Chaotic and overcrowded – one nightmare journey from Hull to…

chaotic-and-overcrowded-–-one-nightmare-journey-from-hull-to…

Chaotic and overcrowded – one nightmare journey from Hull to…

Chaotic and overcrowded – one nightmare journey from Hull to Manchester and back
2022-11-06 05:00:00
Last month calls were made by politicians across the north for TransPennine Express to be put on probation. With daily cancellations and disruption, taking a train from Hull to almost anywhere has become a lottery. The operator has blamed staffing shortages and a driver training backlog for the lack of services which has continued outside recent days of industrial action by rail unions. But that simply won’t cut it for angry and disillusioned passengers who simply have no idea when they will reach their destination, if at all. If any other business had been run the way TransPennine Express has then they would have gone out of business a long time ago. Read more:Chaos as Transpennine Express cancels dozens of rail services in and out of Hull at short notice Last week, Metro mayors across the North called for train operator Transpennine Express to be put on probation after a glut of late-notice service cancellations in recent weeks. The five directly-elected mayors representing nine million people across the North issued a joint statement calling for urgent government action over the issue. The mayors – West Yorkshire’s Tracy Brabin, Manchester’s Andy Burnham, South Yorkshire’s Oliver Coppard, North Tyne’s Jamie Driscoll and Liverpool’s Steve Rotherham claim the spate of cancellations is infuriating passengers and causing “serious damage” to the economy. Reporter James Campbell experienced first-hand the chaos that greets train passengers. It was a simple day trip to Manchester with two friends which should easily have been completed with a couple of two-hour direct journeys. We did not even have to wait for the day of travel for the first setback. We received a message the evening before to say the train we had booked on had been cancelled. We decided we would go for the next direct train an hour later. And guess what happened when I checked the next morning? Yes, that’s right, that one was cancelled too. We could not wait for the next direct train as it simply wouldn’t be worth going over to Manchester in a day. We had to get a service which changed at Leeds. Much to my surprise, the journey we did take was trouble-free and the carriages were pleasantly quiet. We even ended up in Manchester on time. An alert notifying passengers of a TransPennine cancelled service After a pleasant wander around the museums and galleries of Manchester and getting some tasty grub with a few drinks, we made our way back to the station to get a 7.30pm service back. Had we had any confidence in our rail service we would probably have gone for the last train home a few hours later but we decided not to take any risks. Much to our amazement, the train we wanted which would take us directly back to Hull was actually running. That could not be said for a number of services either side of it mind. My heart sank when we found there were only three carriages despite earlier cancellations. There were a large number of people trying to get on and the train was immediately full. It was something of a relief as the crowded train thinned out as we travelled along with a lot more people getting off the stops than on. But then we suffered a setback. Over the tannoy, the conductor announced there had been an incident on the line between Leeds and York which was causing a backlog at Leeds station. Now, don’t get me wrong, something serious and potentially tragic had happened and me moaning about being a little late home is somewhat trivial. But there is a wider context here. I’m happy to accept a delay for some unforeseen circumstance but the issue is: just how robust is the service as a whole

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