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All across the Great Western territory => Looking forward - after Coronavirus to 2045 => Topic started by: grahame on October 17, 2021, 08:51:01 pm



Title: The passengers are BACK!
Post by: grahame on October 17, 2021, 08:51:01 pm
Sunday, 17th October 2021, all between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m.

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09:04 ex MKM ... + 10, -6.
Around 25 in the centre carriage of a 3 car 16x - estimate then 60 to 65 passengers on train
2 late off Melksham, 4 late into CPM

Exeter 'connection' at platform as we pulled in, but dispatched before passenger could cross over ...  I Rejoined the TransWilts train - lots of others joining too.

Around 100 off the train in Swindon (due 09:30, actual 09:33)
Doors already closed on the Swansea train due out at that time; had to wait until 09:34 but no chance to walk across ...

Waited in front lounge at Swindon ... 3 other passengers and a dis-interested customer host; no mask, no friendly smile.

Train has turned up in reverse order ... waiting at front (I have a 1st class pass just for the day) and boarded coach "A" at the front where I had been "told" to wait - almost whole coach showing "resevred" but no more that a dozen it it. I guess the rest of the train may be much busier judging by the number who were waiting in the stanard class area.

Refeshemnt trolley helpful - gave me my complementaries! Cheerful and engaging - first staff of the day who were (no TM seen on TransWilts train, dispatch staff ignored passengers crossing over - not even a smile and a sorry)

On time into PAD ... platform 2, barriers open, no ticket checks
Fire alarm test alerted ahead - "Will inspector Sands please report to the country end of platform 1".
Busy!
Left on 11:03 to(wards) Plymouth. Suspect main train busy (train manager "on bust services such as this") / First had a sprinkling.  Also recommended face coverings. Train manager Mike.

On time into EXD and it looked very busy. Sunday lunchtime, almost as a normal weekday but loads of heavy bags and trains buzzing in and out.  158 (2) to EXM, 158 (3) to BNP, 2xVoyager towards Edinburgh.  My 19:29 166 (3) towards PGN

166 to Dawlish Warren
802 to Dawlish
HST to Exeter St Davids ... all uneventful, no ticket checks

But then ... 15:40 to Padington cancelled; 16:11 to make extra calls at Westbury, but they will miss the Melksham Connection.  Customer Host Xxxx - nice guy, told me it was cancelled which I could read for myself, told me that Melksham is a difficult place to get to (yes, I know) and sent me to the ticket office, where advice was to catch the 15:53 and change at Swindon.  17:39 to 17:45 there feels a bit tight.  I asked "could I change at Chippenham". "The 15:53 doesn't call at Chipenham". "Are you sure". "Oh yes it does - yes, you could change there".  We'll see ...

Took the 15:15 instead ... to Reading, but about 5 late at EXD and 7 late into Reading - so 17:05 arrival tight and heartstopping for the 17:09 Swansea train which pulled in while I was on the transfer deck.   15:15 was 2 x 5 car IETs, First Class shown as in the middle, but turned up at the front of both units. Fairly busy, standard looks very busy. Goodness knows what the 17:09 is - I just got on when the lady who was blocking the escalator with her cases got off, releasin a flood of late arrivals for the South Wales train.

No ticket checks on 15:15 (but there were freebies in First)
No ticket checks on 17:09. Don't recall a trolley, but I only did RDG to SWI

Swindon - chaotically busy. TransWilts train arrived with 38 passengers (I counter them off the platform). 2 car shuttle from Cheltenham came in full and standing. Probably a darned good job I did NOT take the initial advice offered in Exeter, as the 17:39 arrival was held outside and only came into the platform as the doors of the 17:45 to Westbury closed - and that would have been the third such failed connection of the day.

Front coach of 3 towards MKM as it's likely to be very much the quietest; not sure how other coaches are loaded. Circa +14 at CPM . -7 +6 at MKM - rough guess train left with between 40 and 50 passengers. No ticket checks.

MKM-CPM; CPM-SWI; SWI-PAD; PAD-EXD; EXD-DWW; DWW-DWL; DWL-EXD; EXD-RDG; RDG-SWI; SWI-MKM


Title: Re: The passengers are BACK!
Post by: Lee on October 17, 2021, 09:09:56 pm
We definitely need to find you a harder assignment next time.


Title: Re: The passengers are BACK!
Post by: broadgage on October 18, 2021, 01:55:14 am
We definitely need to find you a harder assignment next time.

How about to Minehead ! Not only are there no trains, but road transport is seriously disrupted by road works.


Title: Re: The passengers are BACK!
Post by: Bmblbzzz on October 18, 2021, 06:15:20 pm
On a smaller scale, the Sunday midday (can't remember exact time) train I took from Temple Meads to Keynsham (a Parkway to Portsmouth train) was full when it arrived at BRI and full and standing thereafter. My first train journey since last February!  :o


Title: Re: The passengers are BACK!
Post by: grahame on October 18, 2021, 06:35:13 pm
On a smaller scale, the Sunday midday (can't remember exact time) train I took from Temple Meads to Keynsham (a Parkway to Portsmouth train) was full when it arrived at BRI and full and standing thereafter. My first train journey since last February!  :o

It is horrendous at times at the moment - horrendously busy and horrendously quiet.   Lots of rebalancing needed, but they have to know what to balance. A number of us were at the GWR Community conference today, and various things of interest on this subject and others.


Title: Re: The passengers are BACK!
Post by: DaveHarries on October 18, 2021, 11:03:16 pm
I have been continuing to use the train for work (as I was through the lockdowns as a key worker) and I have noticed the return of passengers too. The 0805 Sea Mills - Bristol Temple Meads (0754 from Severn Beach) is once again very busy by the time I join it and I have noticed busy trains in other areas(South Wales, for example) too.

Dave


Title: Re: The passengers are BACK!
Post by: TaplowGreen on October 19, 2021, 06:51:57 am
On a smaller scale, the Sunday midday (can't remember exact time) train I took from Temple Meads to Keynsham (a Parkway to Portsmouth train) was full when it arrived at BRI and full and standing thereafter. My first train journey since last February!  :o

It is horrendous at times at the moment - horrendously busy and horrendously quiet.   Lots of rebalancing needed, but they have to know what to balance. A number of us were at the GWR Community conference today, and various things of interest on this subject and others.

