Written on: 18/03/2013
Several weeks ago I booked Arriva return train tickets from Colwyn Bay, North Wales to Cardiff Central. Outgoing at 1.30 pm Friday 15th March 2013; return Sunday 17th March.
My husband is disabled and in order to minimise difficulties I organised advance bookings with reserved seats.
The 2 carriage train was 27 minutes late arriving at Colwyn Bay and it was nearly impossible to access the doorway due to the number of passengers standing with luggage in the foyer and in the central aisles. Numerous announcements were made to apologise to passengers for the delay, shortage of seats and lack of extra carriages.
Despite having reserved seats, they were inaccessible and it was impossible to make any progress beyond the foyer. My husband has a critical illness and cannot stand for long periods which then leads to severe immobility.
Extra passengers embarked at every station -despite the crammed conditions- health and safety issues must have been totally disregarded and human safety severely risked. Had any emergency occurred- passengers would not have been able to access the aisles and exit points.
We had to remain standing until reaching Shrewsbury and only then were we able to obtain one seat due to another passenger's kindness.
There were so many unhappy and discontented passengers-and quite rightly with the cost of public transport and inadequate facilities.
To our utter horror and disbelief we were then subjected to exactly the same scenario / situation and apologies on Sunday's return journey. Only this time this was even worse -having to stand for the whole journey as so many others had to endure.
Surely through providing public transport service to travel the length of Wales for the busiest weekend culminating in the 6 Nations Wales versus England final- with the announcements on radio, national television, newspapers and social media of the hundreds of thousands of public expected to be descending on Cardiff- it would be anticipated for strategic advisors of the Arriva company to have improved their infrastructure and invest in additional resources for such occasions.
The number of people who complained and felt the experience was totally off putting-to use the trains- including ourselves. Arriva staff came under severe comments from dissatisfied customers and apologised relentlessly. Surely the company should examine the number of tickets sold this last w/end and review the ratio of seats and suitability of the service that was provided.