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  1. Published on: 01/12/2019 08:20 AMReported by: roving-eye
    A Southport councillor is celebrating the end of the Virgin franchise on the Train lines from Liverpool Manchester and Wigan to London. And he is calling for a similar prompt end to the franchise between Southport and Manchester which is presently held by Northern Rail.


    Councillor Tony Dawson says:


    "The big issue with Virgin has been both price and timetabling. Sometimes it is seriously cheaper to fly to London which cannot be right, from a 'climate change' point of view as well as by the way it hits the pocket."


    "And it is wrong that the last Virgin trains north from London leave so early that no one can do anything useful in London in the evening and still get back to Southport for 1.00 am. "Their pricing structure has been mad, too, meaning that their trains are often either half empty or grossly overcrowded."


    "Although their trains are relatively fast and punctual, Virgin's priorities have always been shareholder, not passenger, which is why thy have now lost both East Coast and Wes Coast Mainlines."


    "As a regular user of both services, I can say without question that Northern are far worse than Virgin ever were. - their services just don't affect those London-centric government people who make the franchising decisions. Seeing the plight of distraught pensions on windswept rainy Salford Crescent station, when their train has come in late and their connections have been cancelled for one of a whole series of repeated 'reasons', is distressing with no obvious end in sight."


    " Add that to their overcrowding on dirty outdated trains on the Southport to Manchester line, Northern just have to go."



    "It is amazing how Arriva, who own Northern, also run the Merseyrail network which may have its own faults occasionally but is magnificent in comparison. I hope a new operator, or a return to public ownership as has happened with the East Coast main line, can bring an early improvement."
     

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  4. libraryguy says:01/12/2019 09:54 AM
    "It is amazing how Arriva, who own Northern, also run the Merseyrail network which may have its own faults occasionally but is magnificent in comparison."

    The network is operated by a joint venture between franchise holder Serco and Abellio, who superseded Arriva Trains Merseyside in 2003.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Merseyrail

    I booked two single tickets to London 3 months in advance £19.50 each way. Hardly expensive. And... would Virgin Trains, soon to be Avanti trains, really provide a later service that's going to be almost empty just so you can get home by 1am? Book a cheap hotel room.

    How wrong can you be - he has no idea.
    Last edited by libraryguy; 01/12/2019 at 11:02 AM.

  5. Username2016 says:01/12/2019 10:17 AM
    if it’s not the A&E bandwagon it’s trains, Cllr Dawson isn’t in a position to get some swings installed without having a spat with local residents so he’s hardly in a position to demand anything.

    Guess he’s up for re-election so he has to create some popularist election fodder we all know he’s not going to be able to implement other than craw on social media about it. We had years of Pugh as MP stood in front on trains and nothing changed so why would anyone think Tony slamming something will make a blot of difference.

    Hopefully the Dukes ward residents demand better and ditch Dawson in the May elections.

  6. Red devil says:01/12/2019 11:53 AM
    Dawson needs to get his facts right before he starts to spout drivel.
    Arriva who run Northern are wholly owned by the German state railway. Merseyrail are run in a partnership with Serco and Abelio who in turn are owned by Dutch state railways. And the West coast franchise has just been given to a partnership of First group and Trenitalia the Italian state railway.
    In fact the the the only country that doesn't run a part of the UK's railway is the UK itself, and before people start getting pedantic I'm talking of train operators not the infrastructure.

  7. gsgsgs says:01/12/2019 02:14 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by libraryguy View Post
    "It is amazing how Arriva, who own Northern, also run the Merseyrail network which may have its own faults occasionally but is magnificent in comparison."

    The network is operated by a joint venture between franchise holder Serco and Abellio, who superseded Arriva Trains Merseyside in 2003.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Merseyrail

    I booked two single tickets to London 3 months in advance £19.50 each way. Hardly expensive. And... would Virgin Trains, soon to be Avanti trains, really provide a later service that's going to be almost empty just so you can get home by 1am? Book a cheap hotel room.

    How wrong can you be - he has no idea.
    It's not always possible to stay over, I'm looking at going to London in March to see a matinée performance of Upstart Crow, but I can't stay over. However a 20:30 train out of Euston gets me home around midnight which is fine, a later train would be too late for the last trains out of Central so are we to have a go at Merseyrail as well for not running later trains.

  8. salus.populi says:01/12/2019 02:57 PM
    Sounds like you're in favour of nationalisation Tony, so my advice is vote Labour.

  9. Nash says:01/12/2019 06:54 PM
    Takes him so long to make the point, I nearly fell asleep....

    I will be sad to see Virgin Trains disappear, they do provide a good service at a reasonable cost, if you don't have more money than sense.

    Though Northern are the rail equivilent of the Conservatives, useless, and few passengers would deny that any company could do better. The biggest reason for cancellations is lack of staff, so why not hire more?