Overall however, a lot less horrendous for the vast numbers of people who no longer have to endure it 5 (or more) days a week  :)


Title: Re: The passengers are BACK!
Post by: grahame on October 19, 2021, 07:17:01 am
On a smaller scale, the Sunday midday (can't remember exact time) train I took from Temple Meads to Keynsham (a Parkway to Portsmouth train) was full when it arrived at BRI and full and standing thereafter. My first train journey since last February!  :o

It is horrendous at times at the moment - horrendously busy and horrendously quiet.   Lots of rebalancing needed, but they have to know what to balance. A number of us were at the GWR Community conference today, and various things of interest on this subject and others.

Overall however, a lot less horrendous for the vast numbers of people who no longer have to endure it 5 (or more) days a week  :)

Indeed - two coins with two sides.

Rail fare box income is down to 65% of what it was pre-covid (source - Mark Hopwood and Andrews Haines at yesterday's GWR Community Stakeholder meeting in Cardiff) and the Government is continuing to support to the tune o f £70 million per week. I note carefully that it's not passenger numbers or passenger miles that are being quoted, but income.

Passenger NUMBERS are all over the place - very thin indeed in the "peak", especially in the Thames Valley / outer suburban / commuter trains and up to 130% of what they were in summer 2019 in some places - the St Ives branch being quoted as an example of this.

But you have classic "double speak" now, where what is called the "peak" is no longer the peak time for travel, and "off peak" and "super off peak" tickets - at lower prices to encourage travel at the quieter times of day and in fact encouraging travel on the trains which under a normal description would be described as the "peak" ones because they are now naturally the busiest.  It's a mess!

Listening carefully to Andrew, fares will be set by GBR and changes have moved from "important" which they have been for years to "very important indeed" and also "urgent". I could speculate as to some of those changes, but I note "affordable" is the key word rather than "low", "cheap" or even "attractive" to attract people out of their cars ...


Title: Re: The passengers are BACK!
Post by: TaplowGreen on October 19, 2021, 07:26:53 am
On a smaller scale, the Sunday midday (can't remember exact time) train I took from Temple Meads to Keynsham (a Parkway to Portsmouth train) was full when it arrived at BRI and full and standing thereafter. My first train journey since last February!  :o

It is horrendous at times at the moment - horrendously busy and horrendously quiet.   Lots of rebalancing needed, but they have to know what to balance. A number of us were at the GWR Community conference today, and various things of interest on this subject and others.

Overall however, a lot less horrendous for the vast numbers of people who no longer have to endure it 5 (or more) days a week  :)

Indeed - two coins with two sides.

Rail fare box income is down to 65% of what it was pre-covid (source - Mark Hopwood and Andrews Haines at yesterday's GWR Community Stakeholder meeting in Cardiff) and the Government is continuing to support to the tune o f £70 million per week. I note carefully that it's not passenger numbers or passenger miles that are being quoted, but income.

Passenger NUMBERS are all over the place - very thin indeed in the "peak", especially in the Thames Valley / outer suburban / commuter trains and up to 130% of what they were in summer 2019 in some places - the St Ives branch being quoted as an example of this.

But you have classic "double speak" now, where what is called the "peak" is no longer the peak time for travel, and "off peak" and "super off peak" tickets - at lower prices to encourage travel at the quieter times of day and in fact encouraging travel on the trains which under a normal description would be described as the "peak" ones because they are now naturally the busiest.  It's a mess!

Listening carefully to Andrew, fares will be set by GBR and changes have moved from "important" which they have been for years to "very important indeed" and also "urgent". I could speculate as to some of those changes, but I note "affordable" is the key word rather than "low", "cheap" or even "attractive" to attract people out of their cars ...

Perhaps - but there was no need for the railway to wait until a crisis like this came along to attempt, in a meaningful way, to "attract people out of their cars", however it was always easier to sit back and count the revenue generated by commuters/business travellers money.

People look at the way leisure travellers are treated, especially at weekends, and understandably choose the car instead.

Years of missed opportunities to put this right have been frittered away - it could well be (if you'll forgive the mixed metaphor!) that Messrs Hopwood etc are chasing after a ship that has already sailed.


Title: Re: The passengers are BACK!
Post by: Lee on October 19, 2021, 09:21:04 am
On a smaller scale, the Sunday midday (can't remember exact time) train I took from Temple Meads to Keynsham (a Parkway to Portsmouth train) was full when it arrived at BRI and full and standing thereafter. My first train journey since last February!  :o

It is horrendous at times at the moment - horrendously busy and horrendously quiet.   Lots of rebalancing needed, but they have to know what to balance. A number of us were at the GWR Community conference today, and various things of interest on this subject and others.

Overall however, a lot less horrendous for the vast numbers of people who no longer have to endure it 5 (or more) days a week  :)

Indeed - two coins with two sides.

Rail fare box income is down to 65% of what it was pre-covid (source - Mark Hopwood and Andrews Haines at yesterday's GWR Community Stakeholder meeting in Cardiff) and the Government is continuing to support to the tune o f £70 million per week. I note carefully that it's not passenger numbers or passenger miles that are being quoted, but income.

Passenger NUMBERS are all over the place - very thin indeed in the "peak", especially in the Thames Valley / outer suburban / commuter trains and up to 130% of what they were in summer 2019 in some places - the St Ives branch being quoted as an example of this.

But you have classic "double speak" now, where what is called the "peak" is no longer the peak time for travel, and "off peak" and "super off peak" tickets - at lower prices to encourage travel at the quieter times of day and in fact encouraging travel on the trains which under a normal description would be described as the "peak" ones because they are now naturally the busiest.  It's a mess!

Listening carefully to Andrew, fares will be set by GBR and changes have moved from "important" which they have been for years to "very important indeed" and also "urgent". I could speculate as to some of those changes, but I note "affordable" is the key word rather than "low", "cheap" or even "attractive" to attract people out of their cars ...

Perhaps - but there was no need for the railway to wait until a crisis like this came along to attempt, in a meaningful way, to "attract people out of their cars", however it was always easier to sit back and count the revenue generated by commuters/business travellers money.

People look at the way leisure travellers are treated, especially at weekends, and understandably choose the car instead.

Years of missed opportunities to put this right have been frittered away - it could well be (if you'll forgive the mixed metaphor!) that Messrs Hopwood etc are chasing after a ship that has already sailed.

