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1  Journey by Journey / Bristol Commuters / Re: Jasper attack! Redland. on: Yesterday at 12:08:24 pm
I had an interesting altercation with a jasper on my way to Montpelier the other day - it got stuck between my specs and my eye, and then got rather annoyed and stung my glasses. Could have been worse!

Yes it can be worse. I had one get between my glasses and face while cycling some years ago, which eventually stung me just below my eye. It was exceedingly painful, and made cycling home not easy!

A lot of wasps get caught in spider's webs at this time of year, and end up providing a winter meal for them.
2  Journey by Journey / Heart of Wessex / Re: 0553 Weymouth to Bristol Parkway on: September 17, 2018, 09:55:22 am
Hoe can that train get any slower?!!
3  Journey by Journey / Portsmouth to Cardiff / Re: Should there be seat reservations on the Cardiff - Portsmouth service? on: September 15, 2018, 09:07:07 pm
I think the answer to the question in the OP should be 'Yes', but the only practical way to implement it as things stand is by 'Counted Place Booked'.

The problem with that, though, is that still does not guarantee the holder actually getting a seat.

I worry about the likes of Uncle Sam and Auntie Lib, with their umpteen suitcases, heading back to Southampton Ocean Terminal to their Transatlantic cabin,  - or Bert and Daisy off on their cruise on the Med, similarly laden - and both couples ending up with middle seats away from the doors (or worse still - standing) from Westbury to Southampton.

That is actually pretty much what happened to us today on this service. We were travelling from Salisbury to Bath Spa, and had seats booked in the middle of the carriage, so a distance from our bikes and luggage. The train as ever filled to overcrowding levels, with people standing down each aisle, and although we got up early on the approach to Bath to get to our bikes and luggage, we couldn't get past those standing. When the train got to Bath Spa, the queue standing didn't move, and we then realised that people were getting onto the train before letting people off, and we ended up having to make our way to the other end of the carriage to get off and then get on again to retrieve our bikes and luggage after everyone else had boarded.

All in all it was a bit of a mess and quite stressful. I was surprised the platform staff made no attempt to stop people boarding before letting passengers off.
4  All across the Great Western territory / Your rights and redress / Re: Platform changes that mean you miss a service on: September 14, 2018, 08:56:21 am
...and the signaler responsible for changing the platform at the last minute works for a different company yet again!

I didn't know that. Which company would they work for?

I still find it odd that the train was due on platform 3A in the first place, as there didn't seem to be any other services coming onto platform 4 around that time. I did wonder whether it was due to staff shortage meaning there was nobody to send the train off from there, but as there was somebody there when it was replatformed I assume not.
The 17:10 service was switched to platform 3 a couple of years ago as there was a freight container working for Southampton Western Docks or Maritime booked just in front of it that was scheduled through platform 4 as the terminals are on the down side of the running lines. It would appear that although the freight working is no longer an issue, the platform allocation has remained as platform 3. The signallers at Eastleigh sometimes forget that this service is booked through platform 3, especially as most (if not all) other services at xx:10 use platform 4.

Thanks for this response, which answers what happened.

But it would also be good to know the answers to the redress issue, which is why I posted in this thread.

My guess at what would happen is that a claim would be made to GWR, as the TOC running the service the ticket was for, and assuming they reply, the reply would be that their service ran to time so no claim could be made to them. They might suggest approaching SWR, as the TOC running Southampton Central. A claim made to them may, if they reply, say their staff checked to see all on the platform had boarded and sent the train off on time, so no claim could be made against them. I suspect any claimant by this time will have given up, and doubt that National Rail, as signallers, would ever be mentioned. And I suspect there isn't any way to make a claim against NR anyway, as they are not a TOC.

So the outcome may well have been that someone would have bought an advance ticket which they tried to use but couldn't, had to pay extra for a full fare ticket, lost out for an hour to catch the next train, and lose out in every way. Does that seem most likely?
5  All across the Great Western territory / Buses and other ways to travel / Re: Users of buses in Bath - 14th November 2018 on: September 14, 2018, 08:45:10 am
There is, or at least was, a Bath Bus Users Group. I know some of those involved, and it does still exist, though may not now be that active (I'm not aware of them holding any meetings recently). But they should be your first port of call, unless they are already involved.
6  All across the Great Western territory / Your rights and redress / Re: Platform changes that mean you miss a service on: September 12, 2018, 12:48:19 pm
...and the signaler responsible for changing the platform at the last minute works for a different company yet again!

I didn't know that. Which company would they work for?

I still find it odd that the train was due on platform 3A in the first place, as there didn't seem to be any other services coming onto platform 4 around that time. I did wonder whether it was due to staff shortage meaning there was nobody to send the train off from there, but as there was somebody there when it was replatformed I assume not.
7  All across the Great Western territory / The Wider Picture Overseas / Re: Is this the cheapest commute in the world? on: September 12, 2018, 10:45:22 am
The answer is, of course, no. At least half of commuters walk or cycle, and thus pay nothing towards their commute apart from the wear and tear on their shoes and bikes.
8  All across the Great Western territory / Your rights and redress / Re: Platform changes that mean you miss a service on: September 12, 2018, 10:02:02 am
I should add one extra point. Southampton Central is run by a different company to that providing the service, so who would any claim be made to?
9  All across the Great Western territory / Your rights and redress / Platform changes that mean you miss a service on: September 12, 2018, 09:59:35 am
Can anyone tell me what happens if a platform change is announced very late, and you are unable to get to the new platform in time to board your train, and particularly if you have an advanced ticket for that service.

