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#418241 - 5th Jul 2010 8:16pm Miseryrail experience this morning
Neil_c Offline
Smartchild

Registered: 27th Sep 2009
Posts: 417
Loc: birkenhead
I thought I'd share my experience on Miseryrail this morning. Normally they aren't too bad of late and I think they've come along way since the 80's.

This was a run in I'd had with a particular employee, who was being a prick with myself and other passengers on the train this morning.

I suppose I took some satisfaction in thinking that his job wasn't likely to exist in a few years when they replace the 507/508 classes as they will likely opt for guardless trains like on the London underground. I'm sure the drivers will be quite capable of opening and closing doors!

Logged as a complaint this morning:

Dear Sir,

I am a regular passenger on your network and use your services Monday to Friday to travel from Rock Ferry to Chester to go to work. I have done so for the last four years.

As I live and work someway from your stations I use your trains to transport my bicycle. Whenever possible I try to use the cycle storage facilities provided on your trains, but on many occasions these are full either with other bicycles, passengers, luggage or push chairs.

On 5th July 2010 I boarded the back carriage of the 8.57am service from Rock Ferry to Chester as all cycle storage facilities were occupied by other passengers; I carefully placed my bicycle near the doors on the opposite side of the train. These doors are only used once the train enters Chester station as they are on the opposite side of the doors that service stations from Rock Ferry to Bache.

There was nowhere else on the train to safely store the bike and it is not practical for me to traverse the whole length of the train through all the carriages to try to find a vacant cycle rack; as you could imagine it would be dangerous to other passengers for me to do this, particularly by going through the small doors that join the carriages together.

The train guard proceeded to check tickets shortly after the train had departed Bebbington station and asked “who’s is the bike?”. I replied to say that it was mine. He asked me to move it to which I asked “Where do you want me to move it to?” The guard replied that there are bike racks in each of the carriages. I stated that they were full.

The guard said that it could not stay by the doors; I replied that I had put the bike there for the last four years when the cycle racks were unavailable as there is quite simply nowhere else to put it. He replied “Other guards may let you put it there, but I don’t like it. If you don’t like what I’m saying you can get off the train”. Fortunately a passenger vacated the disabled bay and I was able to store my bike there for the remainder of the journey. Other passengers were shocked by the guard’s attitude to me.

In the four years I have travelled with by bike on your trains, no enforcement officer, driver or guard has ever asked me to move my bike from the position it was in this morning as it was safely stored away from being an obstruction to any passenger or train crew.

I took offence to the way the guard spoke to me as I was perfectly reasonable with him, there was quite simply was nowhere else to safely put the bike when I boarded the train.
Please can you follow this up with the guard of the 8.57am Rock Ferry to Chester service on 5/7/2010 as this is not the way I expect to be treated as a reasonable fair paying customer. Could you respond to this letter within 5 working days and inform me of the action you are taking as a result of this complaint.

Regards,

Neil.


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#418256 - 5th Jul 2010 9:10pm Re: Miseryrail experience this morning [Re: Neil_c]
MrPhil Offline
Forum Master

Registered: 14th Apr 2006
Posts: 2367
Loc: Prenton
Never had a problem with my bikes in the past if being on the train.

Take it the train was busy?

PS Quality attachment lol
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#418270 - 6th Jul 2010 5:53am Re: Miseryrail experience this morning [Re: MrPhil]
bert1 Offline

Wiki Veteran

Registered: 27th Nov 2008
Posts: 7864
Loc: tranmere
I haven't been on a train for about 25 years and i can't picture what the cycle racks look like, if they had them that long ago i certainly can't remember them.If your bike was parked near the doors, is it possible the guard was concerned from a safety point of view, in the event of an accident the said doors may have been needed for evacuation. Is this type of thing a good reason to keep guards, to prevent doors which may be needed in case of emergency being blocked by bikes, prams and all manner of things. Is it not the case that the removal of guards is yet again putting profits before peoples safety and well being.
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Don't send Jesus,
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#418279 - 6th Jul 2010 7:53am Re: Miseryrail experience this morning [Re: bert1]
Neil_c Offline
Smartchild

Registered: 27th Sep 2009
Posts: 417
Loc: birkenhead
To open the said doors would mean that passengers would need to step onto the live rail. The train is always evacuated through either the front or rear door in the driver's cabin.

