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Journey by Journey => North Downs Line => Topic started by: TaplowGreen on July 03, 2022, 07:35:31 am



Title: July 3 - No trains - replacement buses not looking good either
Post by: TaplowGreen on July 03, 2022, 07:35:31 am
Good luck if you're needing to travel on this route today;

Due to a short-notice change to the timetable between Reading and Guildford the line is closed.
Train services running through these stations will be suspended. Disruption is expected until the end of the day on 03/07/22.

Customer Advice
There are planned engineering works between Reading & Guildford on Sunday 3 July.

Buses replace trains, but suppliers have been unable to cover the full planned bus timetable, despite best efforts. This may disrupt your journey, and we're sorry for any inconvenience.


Title: Re: July 3 - No trains - replacement buses not looking good either
Post by: grahame on July 03, 2022, 08:19:44 am
Buses replace trains, but suppliers have been unable to cover the full planned bus timetable, despite best efforts. This may disrupt your journey, and we're sorry for any inconvenience.

Questions sprung to my mind:

1. When the bus timetable was planned, did the planners take into account the likely availability of resources? Would a sparser but achievable plan have been an alternative approach?  Is there a financial issue here in that "best efforts" are limited by how much the operator is prepared to pay bus operators?

2. Advice says "Passengers travelling in the Reading, Guildford, and Basingstoke areas will be able to use their GWR tickets on local buses operated by Reading Buses and Stagecoach South."  ... good - why does it never seem possible to get any such inter availability as routine across the GWR area; I can't recall the number of times that disruption on the TransWilts line happens (!) and there is no options to use the much slower, but never the less running, bus services

3. I wonder why North Downs line disruption alternatives don't make any mention of best alternatives from Reading to Gatwick Airport - as far as I can see, the talk is purely looking at the Reading to Guildford section and provides no advice for wider area passengers who would be passing through that section as part of a longer journey.


Title: Re: July 3 - No trains - replacement buses not looking good either
Post by: bobm on July 03, 2022, 08:25:16 am
2. Advice says "Passengers travelling in the Reading, Guildford, and Basingstoke areas will be able to use their GWR tickets on local buses operated by Reading Buses and Stagecoach South."  ... good - why does it never seem possible to get any such inter availability as routine across the GWR area; I can't recall the number of times that disruption on the TransWilts line happens (!) and there is no options to use the much slower, but never the less running, bus services

Watch this space.  It is one of the things being worked on with regard to the TransWilts.


Title: Re: July 3 - No trains - replacement buses not looking good either
Post by: grahame on July 03, 2022, 08:43:58 am
2. Advice says "Passengers travelling in the Reading, Guildford, and Basingstoke areas will be able to use their GWR tickets on local buses operated by Reading Buses and Stagecoach South."  ... good - why does it never seem possible to get any such inter availability as routine across the GWR area; I can't recall the number of times that disruption on the TransWilts line happens (!) and there is no options to use the much slower, but never the less running, bus services

Watch this space.  It is one of the things being worked on with regard to the TransWilts.

I have been patiently watching this space since 2007  ;D


Title: Re: July 3 - No trains - replacement buses not looking good either
Post by: GBM on July 03, 2022, 09:43:24 am
There are others on this forum who could amplify, but as I believe, GWR have contracts with various bus operators to provide a 24 x 365 service on standby to cover any rail situations.
It's the duty of the bus operator to provide that service.

However, with bus drivers being in short supply, an operator isn't going to have drivers sitting around waiting for 'the call' when they could be utilised elsewhere (i.e Glastonbury shuttles, and similar events).
Drivers can only work for limited times before falling foul of DVSA driving hours regulations.
And if those drivers swap between UK and EU hours, rest days/breaks become even more complicated.


Title: Re: July 3 - No trains - replacement buses not looking good either
Post by: Electric train on July 04, 2022, 08:16:53 am

Buses replace trains, but suppliers have been unable to cover the full planned bus timetable, despite best efforts. This may disrupt your journey, and we're sorry for any inconvenience.