Don't worry, they are in hot pursuit!
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Title: Re: The passengers are BACK!
Post by: PhilWakely on October 19, 2021, 09:43:58 am
Perhaps - but there was no need for the railway to wait until a crisis like this came along to attempt, in a meaningful way, to "attract people out of their cars", however it was always easier to sit back and count the revenue generated by commuters/business travellers money.

People look at the way leisure travellers are treated, especially at weekends, and understandably choose the car instead.

Years of missed opportunities to put this right have been frittered away - it could well be (if you'll forgive the mixed metaphor!) that Messrs Hopwood etc are chasing after a ship that has already sailed.

There is always the mentality of the British public to consider. Ever since the demise of the loco-hauled relief trains in the South West, the weekend situation has been pretty much 'full and standing' most of the time. Those that have always used the train for their leisure getaways consider this as 'twas ever thus' and just put up with it. True, some folk will have been put off, but the 'regulars' will still be there. Those that run the railways know this and just trot out the same excuses..... 'Not enough stock'; 'not enough staff', yada, yada ..... and leave the status quo.



Title: Re: The passengers are BACK!
Post by: eightonedee on October 19, 2021, 06:46:20 pm
It's been my first conventional "9 to 5" commute today.

I have now done number of journeys later in the day.  What is clear today is that even on a Tuesday the peak period traffic is well down on the pre pandemic level especially on the Thames Valley services. The North Downs line seems closer to the old  normal.

I can only assume that there are more flexible working patterns generally emerging in the centres served the Thames Valley services as the car parks at Goring, Pangbourne and Tilehurst were notably less full at 8 to 8-10 am than I have seen them later in the day. Indeed Twyford's main car park looked full when I passed mid afternoon last Wednesday.

I had the slightly odd experience of being the only person on coach 6 of 12 when I joined 8.03 at Goring this morning.  How long will this last?





Title: Re: The passengers are BACK!
Post by: Timmer on October 19, 2021, 08:24:03 pm
I’m seriously beginning to wonder how much longer it will be before the government bring back the decree to WFH.

Covid rates for the Points West region have shot up to rates last seen in January and very quickly so. In some places almost double the national average.


Title: Re: The passengers are BACK!
Post by: IndustryInsider on October 19, 2021, 08:46:22 pm
My hunch is that we’ll probably just about get through winter without any restrictions being re-introduced - though I’ve already said it’s a fools game to make predictions, so draw your own conclusions!  ;)


Title: Re: The passengers are BACK!
Post by: TaplowGreen on October 20, 2021, 05:56:39 pm
Had to work in London today, got an early TfL service from Taplow to Ealing Broadway, then Central Line to White City - it was still very quiet on train and Tube, but there were a lot fewer people wearing masks, both on train and Tube.

Same story on the way home.

There was a BT Police officer at White City Tube station pulling non mask wearers over but they were all saying "exempt mate", and of course there wasn't much he could do - a lot of them seen to be laughing as they walked off.

Why do we share the planet with so many morons?  ::)


Title: Re: The passengers are BACK!
Post by: Bmblbzzz on October 20, 2021, 06:58:27 pm
Had to work in London today, got an early TfL service from Taplow to Ealing Broadway, then Central Line to White City - it was still very quiet on train and Tube, but there were a lot fewer people wearing masks, both on train and Tube.

Same story on the way home.

There was a BT Police officer at White City Tube station pulling non mask wearers over but they were all saying "exempt mate", and of course there wasn't much he could do - a lot of them seen to be laughing as they walked off.

Why do we share the planet with so many morons?  ::)
Surprised at this. Is there a legal requirement to wear masks (unless exempt) in the tube? If so, how does it work that it doesn't apply to other forms of public transport in England?


Title: Re: The passengers are BACK!
Post by: IndustryInsider on October 20, 2021, 07:02:19 pm
TfL mandated it, yes.  I’m practice it seems to have made little difference, though there is a slightly better mask wearing percentage as a result.

Personally I think the ‘morons’ have gotten used to not needing to wear one in virtually every other setting - pubs, restaurants, shops and nite clubs (the latter a bigger risk of spread in my opinion), so fewer and fewer are bothering.


Title: Re: The passengers are BACK!
Post by: TaplowGreen on October 20, 2021, 07:37:54 pm
TfL mandated it, yes.  I’m practice it seems to have made little difference, though there is a slightly better mask wearing percentage as a result.

Personally I think the ‘morons’ have gotten used to not needing to wear one in virtually every other setting - pubs, restaurants, shops and nite clubs (the latter a bigger risk of spread in my opinion), so fewer and fewer are bothering.

It's made a lot of difference on TfL up until now from what I've seen, with staff reminding people regularly & PA announcements.....hopefully just a bad day.

My experience on a couple of recent trips with GWR to Plymouth it's been far less well observed, but then again they along with other TOCs decided not to mandate it, and with none of the train crew I saw wearing masks, probably difficult for them to ask others to?

Supermarkets from what I see have been better but agree 100% re nightclubs

That said, all the legislation in the World can't stop abject stupidity.


Title: Re: The passengers are BACK!
Post by: IndustryInsider on October 20, 2021, 09:33:44 pm
Big drop off in the last 6-8 weeks in my experience.  TfL and National Rail.


Title: Re: The passengers are BACK!
Post by: Bmblbzzz on October 20, 2021, 10:10:44 pm
Didn't know about the TfL mandate. As BTP are enforcing it (or trying to) I presume it does have some legal authority. GWR might start with their staff... or maybe not. I'm hearing people say 50% wearing on Tube, that's way over anything I'm seeing in trains, buses and most shops here.


Title: Re: The passengers are BACK!
Post by: IndustryInsider on October 20, 2021, 10:32:34 pm
The outside of London buses I have caught recently are around 50% still, and busy trains similar. 

Quiet trains and I can sympathise why people don’t bother TBH.  You don’t get too many of those in London though of course.

Shops?  Maybe 10%?


Title: Re: The passengers are BACK!
Post by: Marlburian on October 21, 2021, 09:06:25 am
To go down a siding for a moment, I'm one of those who have noted the irony of Sajid Javid urging everyone to wear masks when hardly any of his party do so in the House of Commons. (I also have strong views about the Government's delay in taking action that seems to be inevitable sooner or later.)


