Train bosses ‘sorry’ after delays in Cumbria
Last updated at 13:14, Wednesday, 24 October 2012
Rail bosses have apologised for a series of disruptions on the train line along the Cumbrian coast which have led to services being delayed.
Northern Rail issued a statement after disgruntled passengers delivered a volley of complaints following a string of train cancellations and replacement bus services.
The company has admitted that there is a shortage of temporary drivers on the line which has also suffered two landslips due to heavy rain in the past two months.
Regular rail user, the Reverend Robert Bracegirdle from Millom, said: “Reliability and punctuality have, on too many occasions, been very poor.
“Trains have been unaccountably late or cancelled without any explanation at all, with the result at certain times of day there has not been a train either north or south bound for three hours.
“The worst occasion was a few Saturdays back when there were 28 people stranded in Millom.
“Some had been deposited here by a replacement bus and others by train.
“I talked to people who had been waiting in Millom for two hours without any news. There didn’t seem to be a concerted effort to provide a replacement service in the way people needed.
Tony Potts, chairman of the Copeland Rail Users Group, said he raised the problem with the managing director of Northern Rail at a recent conference.
He said: “Being on the peripheries is bad enough – we don’t want to be even more marginalised. It doesn’t matter what trains are on the timetable if you haven’t got the crew to man them.”
Carolyn Watson, head of corporate communications for Northern Rail, said: “We apologise to passengers who have been affected by disruption on the Cumbrian coast line recently. There have been a number of different reasons for this, including well publicised landslips following heavy rainfall.
“In addition to incidents such as these, we have a temporary shortage of drivers in the area. We are working hard to cover these roles as quickly as possible, and have recruited a number of drivers who are currently being trained.
“In the case of qualified drivers, this is to familiarise themselves with the route.
“We would like to reassure our passengers we are doing everything we can.”
First published at 12:21, Wednesday, 24 October 2012
Published by http://www.newsandstar.co.uk
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