains north of the Thames would reduce overcrowding. The most overcrowded train now has 22% rather than 50% of passengers in excess of capacity; the second and third most crowded trains have more passengers after the ban than before it. Watchdog Passenger Focus concluded that ticket restrictions do not appear to have resulted in any major changes in behaviour. However, the restrictions won’t be lifted because they are driven by the agreement to pay the government an £808m premium. / Driving of two buses running in place of GNER services was hair raising for some passengers; one reached speeds of over 80mph while music played and the driver chatted to a passenger. One person twice asked GNER who would be responsible in the event of an accident but has never received a reply to the question. Meanwhile, an expensive facelift for Sheffield station means replacement buses can no longer stop next to the concourse, and some passengers were left with a half mile walk between bus and train.
Tuesday 03/04/07 – OVERCROWDED RAILWAYS GET £2.4 BILLION WORTH OF IMPROVEMENTS(1) Network Rail is to spend £2.4bn over the next two years to ease overcrowding [in many cases through schemes which are already announced or in hand]. These include a new platform at King’s Cross; replacement of power cables between Liverpool Street and Chelmsford; upgrade of Stratford station for the Olympics; extension of platforms between Waterloo and Windsor, at Dartford and at Grays; redevelopment of Luton station and refurbishment of Kingston; new entrance, lifts and walkways for Clapham Junction. (Evening Standard)
Wednesday 04/04/07 – OVERCROWDED RAILWAYS GET £2.4 BILLION WORTH OF IMPROVEMENTS (2) The expenditure will include restoration of line from Airdrie to Bathgate; new platforms at Bristol Parkway, Manchester Airport and Newport; and more car parking space. It does not include the Thameslink , scheme which is still under development. (Guardian)
Friday 06/04/07 – EUSTON STATION TO BE REBUILT Euston station will be demolished to make way for a modernist glass and steel structure. Network Rail say this will transform it into a light and airy thoroughfare for its 55m annual users. British Land will fund the changes as part of a commercial redevelopment of the site with shops and offices. The cost of the project will be £1bn of which one quarter is for station improvements. (Guardian)
Thursday 12/04/07 – TIMETABLE CHANGES SIGNAL TRAVEL CHAOS Commuters who use one of Hampshire’s busiest railway stations will bear the brunt of new timetable changes. South West Trains is planning to axe services at Totton. Passengers confirmed that the changes would disrupt their lives and in some cases cause them to switch from rail. Plans for replacement trains to sit at Brockenhurst for 25 minutes were wholly unacceptable. (Southern Daily Echo – partly reproduced in New Forest Post)
Monday 16/04/07 – USE RAIL SELL-OFF CASH TO END MISERY FOR COMMUTERS David Cameron is to promise to tackle overcrowding on packed commuter routes as an “urgent priority”. Money raised from franchises should be spent on easing the cattle-truck conditions endured by many London commuters. The Tory leader will attack the Government for the delay in expanding capacity and put his weight behind proposals such as Thameslink. He will also pledge to put railways “at the heart” of a green transport strategy by encouraging more drivers off the roads. (Evening Standard)
Wednesday 18/04/07 – RAIL PLANS TO COPE WITH NEW HOMES An ambitious, £750 million, blueprint has been launched to ease overcrowding on lines into Liverpool Street and Fenchurch Street. It will take account of the massive house building plans for east London and East Anglia, and includes extra tracks, longer trains and bigger car parks. Liverpool Street is already used by 120 million passengers a year, and will have to carry an extra 20 million by 2016. The Government predicts 450,000 extra homes will be built in the area served by the two stations by 20.21. (London LIte)
Friday 20/04/07 – PERILS OF STANDING ON TRAINS Commuters forced to stand on overcrowded trains are three times as likely to be seriously hurt in a crash as those sitting down, according to tests by Advanced Simulation Technology. Unless a carriage is jammed-packed there is no cushioning effect from other passengers. The tests were thought to be the first of their kind on new-style rolling stock. (Metro)