Title: Re: The passengers are BACK!
Post by: TaplowGreen on October 21, 2021, 08:09:28 pm
To go down a siding for a moment, I'm one of those who have noted the irony of Sajid Javid urging everyone to wear masks when hardly any of his party do so in the House of Commons. (I also have strong views about the Government's delay in taking action that seems to be inevitable sooner or later.)

The front benches have so much in common these days..............(few weeks ago at their Conference, not a single mask to be seen)  ::)


Title: Re: The passengers are BACK!
Post by: JayMac on October 21, 2021, 08:41:07 pm
Had to work in London today, got an early TfL service from Taplow to Ealing Broadway, then Central Line to White City - it was still very quiet on train and Tube, but there were a lot fewer people wearing masks, both on train and Tube.

Same story on the way home.

There was a BT Police officer at White City Tube station pulling non mask wearers over but they were all saying "exempt mate", and of course there wasn't much he could do - a lot of them seen to be laughing as they walked off.

Why do we share the planet with so many morons?  ::)

Indeed. Moronic to be attempting to use police to enforce a transport operator's guideline. That should be the preserve of TfL staff only. Unless and until a person refuses to comply with the Conditions of Carriage and the requests of a member of TfL staff.

In the meantime how about BTP officers sticking to law enforcement instead?


Title: Re: The passengers are BACK!
Post by: TaplowGreen on October 21, 2021, 09:02:01 pm
Had to work in London today, got an early TfL service from Taplow to Ealing Broadway, then Central Line to White City - it was still very quiet on train and Tube, but there were a lot fewer people wearing masks, both on train and Tube.

Same story on the way home.

There was a BT Police officer at White City Tube station pulling non mask wearers over but they were all saying "exempt mate", and of course there wasn't much he could do - a lot of them seen to be laughing as they walked off.

Why do we share the planet with so many morons?  ::)

Indeed. Moronic to be attempting to use police to enforce a transport operator's guideline. That should be the preserve of TfL staff only. Unless and until a person refuses to comply with the Conditions of Carriage and the requests of a member of TfL staff.

In the meantime how about BTP officers sticking to law enforcement instead?

I'm quite happy to see them trying to save lives, even if they are dealing with people who need saving from themselves.


Title: Re: The passengers are BACK!
Post by: JayMac on October 21, 2021, 09:11:53 pm
From BTP's own website:
Quote
From Monday 19 July 2021 face covering legislation is removed in England and British Transport Police (BTP) will no longer have involvement in policing the wearing of face coverings.

BTP cannot enforce conditions of carriage but its officers will continue to support the rail industry to make sure passengers and staff are kept safe on the railway.
https://www.btp.police.uk/police-forces/british-transport-police/areas/campaigns/covid-19/

So, what you witnessed at White City today appears to be at odds with BTP's own guidance.

Should legislation change again then yes, the police should be on hand to enforce the law. Until then it's the preserve of businesses and service providers to 'police' their own rules. It's a slippery slope for police to be used in an enforcement role when there is no statute for said enforcement. Unless and until legislation is reintroduced BTP should be using their limited resources to detect and prevent crime.


Title: Re: The passengers are BACK!
Post by: Ralph Ayres on October 22, 2021, 01:07:23 pm
As it's now only a Condition of Carriage, the most the BTP can do is assist LU staff if they decide to bar the offender from travelling.  The various exemptions, the lack of any need for proof, and the frequent reminders via PA announcements that there are exemptions and that they may not be visible does mean that there is little realistic hope of this happening with any regularity. The level of mask wearing in crowded places often seems to be minimal, and there is little sign of peer pressure or just being considerate of others having much impact.  Nothing will change unless the law does, or cases rocket hugely and people perhaps start to reconsider.


Title: Re: The passengers are BACK!
Post by: NickB on October 22, 2021, 08:51:57 pm
Please indulge me whilst I relay my recent experiences.  I write this as a seasoned commuter having held my maidenhead season ticket for 10 years until the pandemic.

I had my first day back in the office last Monday and whilst pleased that the trains were pleasantly empty I was stunned by the absence of masks by both passengers and GWR staff. Same for TfL for that matter. I didn’t see one staff member with a mask, not one.  I returned home on a TfL service, surrounded by the maskless and even when having tickets checked no one flinched. No passengers were challenged.

Today, the first day of my daughter’s half term holiday, we decided to go to London for a museum trip. Without my season ticket that would be £64 for my wife and I, peak. Off peak, slightly cheaper, but ALL off peak trains are Neanderthal slow (47mins to paddington?!?!? No thanks).  And that’s after I deal with the lottery of can I park at the station (better odds on euromillons) after GWR closed 2 of the 3 carparks at Maidenhead. Even if there was a space it’s £7.

So I drove.

Prebooked a parking space for £30. Bargain compared to £72 minimum to take a family of 3 to London. And yes, I arrived faster too. And with less stress about germs and viruses and anything else really.

I feel quite sad that this is the situation that GWR presents to potential travellers.


Title: Re: The passengers are BACK!
Post by: MVR S&T on October 22, 2021, 10:51:11 pm
IMHO looks like the WFH and face mask law, or guidance, will come back in a few days or so:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-59011321





Title: Re: The passengers are BACK!
Post by: TaplowGreen on October 23, 2021, 07:55:34 am
IMHO looks like the WFH and face mask law, or guidance, will come back in a few days or so:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-59011321





Sooner the better re: masks, and let's hope it's rigorously enforced.

If people don't want to wear one (as opposed to having a legitimate medical reason not to), fine, but equally be prepared to respect and stay away from others, and make other arrangements re: travel, shopping, social life etc.


Title: Re: The passengers are BACK!
Post by: Lee on October 23, 2021, 08:46:47 am
IMHO looks like the WFH and face mask law, or guidance, will come back in a few days or so:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-59011321





Sooner the better re: masks, and let's hope it's rigorously enforced.

If people don't want to wear one (as opposed to having a legitimate medical reason not to), fine, but equally be prepared to respect and stay away from others, and make other arrangements re: travel, shopping, social life etc.

While not wanting once again to get into the longer-term civil liberties aspect of this, i do continue to absolutely agree with TG about the health imperative of these measures at present. Over here in France we have never ditched mandatory mask-wearing in indoor public places or on public transport, and nor are we likely to anytime soon, certainly not over the coming colder months.

