80% of commuters unhappy with timetable
By Danielle NuttallFOUR out of five commuters are unhappy with the new timetable introduced by train operator One, a survey has revealed.South Suffolk and North Essex Liberal Democrats carried out a poll at Manningtree Station in response to the growing number of complaints about the new train services, which were launched in December.
By Danielle Nuttall
FOUR out of five commuters are unhappy with the new timetable introduced by train operator One, a survey has revealed.
South Suffolk and North Essex Liberal Democrats carried out a poll at Manningtree Station in response to the growing number of complaints about the new train services, which were launched in December.
Of the commuters interviewed, four out of five said they believed the timetable was less convenient than it was before, with many claiming it was harder to find a seat on trains to London.
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One commuter, who has a painful hip condition, said he frequently had to get off at Colchester and on to another train to find a seat.
Suffolk county councillor Kathy Pollard, a member of the executive committee and the Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate for South Suffolk, said: “Commuters are clearly angry about the deterioration in service.
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“They feel it is a poor return for the annual expenditure of nearly £4,000 for a season ticket plus parking. We were taken aback by the number of people who wanted to fill out survey forms.
“They say trains are usually late, take longer and commuters find it impossible to park at the station after 8.30 in the morning.”
Many of the commuters taking part in the survey called for the station car park to be extended, while others complained about broken car park machines, high parking charges and over-zealous wheel clamping.
Two-thirds also claimed that trains either ran late most of the time, with only 16% saying that they mostly ran on time.
One spokesman Peter Meades said it was listening to passenger's concerns about the new timetable and was looking to make some adjustments next month to reflect this.
“When the new timetable came into force, in the first week to 10 days we had a number of performance-related problems which caused delays. Inevitably it affected how people felt about the new timetable,” he added.
“Because trains were not running as they ought to have done because they were not at the right length, yes, there were some problems with people getting seats at Manningtree.
“Those problems have now been resolved. They are coming out on time and are leaving Norwich on time. In order to demonstrate that last week punctuality for main line services was 92%.
“As far as the new timetable is concerned, we are listening. We appreciate some passengers have concerns. We are still very much in the early stages, but the timetable is beginning to settle in and is performing better.”