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Journey by Journey => Bristol (WECA) Commuters => Topic started by: grahame on November 30, 2019, 09:12:58 pm

Title: Bath Christmas Market - 2019
Post by: grahame on November 30, 2019, 09:12:58 pm
From Bristol Live (

'People nearly fighting over seats' on GWR trains to Bath Christmas Market amid claims of 'chaos'

Are you having a laugh?! There isn't even enough room to go full Corbyn and sit on the floor!'

Train passengers have reportedly been "nearly fighting" over seats amid claims of overcrowded services to Bath Christmas Market.

Great Western Railway (GWR) announced 29 extra trains serving Bath because of the Christmas Market today (November 30), but some passengers have aired grievances on social media over the service.

Title: Re: Bath Christmas Market - 2019
Post by: bobm on November 30, 2019, 09:27:52 pm
I donít think some of the extras ran this morning due a train fault. 

Title: Re: Bath Christmas Market - 2019
Post by: johnneyw on November 30, 2019, 10:19:59 pm
It's one of the reasons I tend to avoid the first day or two. Midweek evenings generally are okay.

Title: Re: Bath Christmas Market - 2019
Post by: Timmer on December 01, 2019, 07:58:45 am
I for one cannot see the fascination in the buying of expensive tat from a garden shed, sorry Ďchaletí, that you wouldnít normally buy but for the fact that itís from the Christmas market.

Bath residences absolutely hate the thing for all the disruption it causes to the cityís already poor transport infrastructure.

Why does everyone have to come to the one in Bath? These Christmas markets are everywhere now.

I for one certainly wonít criticise GWR who every year put on as many services as possible and do an excellent job in crowd control at Bath Spa. Bear in mind itís only a two platform station.

So those who criticise may need to ask themselves why they had to go to the Christmas market when every year the same headlines of issues with transport and overcrowding appear. Only got themselves to blame if they end up on a wedged train.

Having said all that I will have to attend the annual shed fest at some point as the wife likes to go. It just wonít be at the weekend!

Title: Re: Bath Christmas Market - 2019
Post by: froome on December 01, 2019, 09:47:21 am
It does also affect those of us trying to travel away from Bath on the same day. Having had that experience yesterday, in mid afternoon, when it felt really dangerous just being on the platform before any train arrived, two issues struck me particularly:

a) The barriers put up in the foyer block access to the ticket machines so that these cannot be used. Surely this just adds to the problem, as it means everyone has to go to the ticket office, putting much greater pressure on the staff here, and causing more movement around the foyer, so adding to the congestion there?

b) The access to and the capacity of the lifts is shown up even more than usual as extremely poor and inadequate. To access the lift on the city centre side, you have to cross all the passengers who are exiting from that platform who are funnelled into the same narrow passageway and, having survived that, then squeeze through a narrow gap by the barriers which always has someone blocking, as they search for their tickets. Then when the lift arrives, the numbers it can carry are so small that many with luggage end up struggling up the stairs.

Title: Re: Bath Christmas Market - 2019
Post by: Celestial on December 01, 2019, 10:43:32 am
I often wonder whether, in 20 or 30 years time, we (or probably the next generation) will look back in bemusement as to why they were so popular, in the same way that we do now to fads of the 70s and 80s.  I'd put Xmas jumpers in that category too. Why wear a naff jumper when you can glam up for an evening out (or at least try to in my case, these days.)
You do wonder what the Xmas market brings to the City of Bath, assuming most of the traders probably aren't from the city.  Do the other retailers see an increase in business, or does it put off "normal" shoppers from going to the city at what should be the busiest time of year? And presumably the city has a healthy all year round tourist trade, so there isn't the argument that it's filling a gap at a very quiet time.

Title: Re: Bath Christmas Market - 2019
Post by: Red Squirrel on December 01, 2019, 12:12:33 pm
I went to Bath on Saturday with my daughter, who is a huge fan of anything Xmassy.

I anticipated a pretty grim experience.

When I bought our tickets (at Temple Meads, obviously; they don't seem to sell tickets on the Severn Beach trains much these days) we were warned that there would be a queueing system at Bath on our return. Our train from Temple Meads to Bath was a 10-car IET heading to London, which was full. People were standing, but mostly I think they didn't see much point in moving out of the vestibules for a 10-minute trip. On arrival in Bath, at around 11.15, I was impressed by the level of organisation, with GWR staff quickly marshalling people to the exits. There was a noticeable, almost intrusive police presence as we came out of the station, but given recent events that was not unwelcome!

We had a nice time among the sheds, had some hot chocolate (with brandy, in my case), queued for 20 minutes in Lush to buy spot creme (decorum forbids me telling you which of us that was for), picked up a few other Xmas presents, and then headed back just before 14.00. Walking back to the station, it felt like we were heading away from a football ground just before the cup final kick-off; vast numbers of people were heading towards the market area. I can see that people want to be there after dark, and that that is more atmospheric, but we were glad we left when we did.

At Bath train station, the crowd control system was ramping up with lane controls for various destinations. My only minor criticism of this was that the signage for Bristol was not very clear, particularly given that  Bristol passengers were being directed to use an unfamiliar route through an arch under the station to the porte-cochere entrance on the south side. There was, unsurprisingly, a bit of congestion at the ticket barriers.

Our train back to Bristol was a 5-car IET from Westbury, running a few minutes ahead of the London-Bristol train; presumably this was an extra? It was fairly lightly loaded.

All in all, we had a good experience, and were impressed by the effort and organisation of rail staff, police and other organisers.

Title: Re: Bath Christmas Market - 2019
Post by: Celestial on December 01, 2019, 01:02:00 pm
People were standing, but mostly I think they didn't see much point in moving out of the vestibules for a 10-minute trip.
Or maybe they want to make sure they can get out easily if the train is rammed.  But people standing in the vestibules when there are lots of seats is a pain, because it then blocks those areas up and makes it more difficult for others to board.  Not sure how you change people's behaviour though, short of having someone at each door telling people to move down inside the carriage.

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