Wednesday 25/04/07 – CROSSRAIL IS VITAL AND COULD BE GORDON BROWN’S BEST HOPE FOR POPULARITY Politicians are demanding an immediate start for the Crossrail project (linking Shenfield and Abbey Wood with Heathrow and Reading via Tottenham Court Road and Bond Street). New figures show it could boost London’s economy by £68 billion. The continuing failure to start construction has provided evidence of the Government’s inability to deliver the infrastructure needed by the country’s most productive region. The project started life in 1989 and its development stage will have outlived three prime ministers. All surveys over the past five years have suggested transport infrastructure is the number one priority for London businesses. The benefits exceed the costs for the nation as well as the capital. Paris and Berlin already have Crossrail-type lines and New York’s much-delayed Second Avenue subway is now under construction. For Gordon Brown, the go-ahead for Crossrail could show he is friendly to London and the vote-rich South of England. (Evening Standard)
Thursday 26/04/07 – GO AHEAD’S FARE RISE BONANZA Inflation-busting fare rises on Southern and South Eastern has led to Go Ahead sharply increasing its excess profits payments to the Government. More passengers are squeezing into carriages despite higher ticket prices. (London Lite)
Friday 27/04/07 – CONSTANT BABBLE FROM SWT GUARDS Reader welcomes rail bosses’ decision to cut down on unnecessary loud speaker noise. The biggest offenders are South West Trains’ guards whose repetitive miscellaneous announcements “merge into constant babble”. Commuters can get headaches at work and don’t need to get them on the train. (London Lite)
Friday 27/04/07 – RAIL INQUIRY EXPOSES NEW SAFETY FAILINGS Police investigating the Grayrigg derailment have uncovered a catalogue of failings which casts doubts on the safety standards on Britain’s railways. The evidence renews fears that lessons from a series of rail disasters over the past decade have not been learned. Issues include flawed records of who was responsible for engineering work; suspicions that trackside checks have not been properly carried out because of incomplete paperwork; and concerns over the accuracy of track inspection records which are supposed to detail who is on site and when. A senior rail industry insider said British Transport Police officers were amazed at the problems they encountered in their investigation. (Guardian)
Friday 27/04/07 – TURMOIL OVER INQUIRY INTO £1 BILLION TRAIN LEASING CHARGES Angel Trains, Britain’s largest train leasing company, said it could not guarantee new leasing deals after the Competition Commission was asked to investigate the carriage and locomotive hire market. The warning came amid unprecedented demand for carriages and industry speculation that the Department for Transport has asked at least two train operators to alter their franchise bids because there are not enough carriages to go round. A 3% increase in train use is projected by the middle of the next decade, and 90% of the market is controlled by the biggest three train leasing firms. The Department for Transport believe the three firms make about £175m a year in profits.
Friday 27/04/07 – PRIVATE EYE MISCELLANEA Ministers who have ignored overcrowding on English trains will suffer no backlash. In Douglas Alexander’s constituency, 30 people stand for 11 minutes from Paisley Gilmour Street to Glasgow Central on one morning train; another train has 66 standing – 11 per carriage – for the 8 minute journey from Cardonald to Glasgow. In Tom Harris’ constituency there are officially no standing passengers. Fortunately no trains have been dumped from Gordon Brown’s constituency where no passengers stand on the Kirkcaldy-Edinburgh line. On the Cowdenbeath-Edinburgh line 23 people stand for 11 minutes on one evening train; on one morning train into Edinburgh 92 people stand for 15 minutes.
Monday 30/04/07 – MORE TRAIN SEATS IN EAST ANGLIA First Capital Connect has announced an extra 1,532 seats during the morning peak and 2,243 during the evening on lines between Kings Cross, Cambridge and Peterborough. The seats will be available from May 2008. (Evening Standard)
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