Train and bus services under fire

A LACK of co-ordination between train and bus services in rural areas is leaving many passengers frustrated, transport bosses claimed last night.Rail passengers in the East of England cite poor buses that don't connect with train times, insecure cycle parking and poorly-lit footpaths as barriers to using their local train station, they said.

A LACK of co-ordination between train and bus services in rural areas is leaving many passengers frustrated, transport bosses claimed last night.

Rail passengers in the East of England cite poor buses that don't connect with train times, insecure cycle parking and poorly-lit footpaths as barriers to using their local train station, they said.

The findings are part of a survey, released today by Transport 2000, to find the best and worst train stations to travel to in England and Wales.

It shows that many passengers in Suffolk and Essex are left frustrated because of a lack of facilities at stations and having to wait around for bus services once their train has arrived.


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Derek Monnery, local rail user and campaigner at Manningtree, said there were virtually no joined-up bus/rail journeys and no consideration of how people will get to the station on foot.

“Manningtree Station is accessed from a busy roundabout, which has a 60mph speed limit and no proper pedestrian crossings or routes and is poorly lit,” he said. “The buses don't run when people need them, such as first thing in the morning or last thing at night, forcing people to drive.”

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James Elmer, who commutes from Marks Tey, said people walking to the station had a choice of crossing a busy and potentially dangerous slip road entrance to the A12 or a dual carriageway.

“This is poorly thought out and causes serious safety concerns. Network Rail and the local council need to meet and sort out the mess before someone is hurt,” he added.

Tara Melton, of Transport 2000, said if more people were to use rail services then there needed to be better links with other forms of public transport and improved footpaths and cycle parking.

“What our survey shows is that this clearly is not the case for many rural and urban stations,” she said.

But rail and bus bosses say they work hard with local authorities to ensure access and facilities at stations are up to scratch.

A spokesman for train operator One said: “A lot of what has been said falls outside our remit - such as speed limits on approach roads - but we do work in partnership with councils and other agencies to ensure we make improvements.”

A spokeswoman for Network Rail, which is responsible for the upkeep of stations in the region, said safety was a top priority and that a programme of investment to improve facilities was on going.

Roger Haywood, communications advisor for First buses, added: “It's obviously extremely important transport services are connected and we meet regularly with One to ensure this. In the main I think our services do match up rather well but if anyone has any concerns then they are more than welcome to get in touch.”

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