Commuters called on to speak out on East Lancs train services

Blackburn Citizen: Commuters called on to speak out on East Lancs train services Commuters called on to speak out on East Lancs train services

RAIL passengers are being urged to give their views on the future of train services across East Lancashire for 2016 and beyond.

Northern Rail operates the East Lancashire line, from Colne to Preston, and Clitheroe to Manchester route, through Blackburn and Darwen, as part of its northern franchise.

But the Department of Transport, after granting an extension to the present operator, is now looking to see who will run the network, also stretching across Lancashire, Greater Manchester, Yorkshire and Cheshire, from February 2016.

Potential bidders are being reminded that the new faster Blackburn to Manchester service, through Accrington and Burnley Manchester Road and scheduled for December, must be taken into consideration, alongside council-funded improvements from Blackburn to Bolton.

And any new franchisee will also have to produce proposals for upgraded rolling stock, with many of the present ‘Pacer’ and ‘Sprinter’ trains in service more than 20 years old – and many not wheelchair-accessible.

Fare-dodging is another factor in the mix, as rail bosses admit that a ‘high proportion’ of current trips are not paid for, either deliberate or through a lack of ticketing facilities.

A DoT spokesman said: “We are committed to specifying new franchises that make a greater contribution to the prosperity of the North of England, in order to underpin the £3.5billion investment in new infrastructure.

“We want rail services that drive forward growth and bring about a transformation in overall rail service provision.”

An announcement is expected on the shortlist for successful bidders in August, before the winner is revealed in October 2015.

The franchise will last between eight to 10 years, with the option of a one-year extension, at the Secretary of State’s discretion.

Lancashire’s consultation over the franchise award will take place at County Hall in Preston on Thursday, from 10.30am.

Comments (4)

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4:38pm Tue 1 Jul 14

HelmshoreMan2010 says...

"Fare-dodging is another factor in the mix, as rail bosses admit that a ‘high proportion’ of current trips are not paid for."

Fare-dodging is the wrong word! I have lost count of the number of times the ticket machine at Accrington has been broke, only to find nobody inspecting or selling tickets on the trains anyway. I would be more than happy to pay and always have the money on me but 9 out of 10 times I end up not doing.

The thing I don't understand is a trip from Accrington to Colne is £5.20 (or maybe slightly more now) so if you pay somebody to collect two fairs per hour they would cover their wage, anything else is pure profit. So why is it I only see a ticket inspector on 1 out of 10 trains.

'Fare-dodging' is a problem brought on by Northern Rail, therefore I am going to rename it 'fare-collection-laz
iness' to stop making honest people sound like the bad guys!
"Fare-dodging is another factor in the mix, as rail bosses admit that a ‘high proportion’ of current trips are not paid for." Fare-dodging is the wrong word! I have lost count of the number of times the ticket machine at Accrington has been broke, only to find nobody inspecting or selling tickets on the trains anyway. I would be more than happy to pay and always have the money on me but 9 out of 10 times I end up not doing. The thing I don't understand is a trip from Accrington to Colne is £5.20 (or maybe slightly more now) so if you pay somebody to collect two fairs per hour they would cover their wage, anything else is pure profit. So why is it I only see a ticket inspector on 1 out of 10 trains. 'Fare-dodging' is a problem brought on by Northern Rail, therefore I am going to rename it 'fare-collection-laz iness' to stop making honest people sound like the bad guys! HelmshoreMan2010
  • Score: 12

10:02am Wed 2 Jul 14

garner9 says...

We recently had a friend visit from Barcelona. He was amazed how long it took to do the journey form Clitheroe to Manchester. He lived a similar distance from central Barcelona and the trains took half the time.

He regarded the current diesel rolling stock as third world in comparison and I have to agree.

I did tell him if we were in the south of the UK things would be different but to say that Manchester and the North West is the second largest conurbation in the UK the infrastructure is unbelievable.

Pacer trains that have leaking roofs and single track operations in some parts of the service means we are certainly a joke by Western European standards.
We recently had a friend visit from Barcelona. He was amazed how long it took to do the journey form Clitheroe to Manchester. He lived a similar distance from central Barcelona and the trains took half the time. He regarded the current diesel rolling stock as third world in comparison and I have to agree. I did tell him if we were in the south of the UK things would be different but to say that Manchester and the North West is the second largest conurbation in the UK the infrastructure is unbelievable. Pacer trains that have leaking roofs and single track operations in some parts of the service means we are certainly a joke by Western European standards. garner9
  • Score: 2

11:04am Wed 2 Jul 14

HelmshoreMan2010 says...

I have a rule when it comes to rail, if you can open a window it's going too slow!
I have a rule when it comes to rail, if you can open a window it's going too slow! HelmshoreMan2010
  • Score: 1

8:07am Thu 3 Jul 14

jenkinsroy says...

I will believe it when i see it by this I mean a train we have
Something on lines that run to COLNE but they are not trains
They are just piles of scrap on wheel and they stink badly why?
I remember when COLNE was a very big shunting place for
Train from all over the place we had at one time 3 lines here
And a massive turn table and shunting sheds. Our line went always
To SKIPTON AND BEYOND. NOW IT STOP HERE?
No we have 1 line crap on wheel and this is all to do with MONEY
And nothing else they put up the prices of far so we stop using
Them so they shut thing down? They do not look into why?
We stopped using them and that is where we are now sad but true
It is cheaper to get a taxi now and be dropped off.
At the door to where you are going so I do not use them anymore.
I will believe it when i see it by this I mean a train we have Something on lines that run to COLNE but they are not trains They are just piles of scrap on wheel and they stink badly why? I remember when COLNE was a very big shunting place for Train from all over the place we had at one time 3 lines here And a massive turn table and shunting sheds. Our line went always To SKIPTON AND BEYOND. NOW IT STOP HERE? No we have 1 line crap on wheel and this is all to do with MONEY And nothing else they put up the prices of far so we stop using Them so they shut thing down? They do not look into why? We stopped using them and that is where we are now sad but true It is cheaper to get a taxi now and be dropped off. At the door to where you are going so I do not use them anymore. jenkinsroy
  • Score: 0

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