It may appear that Case No 3459162 is moribund, given the lack of recent posts, but not so. The case has now, as North American Reality Show contestants are fond of saying, stepped up to the next level. I believe that everything can be fixed, even Transpennine Express, and have now put in motion a course of action that will possibly bring the Government down. I have written to every English member of Parliament, every councillor, every Member of the European Parliament, every committee member on every transport committee covering the geographical areas served by the trains that I am daily delayed on. This area includes (East to West) Hull, Brough, Howden, Selby, Leeds, Huddersfield and Manchester and involved a lot of copy and pasting.
HowdenThe provocation that caused this latest intensifying of my campaign was a Customer Services response to my latest weekly report to Transpennine Express. The response contained the following second paragraph, the first two sentences of which are reproduced, verbatim, below:
"Although I am grateful for your comments regarding allocation of a specific number of seats. Whilst we do not wish any service to become uncomfortable, passengers will be allowed to board until such time that as we consider safety may be breached."
As if the grammar was not bad enough ( or totally incomprehensible), the letter continues "I am very sorry that you were unable to travel with your bicycle....". This is rubbish. I was able to travel with the trusty Fuji. I was simply not allowed to travel with my steed.
The response from various officials has been illuminating. The New Labour representatives, by and large, have proposed setting up a Steering Committee to consider the possibility of establishing a Review Body focusing on my issues as a travel stakeholder and with the possibility of an urgent Action Group being formed at the end of a consultation process to find out whether there is a problem or not. The Conservative representatives have been the most plainly spoken, and approachable, frankly describing the service as a problem, and promising to meet with TransPennine to find out what solutions are proposed.
Despite all my previous political education, I find the contrast between the New Labour responses and the Conservative response to be akin to the contrast between Canadian realtors and English realtors - creepy versus Down to Earth. Where I diverge from the Conservative perspective is on solutions. I propose complete re-nationalization under workers control, with public executions just prior to kick-off at major soccer matches of any underperforming Rail Executive, whereas the Conservatives propose allowing the Free Market another twenty years to prove that "the market" WILL deliver better services to us, the consumer, and when these services do finally arrive they will be well worth the wait.
The photos in this post were taken from a seated position (on the floor) of the 7.33 as some of my fellow passengers became hidden during our commute. The same images were sent to Transpennine Express a week ago. Their response is awaited.