Day to day, the biggest issues that we as passengers experience is the number of delays, cancellations and part-cancellations; and more particularly, the way in which TPE deal with disruption not by seeking to mitigate its effects on passengers at Slaithwaite, Marsden, Greenfield and Mossley but by making things worse for us.
The actions they have taken at times of disruption include:
- terminating/starting trains at Stalybridge (this has happened over 200 times since the new timetable – TPE say they have done this “on occasion”)
- missing out stops at our stations in order to make up time
- on a small number of occasions by bus replacement
- on a small number of occasions by putting stop orders in some of their other trains (less than twenty times over all four stations – TPE say they do this “where it is possible”)
You might think something they seek to do “where possible” would happen frequently, whilst something they do “on occasion” would happen “occasionally”. But it seems it’s the other way round.
And on 8th August:
“The service recovery plan in place is a set of guidelines that stipulate that unless in extreme circumstances, no more than two services are cancelled in succession, stop orders are implemented when more than two services are cancelled in succession and/or bus replacement services are ordered.”
Here’s what they said, before the timetable change, about resilience and coping with disruption. Compare and contrast.
In answer to a question about whether TPE would put in special stop orders at the four stations (public meeting, Mossley, 16th May). Note lack of any reference to doing nothing for 2 hours then putting in a bus replacement:
“Our control team are obviously well-versed in looking at when there’s disruption on the network and obviously want to minimise that so the plan that we’ve got will allow multiple trains to pass through the stations so we can recover the express services back to the timetable so we would expect that we can provide a stopping service if there’s something extreme that’s happened on the network.”
We would really like to be able to say that TPE have a plan to provide us with an acceptable service, and that there’s a discernible difference 15 weeks on from the start of the new timetable. Unfortunately we have yet to see anything to indicate how things will improve and when that improvement might take place.