  10. gsgsgs says:01/12/2019 07:55 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by Nash View Post
    Takes him so long to make the point, I nearly fell asleep....

    I will be sad to see Virgin Trains disappear, they do provide a good service at a reasonable cost, if you don't have more money than sense.

    Though Northern are the rail equivilent of the Conservatives, useless, and few passengers would deny that any company could do better. The biggest reason for cancellations is lack of staff, so why not hire more?
    I've no issue with Virgin Trains, never had a problem. If you can be flexible with travel times you can get good prices, I've often travelled 1st class paying at most £7 more and you easily get that back in the lounges and on board.

  11. duncet says:01/12/2019 09:18 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by salus.populi View Post
    Sounds like you're in favour of nationalisation Tony, so my advice is vote Labour.
    Ever since the "Franchise" system of privatisation was adopted as the system of railway operation in this country, I have maintained that the whole network - infrastructure and train operating should be nationalised under the one publicly owned umbrella. That isn't because I worship the ideology that privatisation doesn't work. but because the fragmented franchise system isn't fit for purpose. Only the train operating companies and the shareholders benefit. The passengers are the last consideration.
    Prior to 1923 the railways in this country were owned by separate companies. At that time, privatisation worked, but today the network must be integrated as one national unit for the sake of efficiency. Those who say that we wouldn't want to bring back the inefficient days of British Railways need to realise that we wouldn't be. Technology has moved on. We wouldn't be reverting to steam trains and tea trolleys on the platform at Crewe. We would have a national network that could be operated as a single unit. And for those who say it would be inviting problems with trade unions, I would say get the unions on board and warn them that it is up to them to ensure the system works.
    I would add that I am not a Labour voter either. I am just on the side of common sense and am convinced that political ideologies generally get in the way of logical thinking. There is good on all sides - and bad too!

  12. Little Londoner says:01/12/2019 09:55 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by duncet View Post
    Ever since the "Franchise" system of privatisation was adopted as the system of railway operation in this country, I have maintained that the whole network - infrastructure and train operating should be nationalised under the one publicly owned umbrella. That isn't because I worship the ideology that privatisation doesn't work. but because the fragmented franchise system isn't fit for purpose. Only the train operating companies and the shareholders benefit. The passengers are the last consideration.
    Prior to 1923 the railways in this country were owned by separate companies. At that time, privatisation worked, but today the network must be integrated as one national unit for the sake of efficiency. Those who say that we wouldn't want to bring back the inefficient days of British Railways need to realise that we wouldn't be. Technology has moved on. We wouldn't be reverting to steam trains and tea trolleys on the platform at Crewe. We would have a national network that could be operated as a single unit. And for those who say it would be inviting problems with trade unions, I would say get the unions on board and warn them that it is up to them to ensure the system works.
    I would add that I am not a Labour voter either. I am just on the side of common sense and am convinced that political ideologies generally get in the way of logical thinking. There is good on all sides - and bad too!
    If BR was inefficient it was from lack of investment, in fact the Tories made BR publish their charges for conveying freight so that the Road Transport firms could undercut them. Some competition eh?
    Also if there was failure on a route that now closes the line in BR days there were more train crew depots so there were drivers and loco's that could take the train over a diverted route so instead of ending up at say Euston the train could be re routed to Paddington/Marylebone/St Pancras not now. Drivers only drive their own companies trains and have only the route knowledge required to run their trains. If something goes wrong now you are stuck on the train for god knows how long why should one company help out a rival
    BR may not have been perfect but it was a damn sight more organised than the fractured mess of today and the bosses actually knew what they were doing unlike the Chairman of the British Toothbrush Co getting a job managing a train operating company like today.

  13. Snig's foot says:01/12/2019 10:41 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by Little Londoner View Post
    If BR was inefficient it was from lack of investment, in fact the Tories made BR publish their charges for conveying freight so that the Road Transport firms could undercut them. Some competition eh?
    Also if there was failure on a route that now closes the line in BR days there were more train crew depots so there were drivers and loco's that could take the train over a diverted route so instead of ending up at say Euston the train could be re routed to Paddington/Marylebone/St Pancras not now. Drivers only drive their own companies trains and have only the route knowledge required to run their trains. If something goes wrong now you are stuck on the train for god knows how long why should one company help out a rival
    BR may not have been perfect but it was a damn sight more organised than the fractured mess of today and the bosses actually knew what they were doing unlike the Chairman of the British Toothbrush Co getting a job managing a train operating company like today.
    Restructuring of the current franchise system is high on the agenda. Another problem is that, despite appearances and dogma, there is currently a huge amount of government 'control' of the railways. The government owns the track. They control how trains are bought through the Department of Transport, they control how the Train operating companies operate their services, and the charges for them through the Office of Rail Regulation. They keep getting things wrong, such as ordering trains that are too long for platforms, or change their minds about how much track should be electrified. I'm all for the people who operate the system being given a greater say in how to run it, be it private or nationalised.


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