I also find interesting having previously said on here that the UK would probably be better off introducing Vaccine Passports sooner rather than later, the various press suggestions that they could be imminent now that "later" has arrived.


Title: Re: The passengers are BACK!
Post by: TaplowGreen on October 23, 2021, 10:05:54 am
Interesting figures........


Title: Re: The passengers are BACK!
Post by: Lee on October 23, 2021, 11:12:10 am
Interesting figures........

Obviously, there is a disconnect with what's being asked regarding Vaccine Passports in the UK poll, which is for large indoor and outdoor events, and the Vaccine Passports over here in France, which are also required for bars, restaurants, art galleries, cinemas etc, and there is a feeling over here that the comprehensive nature of the Vaccine Passport has made a real difference.

What is the percentage of people in the UK who would be in favour of Vaccine Passports if their coverage was as comprehensive as is the case in France, or have the polls not really asked that question?


Title: Re: The passengers are BACK!
Post by: Bob_Blakey on October 23, 2021, 11:20:56 am
If people don't want to wear one (as opposed to having a legitimate medical reason not to), fine, but equally be prepared to respect and stay away from others, and make other arrangements re: travel, shopping, social life etc.

As long as the same conditions are applied to those who decline vaccination for non-medical reasons I wouldn't have a problem with that.


Title: Re: The passengers are BACK!
Post by: Red Squirrel on October 23, 2021, 11:22:12 am
They are interesting figures, aren't they!

There seems to be a bit of cognitive dissonance here. The biggest breeding ground for COVID is schools, with pubs and restaurants a close second - but people want them to stay open.

Bus, van and lorry drivers, carers and shop and factory workers never had the option of working from home, so presumably the people who want to be told to stay home are mostly office workers. They may have a point; many of them work in poorly ventilated buildings which they knew were 'sick' before COVID.

Interesting that people want to be told to wear face masks. I'd welcome that as I find it a bit embarrassing wearing one when no-one else is. I always wear mine on trains and buses, to protect others. My understanding is that they offer little protection to the wearer, so to characterise people who should wear them but don't as 'morons' as some have done on this thread is wrong: inconsiderate or selfish, perhaps, but not moronic.



Title: Re: The passengers are BACK!
Post by: Bmblbzzz on October 23, 2021, 01:24:10 pm
I wouldn't put it down just to cognitive dissonance. The closure of schools probably has more effect on more people's lives than any of the other things listed, making work difficult for many parents: either they need to arrange child care or somehow cope with work in a poorly adapted environment while simultaneously educating, distracting and not being distracted by their kids. Plus of course it's hugely disruptive to the children.

The closure of pubs and restaurants might be less disruptive, unless you work in one, but restrictions need to have a reward in sight to be borne, and for many people eating and drinking out is one of life's rewards.

But I agree with you about the need for rules. It's the rules, or lack of them, that show cognitive dissonance IMO. Being told "you ought to wear a mask but it's free choice" is a total cop out on the part of government. Either tell us we have to wear them or tell us they're not needed, not that they are needed but we don't have to wear them!


Title: Re: The passengers are BACK!
Post by: TaplowGreen on October 23, 2021, 04:11:01 pm
They are interesting figures, aren't they!



Interesting that people want to be told to wear face masks. I'd welcome that as I find it a bit embarrassing wearing one when no-one else is. I always wear mine on trains and buses, to protect others. My understanding is that they offer little protection to the wearer, so to characterise people who should wear them but don't as 'morons' as some have done on this thread is wrong: inconsiderate or selfish, perhaps, but not moronic.



Let's hope good sense prevails, everyone does the right thing and that semantics are our biggest problem in the future!  :)


Title: Re: The passengers are BACK!
Post by: ellendune on October 23, 2021, 06:36:33 pm
 A number of employers are already moving back to "work from home unless you have a business need to go into the office" policies. 


Title: Re: The passengers are BACK!
Post by: ellendune on October 23, 2021, 09:24:40 pm


English local health chiefs urge extra Covid measures in break from guidance (https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2021/oct/23/english-local-health-chiefs-urge-extra-covid-measures-in-break-from-guidance)

Extract below

Quote
Helen Lowey, the Bolton DPH, is backing other protective measures. She wrote on Twitter: “We can’t rely only on vaccines. It’s test when have no symptoms, wear face covering more often than not, give people space, work from home when can, vaccines, isolate when symptoms, ventilate etc.”

Other DPHs recommending additional measures in schools such as mask wearing include those covering Walsall, Calderdale, Trafford, Suffolk and Swindon. The Guardian understands that the DPH for Southend is considering recommending additional measures for schools after half-term.

Lancashire’s DPH is not recommending a blanket approach for schools but is recommending additional measures at specific schools that have shown signs of outbreaks. The DPH in Hertfordshire, Jim McManus, has recently encouraged residents of his county to work from home.

In North Somerset, the deputy council leader has expressed frustration that further mitigation measures are not being introduced and highlighted the particular struggles faced in the south-west after the Immensa testing fiasco, in which the results of 43,000 Covid tests were incorrectly returned as negative.

Mike Bell, North Somerset’s deputy leader and lead member for health, said: “I am also really frustrated to hear the government confirm that they have no plans to tighten restrictions in England. This situation must not be allowed to escalate. Lives must not be put at risk.

“We will soon enter the winter period which is always a challenging time for the most vulnerable members of our community and for our health and care workers. I would much rather action is taken now to protect people before case rates spiral and people become ill, and to ease the winter pressures on our hard-working care and health services.”



Title: Re: The passengers are BACK!
Post by: CyclingSid on October 24, 2021, 08:14:27 am
Quote
Interesting figures........

Back to questionnaires and surveys.

If you ask drivers whether there ought to be more enforcement of speed limits on motorways the vast majority answer Yes. But are then likely to speed on the motorway. What these answers tend to mean is Yes, for everybody except me.


Title: Re: The passengers are BACK!
Post by: TaplowGreen on October 24, 2021, 08:19:23 am
A number of employers are already moving back to "work from home unless you have a business need to go into the office" policies. 

I think that's very likely- with or without Government edicts.