Or may be in other words to supplier of the busses put their price up to cover the increased fuel costs and the railways could not cover the increase ...................... just speculating


Title: Re: July 3 - No trains - replacement buses not looking good either
Post by: grahame on July 04, 2022, 09:32:38 am

Buses replace trains, but suppliers have been unable to cover the full planned bus timetable, despite best efforts. This may disrupt your journey, and we're sorry for any inconvenience.

Or may be in other words to supplier of the busses put their price up to cover the increased fuel costs and the railways could not cover the increase ...................... just speculating

I wondered that ... except they said unable rather then unwilling.   Of course, I could be that they were unable within the budget ...


Title: Re: July 3 - No trains - replacement buses not looking good either
Post by: eightonedee on July 04, 2022, 12:38:50 pm
Grahame's general point about the inadequacy of this is well made.

Firstly "Due to a short-notice change to the timetable between Reading and Guildford the line is closed." has to be nonsense. Someone did not wake up on Sunday morning and say - "I know what I'll do, I'll change today's timetable so no trains run between Reading and Guildford"! Or at least I hope they did not! There's presumably a real reason - staff or rolling stock shortages, emergency engineering work or something similar. Perhaps Sunday was meant to be a trial day running the service entirely with 769s but none of them worked ::)?

Secondly, while it would not help those trying to get to a number of the intermediate stations, for those prepared to change trains once there was still (with the GWR and Cross Country services) two trains an hour for most of the day between Reading and Basingstoke, one an hour between Reading and Farnborough Main Line that might help those trying to get to Farnborough North or North Camp, and quite frequent services from Basingstoke to Woking and between Woking and Guildford for those wanting to travel between Reading and Guildford. I don't know what proportion of the Sunday North Downs traffic is between Reading and North Camp/Farnborough North or Guildford, but this might help quite a few.

Add to this that there are two trains and hour from Reading to Ascot and hourly trains from Ascot to Farnham calling at stations not too far distant from North Camp and Farnborough North (namely Frimley and Ash Vale), and which also might be convenient pick up points if you were being picked up from Blackwater on arrival, and suddenly it's not quite the total wipe-out of rail access to the area it seems at first.

Wouldn't it be better for someone to summarise this and post this to help passengers?   


Title: Re: July 3 - No trains - replacement buses not looking good either
Post by: stuving on July 04, 2022, 12:59:30 pm
Yesterday's closure of Wokingham-Guildford was known by April, so hardly "emergency". What the work was is as unclear as usual, but Ash level crossing seems to have been part of it. The EAS says "GWR: NO SERVICES WILL RUN BETWEEN READING AND GUILDFORD. SERVICES TO START AND TERMINATE AT GUILDFORD. RAIL REPLACEMENT ROAD SERVICE TO OPERATE BETWEEN GUILDFORD AND READING.", but that's just a plan until someone implements it. I didn't go and look for buses so I don't know what turned up and neither does RTT.

Ascot-Aldershot and Aldershot Guildford were also closed and (planned to be) bustituted, as it happens.


Title: Re: July 3 - No trains - replacement buses not looking good either
Post by: grahame on July 26, 2022, 08:37:18 am
2. Advice says "Passengers travelling in the Reading, Guildford, and Basingstoke areas will be able to use their GWR tickets on local buses operated by Reading Buses and Stagecoach South."  ... good - why does it never seem possible to get any such inter availability as routine across the GWR area; I can't recall the number of times that disruption on the TransWilts line happens (!) and there is no options to use the much slower, but never the less running, bus services

Watch this space.  It is one of the things being worked on with regard to the TransWilts.

Watching ... can you confirm the following (with regards bus fares) remains the case?

Advice I have offered for tomorrow is:

Quote
No trains will call at Melksham on 27th or 30th July due to strike action by the RMT (27th) and ASLEF (30th).  A limited daytime service will be available from London to Bristol calling at Chippenham on both dates.   On 27th there will also be a limited train service from Westbury to Bristol calling at Trowbridge.

The x34 bus (Chippenham - Trowbridge - Frome) will get you to those towns and help you connect with trains if you wish to travel further, though note that most x34 service to Chippenham do not serve the railway station, but rather the bus station only. Services 271, 272 and 273 from Melksham will get you to Bath to connect with the few trains there.   Last bus back around 17:30 from Chippenham and Trowbridge, and 23:15 from Bath.   Train tickets are not accepted on the bus.



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