My faith in public transport is shattered

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It’s nice to see Coun. Lord can get a result out of Northern Rail following her complaint. Unlike myself – I appear to have been banging my head against a brick wall for the past three months.

Having spent the last 14 years promoting rail travel through my architectural practice by assisting the likes of Lancashire County Council and train operators in refurbishing stations and designing new ones, I took the plunge three months ago to let my car go and commit to commuting from Colne to Manchester on a daily basis. So far I am less than convinced this was a wise move.

On top of the visual and mechanical state of the trains (I also got wet on the train last week) Northern Rail are unable to run the trains on time. They may reach their destination in Blackpool on time, but I can’t recall the last day I arrived into Blackburn on time where I catch the connecting train to Manchester. Countless times I have arrived into Blackburn to see the Manchester train departing and have to wait another half hour for the next one. The commute home is worse still, with an additional hour added to the trip when the Manchester train is late into Blackburn and this happens all too often.

I do email Northern Rail with a complaint every time I end up missing a connection and, despite replies, I still have 12 complaints outstanding. Yes, they refund for delays of an hour or more, but the point I keep on making is that I want a service I can rely on to get me to work on time every day or at least most days would be good. It’s a lottery every day.

Such is the frequency of delays I have been forced to commute less and work from home more so as to save my sanity. My faith in public transport has been shattered in just three months and I can’t see how to avoid going back to commuting by car. The Todmorden Curve may come just too late for me. Perhaps Dorothy could take up the reliability issues with Northern Rail as well?

Gary Seed

Harrison Drive