‘Appalling’ rail service slammed

‘Appalling’ rail service slammed

THE rail service from Backwell to Bristol has been dubbed ‘appalling’ by an angry passenger.

David Thomas, from Hampshire, has written to First Great Western to complain about the packed trains and lack of announcements to inform passengers about the arrival and schedules of trains.

Mr Thomas travelled from Nailsea and Backwell Station to Bristol Temple Meads at 11am on December 27. In his letter to First Great Western, he said: “On arrival at Backwell the train was already totally full, so much so that some of the doors would not open.

“At least 15 people waiting at Nailsea and Backwell Station could not get on at all. I did just get on as I had two connections to make.

“I counted over 100 people standing on the part of the two carriage train that I could see.

“It was so cramped that if the doors had opened on my side at Bristol Temple Meads I would have fallen out with dozens of people on top of me. As it was, it was a wonder no one did fall and get trampled under foot at Temple Meads.”

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He added: “There was no warning before the train arrived at Backwell that it was totally full, when this must have been known many stations beforehand.

“There were no announcements to tell people who had bought tickets and were unable to get on the train what they could do and no details about when there would be a train with room on it for all the same people waiting. There was not even an apology on the train.”

Mr Thomas added that he had complained to the company earlier in the year when tried to make the same journey and a train had failed to arrive despite a previous announcement that it would arrive in three minutes,

Mr Thomas said: “You promised on that occasion that there would be reliable information given at Nailsea and Backwell Station. That promise has obviously not been kept. The screen did not work at the station and the announcements were of no use at all.

“The service North Somerset people have to put up with is appalling.”

First Great Western spokesman, John Ratchford said: “We recognise over-crowding is an issue on some services in the Bristol area.

“The Department for Transport (DfT) had promised additional carriages to help deal with this, but the delivery of these was postponed early last year. We continue to work with the DfT to find ways to improve capacity in the area.

“If a service becomes busy or over-crowded, our train managers and drivers work with our senior controller for a safe solution.

“On rare occasions this can include missing stops or passengers disembarking at a station. When this happens, it’s important we communicate quickly and clearly to our passengers. To help this we are investing over �12million in our current automated system.”