The london underground don't use guards and that is a significantly busier metro. Cameras or mirrors on the doors are sufficient to see what passengers are up to.

Train wasn't overly busy, but there quite simply was nowhere else to put the bike. I can't determine which carriages have free racks unless the train pulls into the station and the point I make is that it's not practical or safe for me to move the bike between carriages to find one.

I notice that they are building elaborate cycle racks at Hooton and Spital, perhaps they are trying to discourage passengers to take bikes on the trains. I would use them, but there isn't one at Rock Ferry and I need the bike for the onward journey.

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#418283 - 6th Jul 2010 8:02am Re: Miseryrail experience this morning [Re: Neil_c]
Wheels Offline
Wiki Veteran

Registered: 4th Jan 2005
Posts: 8795
Loc: Tranmere
Fair play

Sounds like a tosser of a guard. It is fustrating trying to manouver your bike around people when the racks are full. You end up standing near the doors holding the bike an moving eveytine some inpatient fool wants to get passed.

They should charge 10p more for a bike and that way you can say "I've paid for the rack" or something?

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#418285 - 6th Jul 2010 8:11am Re: Miseryrail experience this morning [Re: Wheels]
Neil_c Offline
Smartchild

Registered: 27th Sep 2009
Posts: 417
Loc: birkenhead
I mean they advertise that you can take your bike on the train in station posters and do provide cycle racks on the trains themselves. How the hell are you meant to know they are full or not until the train actually arrives!

I know what you mean about some impatient fool. Had an old guy ask me to move my bike even though we were both getting off at the same stop. Had a bit of fun winding him up as he was being completely unreasonable.


Edited by Neil_c (6th Jul 2010 8:11am)

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#418288 - 6th Jul 2010 8:43am Re: Miseryrail experience this morning [Re: Neil_c]
Davey_Martin Offline
Forum Master

Registered: 17th Jul 2007
Posts: 2888
Loc: New Ferry
they wont detail the action they are taking due to confidentiality. all they can really tell u, from a legal standpoint is that they will deal with the situation.


on another note, despite ur typos, i'd say it's a fair enough letter, certainly appears the guy was being an absolute divvy and shouldnt be in the job he's in if he cant work with people lol!

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#418300 - 6th Jul 2010 10:22am Re: Miseryrail experience this morning [Re: Davey_Martin]
Pinzgauer
Unregistered


Clearly the guard in this case is nowhere up to the job. He shouldn't be let loose anywhere near the public. Was this guy asleep during his training ? Maybe they don't bother with "How to deal with Joe Public" ??

I fully agree with Neil on this. Under the given circumstances, he weighed up the pro's and con's and put his bike by the offside doors. Here, it would be in no one's way AT ALL. Except at Chester where everyone would be getting off anyway. At all intermediate stations, passengers discharge on the nearside.

As has already been pointed out, in an emergency, no one would be allowed out via the offside doors down onto the 6 foot (live rail side). End doors would be used. At a push, maybe they could exit via the nearside doors down onto the cess. No live rail and no oncoming trains !

On my last visits to the Wirral, I've found the Wirral Line electrics to be spot on time, every time. Litter free, thanks to on-train "Presentation Staff" and staff in general were polite and some, dare I say, seem to have pride in their job !!! shock-horror ! I thought THAT had been done away with !

I hope Neil gets something more than a bland, standard letter in responce to his justified complaint. Hopefully, the guard will get his jotters.

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#418304 - 6th Jul 2010 10:54am Re: Miseryrail experience this morning [Re: ]
starakita Online   content

Forum Master

Registered: 1st Oct 2009
Posts: 2230
Loc: between heaven & hell
ive noticed a few stations are putting cycle storage rooms in ,but its not much good if you need to use your bike after you get off the train.
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#418313 - 6th Jul 2010 11:52am Re: Miseryrail experience this morning [Re: starakita]
BandyCoot Offline

Forum Veteran

Registered: 7th Dec 2008
Posts: 5349
Loc: Birkenhead
Merseyrail might want to have a look at the U-bahn in Berlin and the way they sort their bikes out. A carriage with fold up seats along the bulk heads. Sounds more like a jobs worth guard to me, he should be a facilitator not a tit.