Like a lot of businesses, we've moved to a "hybrid" model of 1 or 2 days in the office however some people still felt very uneasy being in the office/using the Tube/Train for their own sake and also those with vulnerable members of the family at home (one chap has a wife undergoing chemo) - we were conscious that some employees may simply refuse to attend (being honest, in some cases simply because they liked being at home every day, saving large amounts of money on childcare/transport etc).

Given most recent developments however I think "hybrid" will revert to "WFH" pretty soon apart from operational necessities, unless Managers are prepared to dig in and have some very tricky and unpopular conversations.


Title: Re: The passengers are BACK!
Post by: Sixty3Closure on October 24, 2021, 07:45:20 pm
We were moving to the hybrid model with a phased return planned for most staff this month and next.

However, this has been delayed by a push back from staff in quite a few departments who want to keep social distancing. This means a lot of the desks that were going to be used for returning staff are still out of use while discussions take place. My own department's area was taken over by IT support last summer as they had to be in and needed space and they're showing no signs of giving it up!

There's also a lot demands for masks to be made compulsory again after they became optional a week or so ago. Certainly peer pressure is the opposite of public transport where you will get some harsh words for not wearing one.






Title: Re: The passengers are BACK!
Post by: CyclingSid on October 25, 2021, 07:12:05 am
Follow up to my previous post

https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/healthandsocialcare/healthandwellbeing/articles/eightintenadultsthinksocialdistancingisimportantbutfourintenactuallydoit/2021-10-22 (https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/healthandsocialcare/healthandwellbeing/articles/eightintenadultsthinksocialdistancingisimportantbutfourintenactuallydoit/2021-10-22)

What we say and what we do are not the same thing.


Title: Re: The passengers are BACK!
Post by: TaplowGreen on October 25, 2021, 07:45:22 am
We were moving to the hybrid model with a phased return planned for most staff this month and next.

However, this has been delayed by a push back from staff in quite a few departments who want to keep social distancing. This means a lot of the desks that were going to be used for returning staff are still out of use while discussions take place. My own department's area was taken over by IT support last summer as they had to be in and needed space and they're showing no signs of giving it up!

There's also a lot demands for masks to be made compulsory again after they became optional a week or so ago. Certainly peer pressure is the opposite of public transport where you will get some harsh words for not wearing one.






In our building each department/business has been allocated one day when they have exclusive use, and one day of shared use when you have to "book" a desk, so basically it's become a huge hot desking hub, with an empty desk between each two people.

Masks don't have to be worn at desks, but they do when moving around the building, in lifts etc.

It's working OK at the moment, but like you we're still in the phased return period, with a relatively empty building - once it's fully implemented, there will be a lot less space, and that combined with reluctance to travel on public transport will be a problem if the numbers are still as high as they are just now.


Title: Re: The passengers are BACK!
Post by: IndustryInsider on October 25, 2021, 12:36:57 pm
Little sign of reluctance with regard to the leisure market.  Another very busy week ahead - half term of course.  I am very surprised leisure has bounced back to near normal levels so quickly.

Let’s hope cancellations and short forms remain low as they are today.


Title: Re: The passengers are BACK!
Post by: Marlburian on October 25, 2021, 02:16:34 pm
Articles in today's media speculate that some employers will encourage their staff to work from home to cut down on escalating heating costs. One company featured in a Saturday newspaper had gone to a permanent four-day week, though nothing was said about how it deals with phone calls and deliveries on the weekday no-one is around (perhaps it has a a couple of people on duty).

Nineteen cars in Tilehurst Station car-park at 0830 this morning, plus a prowling BTP car whose occupants headed for the refreshment van. No Metros again; I was going to buy a Telegraph anyway.

The cleaner was diligently cleaning and was pleased that I wished her a Good Morning.

(My walk to get a newspaper and a few groceries was extended to take in some of Tilehurst's leafy suburbs. Several other pedestrians still appreciated Social Distancing.)


Title: Re: The passengers are BACK!
Post by: Bmblbzzz on October 25, 2021, 03:33:30 pm
I would imagine phone calls are easily redirected to the phone of whichever employee is on phone-call duty. Deliveries might be a problem.


Title: Re: The passengers are BACK!
Post by: TaplowGreen on October 26, 2021, 11:19:39 am
I'm on the 0929 Reading- Plymouth, very quiet indeed for half term. (I'm alone in First class), on the upside, most people seem to be wearing masks......and distancing certainly isn't a problem!


Title: Re: The passengers are BACK!
Post by: IndustryInsider on October 26, 2021, 11:39:19 am
A candidate for a 5-car train then, TG?  First class 60% full and standard class 30% full according to the loading monitor - I appreciate you can’t see the other two first class sections in the other unit.

How are others finding their journeys this week?  I’ve seen mostly busy trains and bustling platforms so far.  Pretty near a normal bank holiday week.


Title: Re: The passengers are BACK!
Post by: TaplowGreen on October 26, 2021, 11:52:42 am
A candidate for a 5-car train then, TG?  First class 60% full and standard class 30% full according to the loading monitor - I appreciate you can’t see the other two first class sections in the other unit.

How are others finding their journeys this week?  I’ve seen mostly busy trains and bustling platforms so far.  Pretty near a normal bank holiday week.

K & L completely empty apart from me and a very underemployed customer host! Most of the platforms seem pretty empty heading West.....then again it's raining.


Title: Re: The passengers are BACK!
Post by: TaplowGreen on October 26, 2021, 04:57:32 pm
As an aside on the subject of masks, pal was at Malaga Airport earlier today, and said it was noticeable and widely commented on that the British contingent were conspicuous by their absence of masks, in contrast to other nationalities.

We don't help ourselves much, do we?


Title: Re: The passengers are BACK!
Post by: IndustryInsider on October 26, 2021, 05:06:06 pm
A candidate for a 5-car train then, TG?  First class 60% full and standard class 30% full according to the loading monitor - I appreciate you can’t see the other two first class sections in the other unit.

How are others finding their journeys this week?  I’ve seen mostly busy trains and bustling platforms so far.  Pretty near a normal bank holiday week.

K & L completely empty apart from me and a very underemployed customer host! Most of the platforms seem pretty empty heading West.....then again it's raining.

There does appear to be almost a default setting of 60%/30% full showing on the occupancy data when that clearly isn't the case at all.  I'll be interested to hear how others are finding the accuracy of it? 

