Train com­pa­nies need to co-op­er­ate

Western Mail - - SHARES -

I WRITE to raise my con­cerns about the lack of col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween train-op­er­at­ing com­pa­nies at Cardiff Cen­tral sta­tion when­ever dis­rup­tion oc­curs, and in par­tic­u­lar dur­ing the cur­rent phase of overnight engi­neer­ing works.

This week I and about 15 oth­ers ex­pe­ri­enced the ridicu­lous sit­u­a­tion of be­ing ad­vised by our Ar­riva Trains Wales guard on a de­layed ser­vice into Cardiff Cen­tral that our First Great West­ern train to Portsmouth was wait­ing on plat­form 0, only to see it waved off as we ran up to the plat­form ramp (15 com­muters who are not that fit make plenty of noise do­ing this and are not eas­ily over­looked).

The ex­cuse given was that First Great West­ern had re­fused the re­quest to hold the train and that Ar­riva Trains sta­tion staff would be fined for any de­lay (in fact, we reached the plat­form about 30 sec­onds after the sched­uled 06:30 de­par­ture time so it would have only held it for around two min­utes).

How­ever, when we boarded the 07:00 Cross Coun­try Trains ser­vice (the next ser­vice into Bris­tol) it was held for three min­utes be­cause of the late de­par­ture of the 06:56 First Great West­ern train to Lon­don Padding­ton. The guard ex­plained that there seems to be a peck­ing or­der and that First Great West­ern

trains to Lon­don are al­ways given pri­or­ity while oth­ers are ig­nored.

Clearly such small dif­fer­ences in de­par­ture time are not truly sig­nif­i­cant and I very much doubt that fines would be levied. A lit­tle co-op­er­a­tion be­tween train com­pa­nies and their staff would go a long way to im­prov­ing the pas­sen­ger ex­pe­ri­ence and make com­muters more sup­port­ive of the ar­gu­ments be­ing put for­ward that the staff are there to as­sist pas­sen­gers when prob­lems arise. Jeremy Sweetman Di­nas Powys

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