Edited by BandyCoot (6th Jul 2010 11:52am)
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#418365 - 6th Jul 2010 4:56pm Re: Miseryrail experience this morning [Re: BandyCoot]
Neil_c Offline
Smartchild

Registered: 27th Sep 2009
Posts: 417
Loc: birkenhead
The issue to me is that it's "public transport". It transports the public. It's just a case of showing a bit of courtsey to fellow passengers.

I realise that trains get busy and it's not economical to send 6 carriages for every journey, so trains do get crowded. Normally I find miseryrail to be very good and they do issue me with refunds when their trains are cancelled.

I recognise that my bike can get in the way and really hurt someone if it falls so I try to be as considerate as I can with other passengers and try to keep it out of harms way. Should there be people sitting or using the cycle racks, who am I to tell them to move?

I was not abusive to the guard, so he shouldn't be asking me to leave the train. Miseryrail are providing a service to the public so they need to treat their customers with respect.

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#418374 - 6th Jul 2010 5:23pm Re: Miseryrail experience this morning [Re: Neil_c]
bert1 Offline

Wiki Veteran

Registered: 27th Nov 2008
Posts: 7864
Loc: tranmere
Isn't that a good reason to have guards on a train, so you can report to him you can't park your bike in the racks because people are sitting on them. Also who if there is no guard, checks that all luggage is stowed correctly and not in the doorways etc and a danger to other passengers. If there are plans to remove guards from the train, who is there to look after the welfare of passengers and if you like police the train.
_________________________
God help us,
Come yourself,
Don't send Jesus,
This is no place for children.


Bertieone.

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#418379 - 6th Jul 2010 5:49pm Re: Miseryrail experience this morning [Re: bert1]
diggingdeeper Offline

Wiki Guardian

Registered: 9th Jul 2008
Posts: 9892
Loc: Birkenhead
Three quotes from Merseyrail

"You can take bicycles on all Merseyrail Northern and Wirral Line trains, if space is available. However, for passenger safety and comfort, there may be restrictions at busy times. Please co-operate with other customers and staff in these circumstances. Ride About leaflets are available from all Merseyrail stations or by calling the Merseyrail Customer Relations department on 0151 702 2071."

"All trains have designated areas for cyclists situated at both ends of the train. Merseyrail trains offer great opportunities outside peak hours to travel with bikes to a range of locations throughout the North West and beyond.

We advise that travelling during peak times may cause congestion issues on board the train, and that wherever possible you should avoid travelling with a bicycle during this time."


"Merseyrail is already a cycle friendly train operator; allowing the free carriage of bicycles on trains at any time of day. Each train also has four cycle spaces"
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When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the loser. Socrates

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#418393 - 6th Jul 2010 6:39pm Re: Miseryrail experience this morning [Re: diggingdeeper]
Neil_c Offline
Smartchild

Registered: 27th Sep 2009
Posts: 417
Loc: birkenhead
I don't have a problem with guards in general, but most guards won't say boo to a goose on Merseyrail (apart from the one I met yesterday). They'll wait until the enforcement officers arrive.

I'm all for them telling people to keep their feet off the seats, but most of the time they'll stay in the driver section at the back of the train. Ticket inspections other than in the earlier hours of the morning aren't that common.

Interesting quotes from Miseryrail and slightly contractictory too. How will one know if space is available until the train pulls into the station?


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DSC00267.JPG

Description: The bike of honour makes full use of the Bicycle facilities onboard a BREL 507 class.

DSC00269.JPG

Description: Could this be the foundations for a new bike park at Beirut Ferry station? I hope it's secure!!



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#418396 - 6th Jul 2010 6:46pm Re: Miseryrail experience this morning [Re: Neil_c]
MrPhil Offline
Forum Master

Registered: 14th Apr 2006
Posts: 2367
Loc: Prenton
Neil you need a new bike.

Luck be have you can have mine for £400 lol.
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