In terms of the train you were on, I'm glad you had a nice quiet journey and an early arrival.  That's probably the best train of the day to pick heading west from London/Reading.  It's a little early for some, is full length and only goes as far as Plymouth.


Title: Re: The passengers are BACK!
Post by: Marlburian on October 26, 2021, 06:01:49 pm
Goring Station car-park was seven-eighths full at 1515 today, though I've long suspected that some commuters park in the roads north of the upper High Street. Certainly there were a few parked on the verge of Upper Red Cross Road.

I was just finishing a walk and ironically could have just caught the 1518 to Tilehurst - but for the fact I'd left my car in Streatley. (In a couple of other threads I've remarked that for some walks I used to take the half-hourly  train service from and to Tilehurst, but would find the current hourly timetable too infrequent.)


Title: Re: The passengers are BACK!
Post by: TaplowGreen on October 26, 2021, 07:05:21 pm
A candidate for a 5-car train then, TG?  First class 60% full and standard class 30% full according to the loading monitor - I appreciate you can’t see the other two first class sections in the other unit.

How are others finding their journeys this week?  I’ve seen mostly busy trains and bustling platforms so far.  Pretty near a normal bank holiday week.

K & L completely empty apart from me and a very underemployed customer host! Most of the platforms seem pretty empty heading West.....then again it's raining.

There does appear to be almost a default setting of 60%/30% full showing on the occupancy data when that clearly isn't the case at all.  I'll be interested to hear how others are finding the accuracy of it? 

In terms of the train you were on, I'm glad you had a nice quiet journey and an early arrival.  That's probably the best train of the day to pick heading west from London/Reading.  It's a little early for some, is full length and only goes as far as Plymouth.

Yes I always go for that one if I can, it never seems to be too busy and you often seem to be able to get the cheapest 1st class fares.....wasn't the case today (due to half term I guess?)  but I got a very cheap upgrade via Seatfrog.


Title: Re: The passengers are BACK!
Post by: PhilWakely on October 27, 2021, 06:11:44 am
I'm on the 0929 Reading- Plymouth, very quiet indeed for half term. (I'm alone in First class), on the upside, most people seem to be wearing masks......and distancing certainly isn't a problem!

I was on that train from Paddington, in the front set, coach C and there was only one other person in the coach as far as Exeter. I had not experienced Paddington at that time of day for a few years and was very surprised how quiet it was. 


Title: Re: The passengers are BACK!
Post by: TaplowGreen on October 27, 2021, 07:33:16 am
I'm on the 0929 Reading- Plymouth, very quiet indeed for half term. (I'm alone in First class), on the upside, most people seem to be wearing masks......and distancing certainly isn't a problem!

I was on that train from Paddington, in the front set, coach C and there was only one other person in the coach as far as Exeter. I had not experienced Paddington at that time of day for a few years and was very surprised how quiet it was. 

Phil if ourselves & one or two others constitute the loading that IndustryInsider suggests was on that train, perhaps we need to think about a diet?  ;)


Title: Re: The passengers are BACK!
Post by: IndustryInsider on October 27, 2021, 11:18:50 am
Save the diets for after Christmas, as I don't doubt it was quiet.   ;)  Certainly not at the 60%/30% loading that was showing on the occupancy data - although 30% is quite quiet for standard class anyway of course.  It seems to be set at that 60/30 default setting for quite a few trains.  I wonder if no information is received, whether it defaults to that as some kind of 'typical loading' value that might be way off the mark?

As you can see from the two attachments, it's apparently 60/30 again today, as is the nearest up service.  Though a similar list of trains at Swindon shows a much more wide spread of loadings.


Title: Re: The passengers are BACK!
Post by: grahame on October 30, 2021, 09:31:42 pm
From the BBC ...

Quote
The number of commuter journeys by train remains at fewer than half of pre-pandemic levels, figures show.

Trips made by people going to or from work on the UK's railways in mid-October were 45% of what they were before autumn 2019, says industry body the Rail Delivery Group (RDG).

It comes as many people continue to work from home.

But leisure journeys have increased again and are at about 90% of what they were before the pandemic, the RDG said.

It added that commuter journeys had risen from late August when they were 33% of what they were before the pandemic.

So why the **** are they removing the entire Bristol Temple Meads to Waterloo service which is predominantly personal business and leisure?   Looks like madness.


Title: Re: The passengers are BACK!
Post by: anthony215 on October 31, 2021, 09:20:44 am
From the BBC ...

Quote
The number of commuter journeys by train remains at fewer than half of pre-pandemic levels, figures show.

Trips made by people going to or from work on the UK's railways in mid-October were 45% of what they were before autumn 2019, says industry body the Rail Delivery Group (RDG).

It comes as many people continue to work from home.

But leisure journeys have increased again and are at about 90% of what they were before the pandemic, the RDG said.

It added that commuter journeys had risen from late August when they were 33% of what they were before the pandemic.

So why the **** are they removing the entire Bristol Temple Meads to Waterloo service which is predominantly personal business and leisure?   Looks like madness.


If anything I would say this service should be a good candidate for enhancement, perhaps a earlier service from Bristol or even a more regular frequency


Title: Re: The passengers are BACK!
Post by: grahame on October 31, 2021, 09:48:18 am
If anything I would say this service should be a good candidate for enhancement, perhaps a earlier service from Bristol or even a more regular frequency

Correct .... extending the new (Dec 2022) MetroWest service to Westbury on to Salisbury, where it forms the semi-fast 2nd train in the hour to London, perhaps?


Title: Re: The passengers are BACK!
Post by: TaplowGreen on October 31, 2021, 01:38:42 pm
Saw this on another forum....how on Earth can this be allowed to happen in the current climate?


"Yesterday, in what was widely trailed in media as the biggest event in Wales since pre-pandemic, there was an international test match in Cardiff between Wales & NZ. We made our way out there on the 12:48 Paddington-Cardiff and, with a reasonable expectation that the train would be full, had made seat reservations in advance.

What we found on boarding was that full did not begin to cover it. GWR provided a 5 car IET rather than the planned 9 car, so the reservations had been cancelled and 9+ cars worth of pax had to cram into all available space. Those unlucky enough to remain standing by and large did so all the way to Cardiff, myself included. I haven't seen crowding like it on an Intercity train since Virgin West Coast on a Bank Holiday Friday eve in the before times.

