Letter: Northern Rail - Service just not good enough

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Northern derailed. Yet again, the franchise has failed miserably in its role as a public ‘service’ provider.

It never takes any notice of any events at either end of the track nor it would appear, anywhere in between, eg The Great Yorkshire Show.

The two-carriage unit was already crammed full on Friday morning (long after rush-hour) before it even got to Harrogate on its way to Leeds. Every year it is the same – a cricket test match or one-day international or Leeds United playing at home or a hugely popular festival – none have any bearing on the carrying capacity of the trains. There is no ‘service’ left in public service in the rail industry on our local line; the single motive is profit at the expense of the fare-paying public.

On the way back from Leeds one train stopped at Horsforth (no signs on the train to indicate it would terminate there) and after a few minutes returned to Leeds with about five people on it. In the following train, a sign only indicated York with no information on intermediate stations; a compass or clock might have been more useful.

The new timetables put forward by Northern show an extra train or two which one would have thought encouraging.

However, these trains don’t stop at stations like Pannal. The borough council has designated Pannal a primary service village in an attempt to beef up its claims within its Local Plan. The word ‘service’ comes up again. With a trunk road that is jammed solid at peak periods forcing traffic through surrounding villages and a rail network where trains are either packed like sardines or don’t stop at all doesn’t ring true with the accepted definition of service.

Northern at first introduced parking charges at Pannal station then increased them when it realised what a cash-cow it had created. That this policy has seen a phenomenal increase in parking on side streets in the village that precludes access to emergency services doesn’t seem to bother Northern one iota.

Howard West

Pannal