Posts Tagged ‘transport’

Refurbished trains Guildford-Aldershot-Ascot line

June 5, 2015
refurbished trains

refurbished trains

refurbished trains

refurbished trains

From Guildford, one of the clapped-out, Third World cattle trucks refurbished. Now clean seats, but fewer seats. More like a high density urban train, or a Tube train, the emphasis on standing and cramming in as many passengers as possible. Still no toilets.

Completely unsuitable for the Guildford-Aldershot-Ascot line. They should put these refurbished trains elsewhere and bring back the trains that were on this route.

I did wonder did the trains have wifi, but this I did not check. I saw no signs to indicate wifi available, though I did notice a passenger accessing information on a tablet.

Top Gear new presenter shock

March 28, 2015

Following the sudden departure of Jeremy Clarkson from Top Gear, new shock as Russell Brand anounced as new presenter

Dysfunctional South West Trains and Stagecoach buses

December 2, 2014
SWT cattle truck

SWT cattle truck

It was touch and go, if I would make the Reading-Guildford train if I walked to the station and caught the train, therefore I decided to catch a bus to Aldershot (problematic as bus service unreliable at the best of times) and catch the Aldershot-Guildford cattle truck. I managed with a few minutes to spare, only to find no train, half an hour wait for next train.

Ticket office asked did I want a single to Guildford. I said no, a return on a rail card.

I thought maybe catch the bus, even though I had paid for the train. I asked the bus driver what time bus arrived in Guildford. His dumb reply: When it gets there. As it was a clapped-out double decker bus and not a very pleasant journey, I decided to wait for the next clapped-out cattle truck.

First carriage I tried, freezing cold, no heating. Next carriage, all the windows open. Third carriage heating, about as effective as a candle.

One of the features of these clapped out filthy cattle trucks, is when they wait several minutes at Aldershot, they do so with all the doors open.

On arrival at Guildford I find I had been sold the wrong ticket, a single not a return, even though I had explicitly stated I wanted a return.

More hassle sorting that out.

I queued at the ticket office, to be told, no I could not change it to a return, it was my fault and the ticket had been used.

I demanded the station manger. Clerk in ticket office refused to get the station manager. I went looking.

No manager, no acting manger, but I did find a helpful supervisor. She said ticked office was in the wrong, wrote out a note, which she said use in lieu of ticket and apologised for how I had been treated.

On return to Aldershot, ten minutes wait for bus at seven o’clock, only no bus. Twenty minutes wait in the cold for the next bus.

Local buses and South West Trains run and owned by Stagecoach.

Richard Branson and Stagecoach have just been handed the lucrative East Coast Mainline.

National Express: Aldershot to Heathrow

October 25, 2014
National Express Aldershot Heathrow

National Express Aldershot Heathrow

National Express are now running a luxury coach service from Aldershot to Heathrow. Some coaches are direct, others are via Woking. The size of the coach dwarfs the local buses.

The service is infrequent and the times random. To be a viable service, it needs to be hourly.

Also questionable, coach from Aldershot, rather than train to Woking then coach from Woking.

If for example, coming up from Alton or Farnham by train, is it better to change at Aldershot to a coach or change at Woking?

Best option is train from North Camp Station to Gatwick. An hourly service direct to South Terminal.

This service operates in conjunction with South West Trains. No information either at Aldershot Station or the bus station.

Disgusting Southwest Trains

June 28, 2013

1830 Guildford-Ascot train, the stench from the toilets unbearable. I felt sorry for anyone who was forced to use the toilets.

For more than a decade the train fares have been rising at more than twice the rate of inflation. We are told the service is improving, but those who use the trains see no sign of improvement in service, they cannot even keep their toilets clean.

Disgusting First Great Western trains

June 22, 2013

I wonder how long it is going to be before First Great Western provide clean trains, with soap, with running water, with doors that lock?

So far this month every First Great Western train I have caught the toilets have been in a disgusting condition. Today was no exception, no running water on the 1502 Reading to Redhill slow train. One the three-coach trains, there used to be two toilets, on the recently refurbished trains there is now only one toilet. Year on year, we see a twice the rate of inflation rise in train fares for a deteriorating service. At the very least we expect to find celan functioning toilets.

So far this week, First Great Western have had to take at least two trains out of service on health and safety grounds. One because the locks did not work (on the train doors, not the toilet doors), another because the lights were not working.

What is deeply disturbing is that First Great Western has instructed its guards not to take trains out of service on health and safety grounds.

Lack of soap or water or both in the toilets is not a trivial matter. We now have bacteria that are resistant to all antibiotics. One of which is e.coli. A situation not helped by companies like First Great Western who are helping to spread disease.

Soap is very effective at destroying bacteria, it breaks down the cell walls, as does the physical action of washing hands.

The matter was drawn to the attention of the guard who will file a report. Will anything be done? If my experience this month is anything to go by, no.

It is time for both Rail Regulator and the Health and Safety Executive to take action and hit First Great Western with a massive fine.

