Fed up worker quits rather than commute

By Juliette MaxamA COMMUTER has become so fed up with overcrowded trains that he has taken early retirement rather than endure further rail misery.Geoff Turner commutes between Manningtree and London Liverpool Street to get to his job in the City as an aviation insurance policy writer.

By Juliette Maxam

A COMMUTER has become so fed up with overcrowded trains that he has taken early retirement rather than endure further rail misery.

Geoff Turner commutes between Manningtree and London Liverpool Street to get to his job in the City as an aviation insurance policy writer.

But since train company One introduced its new winter timetable last month, Mr Turner claimed he had had to stand all the way to London.


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He also accused One of using secondhand coaches that were in need of renovation on the Manningtree line since the new timetable came into operation.

"The trains themselves are old and are showing signs of extreme wear. The trains they're using now are not high-density seating and carry a lot less passengers, so we have to stand," said Mr Turner.

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He also complained that since the new timetable came into operation, journeys that should take one hour 10 minutes were lasting an hour-and-a-half.

Mr Turner, who suffers from high blood pressure, said travelling under the new timetable had taken so much out of his working day that he no longer had the time or energy for anything else - so he handed in his resignation two weeks ago and has just a fortnight left at work.

"When I get home, I sit here and wait for time to go to bed. I feel totally drained and have no energy. I enjoy my job, it's challenging. I enjoy working with the people I work with, but my life is more valuable," he said.

One spokesman Jonathan Denby strongly refuted Mr Turner's allegations and said figures in January showed train punctuality was the best it had been.

"There's no change in rolling stock. There's the same number of trains before 8am, but they come from Norwich now rather than Ipswich, so there are more people on them. If you board at Manningtree you get a seat," he insisted.

"There are some trains returning in the peak from London which are very, very busy, like the 5.50pm and so we are looking at adding an additional carriage to that train.

"If this particular passenger is unhappy we are sorry. For the majority of people the timetable is demonstrably better in terms of performance."

Many commuters have complained about the new timetable, with the concerns including fewer peak services to Stratford and less stops along the Clacton line.

Mr Denby said One was hoping to make alterations in the next four to six weeks, such as making extra stops and adding additional carriages to some trains, while further improvements may be made in June and December.

juliette.maxam@eadt.co.uk

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