It didn't quite happen to me, but suspect it did to a few others. A week or so ago I was at Southampton Central to catch the 1710 train back to Bath Spa. IME trains on that route always go from platform 4. However, this one was shown on the screen as leaving from platform 3A, even though another train was also shown from leaving from that platform for Totton at 1706. Getting to that platform involves going up to the footbridge and then down again. On platform 3A the 1706 arrived and then left on time. I think at about 1708 (but can't be sure) that the 1710 was then announced due to arrive on that platform, but at about 1709 and a bit a platform change was announced which said it would arrive at platform 4 (and we then saw it arrive). A staff member on platform 3A was phoning (I assume) the staff member on platform 4 to tell them what was happening. So about 80 or so people rushed for the stairs, and a few of us went to the lift because we had heavy luggage (I had a bike). Fortunately we all fitted into the lift and got to the footbridge.

Knowing the train was already waiting and that the lift is a little way distant from where the train stops, I carried my bike down the stairs, as did the other person with a bike, but those with heavy cases went to the catch the lift down. I caught the train, which left very soon afterwards. I didn't see any of the people who went for the lift get on, and am pretty sure they missed it.

Presumably any of the following could happen to those who did miss it and had advanced tickets:

a) They would be charged the full fare for their journey as they didn't have the correct ticket.

b) They could claim back compensation for being late (it is an hourly service so presumably they would arrive one hour late), which could include compensation for the full fare charged?

c) They could ask for a remit from the station staff at Southampton explaining what had happened, to show to the TM on the next train. However, I'm sure that the staff on platform 4 will say they looked to see if anyone needed to get on and that everyone on the platform had. And they would be correct, in that the passengers who still needed to board hadn't made it to the platform in time, being in the lift (or still waiting for it). So my suspicion is that they may not be prepared to issue a remit if it implied they hadn't done their job correctly.
10  Journey by Journey / London to Swindon and Bristol / Re: Bath Christmas Market - from 22nd November 2018 on: September 11, 2018, 09:41:38 pm
Huge numbers of people come from south Wales for the market, so am not surprised by the figures which have been quoted.
11  All across the Great Western territory / Fare's Fair / Re: The most incompetent Customer Service response ever? on: September 11, 2018, 09:35:04 pm
Capita are just about to take over running Royal Mail's pension service, which I have a work pension with.  Angry
12  Journey by Journey / Bristol Commuters / Re: Another Bristol Parkway Closure - for three weeks on: September 03, 2018, 02:26:00 pm
Can Patchway station really cope with the numbers that would normally use Bristol Parkway?

There is probably a reliance on some of the traffic being lost to rail in the immediate area, and some going via bus to Filton Abbey Wood or Yate.   

The question that the planner ask themselves is not "how do we cope with normal traffic" but rather "how do we cope with the number who offer".  The number who offer can be influenced by the quality and quantity of the (replacement) service offered, and sadly at times decisions are taken that turn off all but the most determined travellers to save on the cost of rail replacement.

Depressingly I'm sure this is all true.
13  Journey by Journey / Bristol Commuters / Re: Another Bristol Parkway Closure - for three weeks on: September 02, 2018, 09:35:45 pm
Can Patchway station really cope with the numbers that would normally use Bristol Parkway?

14  All across the Great Western territory / Across the West / Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014 on: September 02, 2018, 12:00:40 pm
Maybe part of the remit of doing the social media role for GWR is to keep on the Coffee Shop! They might learn a few things. Cheesy

I thought that was the role. Grin
15  All across the Great Western territory / The Wider Picture in the United Kingdom / A UK wide rail holiday - when will services be reliable enough? on: September 02, 2018, 09:49:35 am
18 months ago I posted about my intention to make use of the All Line Rover ticket to celebrate my 65th birthday. Unfortunately that didn't work out, mainly due to too many commitments leading to time constraints, but it is still my intention to do so in the near future, to have a good look round Britain and get to know some of the rail network I've never seen.

However, one reason why I've not gone ahead so far is that the last 18 months seem to have been particularly badly affected by combinations of line closures for weeks on end; many other partial closures or detours caused by maintenance or electrification; numerous cancellations for many reasons, especially lack of crew and faulty trains or track; and strikes in many TOCs. And not to mention many services that do run being subject to serious delays.

Obviously there will never be a time when a 100% UK wide service is likely to run, but I would prefer a little more certainty that most services will run and reasonably on time before committing to a considerable expenditure.

So this is a genuine question. If you were looking into the next 2 years, can you see any time when the general level of service is likely to be improved sufficiently to encourage someone like me to commit myself to spending the money on this?

In terms of actual timing, I would avoid August, due to the school holidays, and mid winter, but would otherwise be willing to travel at any other time from February to November.
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