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Roads to Nowhere

Shift workers face gruelling commutes

16.06.2016 | Anonymous | Fair fares now
Photo: night train

We often talk about the problems faced by peak-time rail commuters, from overcrowded trains to extortionate peak fares. But what about people who commute at evenings and weekends? Simon Winstanley says the experience has plenty of its own stresses, which often go unmentioned.

Simon"I work in customer service on a hotel reception. I do shift work, including at weekends and Bank Holidays. Early shifts start at 7am and Lates finish around 11pm.

My commute is an awful combination of high fares, engineering works and delays.

When it comes to holidays and weekends, there is almost ALWAYS engineering work, meaning either a replacement bus service or a long diversion.  My journey to work is longer sometimes by an extra 30 minutes. 

This year over the Easter weekend it really got to me. When I went to get the usual replacement bus service it was pouring with rain and the bus I wanted to catch just didn't show, meaning I was 30 minutes late for my night shift. 

I feel that the train companies and Network Rail are only looking out for high-paid city workers and don't care about the thousands of workers like me who earn around the minimum wage. 

I would love a super-off-peak season ticket for weekend and night workers, who always bear the brunt of engineering works. 

Alternatively they should do the engineering works on weekdays  too and get them over with – even if it means closing the line for a week or two.

The other thing I find at weekends and during the night is that NO ONE gets their tickets checked. You can just walk through the barriers and get free travel.  When I have to buy an annual travel card for £4k a year I feel this is unfair.

Also there is never a conductor to see on these trains so it doesn't feel very safe."

Does Simon's commute sound all too familiar? Join our Fair Fares Now campaign to call for a better deal for ALL rail travellers.

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