12:34 Reading-Gatwick Guildford toilet stop

April 8, 2013
Reading-Gatwick train toilet stop at Guildford

Reading-Gatwick train toilet stop at Guildford

Reading-Gatwick train was forced to stop several minutes at Guildford Station for a toilet break due to non-functioning toilets on the train.

First Great Western who run these trains are a disgrace. The toilets on the trains are dirty, no water, often out of action.

First Great Western lost the franchise to run the West Coast mainline. It is time they lost the Reading-Gatwick route.

Trip on the Metro

March 19, 2013
Metro Acropolis Station

Metro Acropolis Station

A trip, two stops with a change.

Started at Acropolis Station, very surprised to find statues, the exist station also had bit of Ancient Greece.

It is not a question public money good or bad, it is what it is spent on, is it well spent, not creamed off.

Assuming it was public money that went into the Metro (I was told it was), then it was money well spent.

The cost for two stops was a little over a euro. This was a minimum fare and I could have gone further than two stops.

Very clean, very impressive.

Loss of Stagecoach Gold bus service to London Olympics

July 6, 2012
Goldline luxury bus service ...

Goldline luxury bus service …

... but not during London 2012 Olympics

… but not during London 2012 Olympics

The No 1 bus Aldershot – Farnborough – Camberley the Goldline, boasts a luxury coach.

Not though during the London 2012 Olympics. Whilst the Olympics are on, July to September, the coaches used on the No 1 bus route are to be taken up to London and used to transport athletes and the world’s media. Clapped out buses will serve as replacements.

But it is not only Aldershot – Farnborough – Camberley, across Hampshire buses are being withdrawn to service the Olympics.

This is completely unacceptable. Will the bus companies be receiving their public transport subsidy during this period when the public will be receiving an inferior service?

Passengers will be paying for what is claimed to be a premium service, Stagecoach Gold, only that is not what they will be getting.

Not surprising passengers are none too happy.

Will there be a less frequent service? Do passengers get a fare reduction?

This is something individual councillors and councils must be raising with the bus companies.

It is yet another example of the costs of the unwanted London 2012 Olympics.

Top Story in The Digital Mission Daily (Friday 6 July 2012).

Paid your new rail fare this morning?

January 3, 2012
#farefail banner drop at St Pancras

#farefail banner drop at St Pancras

#farefail banner at St Pancras station

#farefail banner at St Pancras station

fat controller jazz band playing their first notes and banner is up at St Pancras!

fat controller jazz band playing their first notes and banner is up at St Pancras!

shadow transport sec Maria Eagle at protest this morning

shadow transport sec Maria Eagle at protest this morning

pissed off rail commuter

pissed off rail commuter

The day we decide to act it is our lucky day. — Paulo Coelho

I work part time – if I didnt cycle, my commuting costs would mean I couldnt afford to live in London! — Kat Ann

Just paid your new rail fare this morning, bought a new season ticket just to get to work? You will need a day off to recover from the shock.

Yesterday new rail fares came into force. An average rise of 5.9%. Some seeing in excess of 10% increase. Passengers travelling from Devon and Cornwall to the Midlands, the North and Scotland will have seen their rail fares double.

Do not sit back and moan, do something about it!

Tweet @hmtreasury with the hashtags #farefail #railfail and give your old and new fare. You may also wish to text to 88802 with ref FAREFAIL, or call the Treasury 020 7270 5000 and give your views on the unfair hike in frail fares.

Sign up to the #fairfail campaign for fairer fares.

British rail passengers are paying the highest fares in Europe for an appalling service.

Not one penny from these fare hikes is budgeted to improve the railways or encourage more people to choose the train. Instead it’s a tax on rail-users.

Were HMRC to recover unpaid taxes from corporate tax dodgers, billions of pounds are owing in unpaid taxes, there would be more than sufficient money for railways, decent health care, education, museums and libraries.

This morning the Fat Controller and his Jazz Band entertained and engaged with passengers at St Pancras International.

On Thursday 5th January Climate Rush will welcome brave commuters into Charing Cross Station. These commuters will risk arrest – showing their anger at rail fare increases – by refusing to show their train tickets on their morning commute. From 8.30am at Charing Cross Station Climate Rush will welcome these daring commuter/activists into London – offering them the silver service that their extortionate ticket price should include. Pull on your first sash of 2012 and demand fair fares for all.

And less we forget, it is not only rail fares. Hikes in bus fares are far outstripping inflation. Once again it is the privateers who are benefiting, not the hard-pressed travelling public. Often the same privateers who are ripping us off on the trains. In many parts of the country bus fares have gone up by 20%!

Top story The Digital Mission Daily (Wednesday 4 January 2012).

Farce of rail price hikes
Letter from Campaign for Better Transport, Climate Rush and supporters
Voices from the Occupation – The Great British Train Robbery
Bus fare rises outstrip inflation
Who cares about the railways?