How does this self-inflicted issue happen? It can't exactly be a surprise to GWR that thousands wish to travel from London as the ticket sales for the 30th in the weeks prior must have been significant. The emails from the event organisers even mentioned that they were in contact with GWR. While the rest of the day was fantastic (as a NZ supporter!) and it was great to see Cardiff buzzing with energy, the journey was really not a good advertisement for the railway. The non-rugby passengers were especially irate"


Title: Re: The passengers are BACK!
Post by: ellendune on October 31, 2021, 02:34:08 pm
Saw this on another forum....how on Earth can this be allowed to happen in the current climate?
Yes I quite agree. England has the highest rates of Covid since the start of the pandemic and AIUI Wales is not far behind. Why therefore would anyone in their right mind why anyone is organising such an event at the moment?

All this, back to normal stuff while we have the highest Covid rates in western Europe by far is of course government policy of ignoring the problem and that we have around 50,000 new cases a day with 1000 people a day being admitted to hospital and 1000 deaths a week. They won't even require the minimum levels of precautions and actively prevent schools from introducing them.  Add to this the fact that much of region has twice the number of cases because of the debacle at the Wolverhampton lab.

How does this self-inflicted issue happen? It can't exactly be a surprise to GWR that thousands wish to travel from London as the ticket sales for the 30th in the weeks prior must have been significant. The emails from the event organisers even mentioned that they were in contact with GWR. While the rest of the day was fantastic (as a NZ supporter!) and it was great to see Cardiff buzzing with energy, the journey was really not a good advertisement for the railway.

As I said on another thread recently those high cases will be having an effect on staff availability as although the age group most affected is children it also affects their parents and in addition many of their parents will be self isolating because their children have Covid. 

I am sure GWR would have provided a 9 car train if they could. Somehow then you expect like magic GWR can rustle up a more than normal service despite all the problems just because someone thinks getting thousands of people together in close proximity at a rugby match is a good idea in the middle of a pandemic.  Oh and the small problem with the trains has not gone away!

The non-rugby passengers were especially irate"

I am not surprised they have every right to be, but it is not GWR's fault. 


Title: Re: The passengers are BACK!
Post by: Timmer on October 31, 2021, 03:20:23 pm
Doesn’t appear that GWR ran any extra services between London and Cardiff yesterday. I know the long term plan is to use 387s when there are events at the Principality Stadium. Sure would have been useful yesterday.


Title: Re: The passengers are BACK!
Post by: Bmblbzzz on October 31, 2021, 04:32:49 pm
Why would lack of staff mean they could only run a 5-car IET and not a 9-car? I'm assuming that the driver of a 5-car can also drive a 9-car, or indeed a 2 x 5, as they're variations on the same train – but maybe not? Or is it not to do with drivers but some other type of staff, and if so, what?


Title: Re: The passengers are BACK!
Post by: TaplowGreen on October 31, 2021, 04:33:16 pm
Doesn’t appear that GWR ran any extra services between London and Cardiff yesterday. I know the long term plan is to use 387s when there are events at the Principality Stadium. Sure would have been useful yesterday.

Yes apparently they will be able to run 387s from December......after the 4 International matches at Cardiff but in time for the next 6 Nations I guess?


Title: Re: The passengers are BACK!
Post by: Marlburian on November 05, 2021, 09:21:53 am
On Wednesday I made my longest rail journey since March 2020 - an epic Trans-Reading trip from Tilehurst to Twyford for an environmental task opposite Ruscombe Church and close to the railway line. There was a time  when for a 1000 start to the work I could buy an off-peak ticket and use my Senior Railcard (which I haven't renewed), but with the 0915 (?) no longer running I had to buy a peak fare and take the 0856.

Tilehurst Station's car-park was two-thirds empty, but Twyford's appeared almost full.

For my return journey, I took my first-ever TFL train and plonked down on a seat, to find that it was very hard. About half the passengers were wearing masks.

The deck at Reading seemed less busy than in days of yore, though I did pause to allow several people to pass in front of me. One was a lady in GWR uniform with a very warm smile; I thought that she was welcoming a friend, though then I realised that she must be a customer-relations person.


Title: Re: The passengers are BACK!
Post by: Wizard on November 05, 2021, 10:13:36 am
Doesn’t appear that GWR ran any extra services between London and Cardiff yesterday. I know the long term plan is to use 387s when there are events at the Principality Stadium. Sure would have been useful yesterday.

There was definitely at least one extra - I think it departed Paddington at 09.18. I nearly jumped on it to go to Bristol Parkway before I noticed it was advertised as calling at Cardiff, Bridgend and Port Talbot Parkway only. It was a 9 car.

A quick check on realtimetrains shows there was another extra at 10.18. I don’t know what time kickoff was but I would guess GWR expected most passengers to travel earlier so short forming the 12.48 was the least worst option.


Title: Re: The passengers are BACK!
Post by: TaplowGreen on November 06, 2021, 09:09:49 am
Doesn’t appear that GWR ran any extra services between London and Cardiff yesterday. I know the long term plan is to use 387s when there are events at the Principality Stadium. Sure would have been useful yesterday.

Looks like the weekend rail COVID variant has spared Wales this week and it looks like the Cardiff services are intact for this afternoon's match at the Principality stadium.......so far!!!

A big day of rugby ahead - a great shame so little of it is available on free to air TV.


Title: Re: The passengers are BACK!
Post by: TaplowGreen on November 24, 2021, 04:49:08 pm
A candidate for a 5-car train then, TG?  First class 60% full and standard class 30% full according to the loading monitor - I appreciate you can’t see the other two first class sections in the other unit.

How are others finding their journeys this week?  I’ve seen mostly busy trains and bustling platforms so far.  Pretty near a normal bank holiday week.

K & L completely empty apart from me and a very underemployed customer host! Most of the platforms seem pretty empty heading West.....then again it's raining.

Got the same train from Reading to Plymouth again today, and the loadings seemed pretty similar, perhaps a smidgeon busier but not much.

One pleasing thing however, more of those on the train and the staff seemed to be wearing masks.


Title: Re: The passengers are BACK!
Post by: IndustryInsider on November 24, 2021, 04:59:49 pm
I caught it last week myself, on a jolly to Taunton.  Just six people in my carriage which was towards the front.



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