Train pain: 70% of rail users in Manchester say their journeys are ‘uncomfortable’

Government statistics have caused a scramble for seats after it was revealed Manchester has two of the country’s most crowded train services.

The 6.30am services from Scarborough and Middlesbrough both made the national top ten list for sardine-squeeze journeys, causing Transport Secretary Claire Perry to urge rail operators to ‘act now’ in a bid to secure seats for passengers.

Perry also made a stand for frustrated commuters – insisting that companies need to do more in the short-term to meet the needs of their customers – who pay the highest fares in Europe and almost three times higher than France in second spot.

The Conservative minister pledged that the Government’s £38billion investment on projects like HS2 will ease the agony in the long-term.

But what about today?

We asked passengers at Oxford Road and Piccadilly stations:

Are your train journeys uncomfortable?

Yes No
69% 31%


TIME FOR A CHANGE: Renata Bochenek feels the train pain when it rains

Renata Bochenek, a 33-year-old civil engineer from Irlam, said: “They’re not exactly on time. When it’s cold and rainy they’re especially overcrowded.”

Regular track travellers indicated their journeys were uncomfortable – with many citing the kind of price rises which have seen a hike of almost 25% since 2010 as tough to take.

College lecturer Ian Evans, aged 32 from Chester, said: “My train wasn’t comfortable. Today it was cancelled due to the failure of the engine, it happens quite frequently and over the past five years I’ve been getting the train, prices have risen over 10%.”

Van Devary, 42, had a beef with rail operators.

HOLY COW! Van Devary claims trains are like ‘cattle trucks’

The photographer, from Wilmslow, said “Yes they’re uncomfortable and always at the most inopportune moments. They always put fewer carriages on at the busiest times. Trains are like cattle trucks.”

Three passengers cited the temperature of the carriages as their prime gripe.

Beverley Monks, an admin assistant aged 54, was feeling the heat and she said: “Yes! The air conditioning wasn’t working in our carriage today but it was in the other carriages and they never announced it. It was 28 degrees.”

And another passenger was just as hot under the collar – even at the crack of dawn.

EARLY BIRD: There’s no comfort for Neil Condron once he leaves bed

“To get the train I have to get an early start and it’s always very crowded even though the journey is only three or four stops,” said Neil Condron, 34, a University employee from Stretford.

Some commuters stayed sat on the rails, rather than launching into an attack on the service.

Steven Hodgson was travelling in another direction when it came to the temperature.

The 22-year-old bartender from Cambridge said: “My train was comfortable but it was pretty cold.”

Natalie Shennan, 24, unemployed from Hulme said: “No, it wasn’t uncomfortable, it was fine but I’m not keen on travelling.”

But some travellers praised the rail service, saying their journeys were a pleasure.

Abbie Neely and Chantelle Donston, both 23, praised train companies’ electronic service.

The bartenders from Sheffield said: “We didn’t think it was that bad, we booked our seats online.”

WHAT’S THE FUSS? Denise Sparks is fine with the current service

And Denise Sparks, 55, a secretary for the NHS from Swansea, was blissfully unaware of any unrest.

She said: “No, my journey wasn’t uncomfortable – I’ve not noticed it at all.”

Image courtesy of Cas with thanks

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