Commuters take on One train company
COMMUTERS angered by train operator One s changes to train times will be able to have their say direct to the company s business director at a parish council meeting. Councillors will be grilling Mark Evans about the new timetable, which has prompted comp
COMMUTERS angered by train operator One's changes to train times will be able to have their say direct to the company's business director at a parish council meeting.
Councillors will be grilling Mark Evans about the new timetable, which has prompted complaints from passengers using a number of stations in the Uttlesford district about huge delays, short trains, overcrowding and cancellations.
A passenger action group has been formed after commuter Sarah Davies put up a poster at Stansted Mountfitchet station asking if other rail users had had problems with the service.
In response she received 112 replies.
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Their anger has been compounded by the fact that the train operator has laid on extra carriages for the Stansted Airport route, supposedly to 'cope with demand.'
Many of the passengers who are angry at One's service have been using stations at Great Chesterford, Audley End, Newport and Elsenham, as well as Stansted.
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The council has now become the focal point for complaints about the trains because it is supervising the petition and its chairman Catherine Dean said her collegues sympathised with the commuters' plight.
She said the purpose of the meeting was to enable rail users to send their complaints about the service and suggestions on how to improve it to the council so its members could address them to Mr Evans.
Although the rail passengers will be able to attend the meeting on January 18, they will not be able to speak to the business director themselves.
Cllr Dean said the group was hoping to collect 1,000 signatures for its petition.
She said the council had been told by Mr Evans via e-mail that One was concentrating on the Stansted Express route to the airport, which was more profitable.
But a One spokeswoman said the train operator has had a shortage of drivers because some have had to be trained on a new route which runs through Stratford in East London to Liverpool Street, which has had an effect on the rest of the timetable.
She explained that some of the airport trains also travelled through the other stations which the commuters were using.
The problems were not being caused by the new timetable, but the lack of train drivers and this would soon be sorted.
The spokeswoman added: "There have been issues since we have had the new timetable but that has a lot to do with train driving for the new routes we have taken on.