Severe over-crowding strikes off-peak services

December 18, 2010

As we predicted a few weeks ago, severe over-crowding is affecting services to and from Walkden even during traditional off-peak times.

Some – but not all – of the extra demand is Christmas related, but with Northern Rail apparently all out of carriages the worst times to watch out for are Saturday service toward Manchester from mid-morning to mid-afternoon.

Friday evening’s 2010 from Victoria was also severely over-crowded and running late due to the difficulty the guard had closing the doors.

Some Manchester-bound Sunday services have also been completely full – an incredible situation for a service which didn’t exist a year ago and even now is only running on a trial basis.

Late evening trains from Manchester on Saturday evenings have suffered severe over-crowding in the past few weeks.

Northern Rail are believed to be placing some buses on standby to deal with over-crowding on services from Manchester. We applaud their initiative but have to comment on what a pitiful state of affairs for a railway to be so inadequately equipped to meet the level of demand for its services.

One final point if you are affected by over-crowding in the weeks ahead – please don’t take it out on the Northern staff at the stations and on the trains, many of whom are just as frustrated and angry about the situation as you.

If you want to do something about it, we suggest you send written complaints to Northern Rail and GMPTE (see our advice on how to make sure your complaint is heard), and even better your MP as it is only at the highest levels that the solution – the desperately needed new carriages – can be found.


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