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Passengers' frustration at 'weakest link' train stations: regional releases

Passengers' frustration at 'weakest link' train stations in the East Midlands

Rail passengers in the East Midlands cite poor buses that don’t connect with train times, poorly-signposted stations, insecure cycle parking and poorly-lit footpaths as barriers to using their local train station.

These are the results found in the 'Weakest Link' [1] survey launched by Transport 2000 [2] to find the best and worst train stations to travel to in England and Wales.

The Government has made steps in the right direction with station 'Access for All' funding, and a commitment in the Rail White Paper to introduce a task force to improve cycle provisions at stations and to introduce Station Travel Plans. Transport 2000 welcomes these decisions.

However, Tara Melton of Transport 2000 says: "Rail passengers need real travel choices. All stations should have good bus links, decent footpaths and secure cycle parking and must be accessible to all. What our survey shows is that this clearly is not the case for many rural and urban stations.

"With rail patronage growing in the East Midlands [3] it is now more important than ever not to disable or discriminate against rail users and to say ‘good-bye’ to inaccessible stations."

 

National survey results

The results of the survey [4] throughout England and Wales found that:

 

  • Only 29% of respondents thought that the bus timetables at their station were clear and accurate
  • Only 12% of respondents thought that the bus timetables generally connected with the train timetable
  • Sixty percent of respondents said that there were official cycle parking facilities at their local train station. However a staggering 60% of respondents also said that they would not feel safe leaving their bikes at the station
  • Sixty-two percent of respondents said that there was not a safe cycle route to the station
  • Only 36% of respondents felt that the paths to the station were safe, well-lit and free of obstacles
  • Sixty-one percent of respondents said that the town centre and nearby facilities were not well-signposted from the station entrance/exit

Local responses

 

Hinckley Station

According to local resident Terry Kirby, poor lighting and bad building design put passengers off using the station at night: "The only entry/exit point from the station to the town centre involves going round a blind corner at the side of the station building with hardly any lighting, no CCTV camera or security mirror. There are real safety issues here, especially in the dark."

 

Loughborough Station

On the whole this station ticks all the boxes: it has good bus connections, a taxi rank and some cycle parking (albeit hidden away and somewhat out of date), but it is not meeting the needs of people who arrive on foot and have to dodge cars, taxis and buses to get to the station because there is no pedestrian footway.

One local station user said: "Because of the large car park there is no pavement or pedestrian crossing to reach the station building. I think a zebra crossing would be much safer."

 

Stamford Station

Stamford Station was singled out for its cycle parking that feels unsafe and buses that are unable to serve the station due to poor planning. One user of the station explains: "In the last few years developers have built a large amount of housing on the old station yard, leaving the station at the end of a narrow, twisty, speed-hump-ridden, housing estate type road which is entirely inaccessible to buses. The bus station is only a ten minute walk for able-bodied people but many elderly people who rely on public transport are left with a big added complication to their journey. The poor planning decision means this almost certainly won’t be solved in the next 100 years!"

 

Brigg Station

Brigg station was nominated because it lacks bus services, it has no cycle routes or cycle storage and there is a perception that walking to station is unsafe. Jim Allcroft, a local resident, explains: "Brigg station is an essential part of the infrastructure of the transport system within North Lincolnshire but over the years the powers that be have allowed it to reek of neglect. People are reluctant to use it because it’s difficult to get to the station in a safe manner and it lacks basic facilities like seating and lighting."

 

Notes to editors

[1] The 'Weakest Link' survey respondents included a mixture of commuters and occasional users throughout England and Wales. Respondents were asked to comment on their personal experiences of their journey to local train stations, whether by foot, cycle, bus or wheelchair.

[2] Transport 2000 is an independent campaigning and research body that represents the key transport interests of around 40 environmental groups, transport organisations and transport unions. We bring together people who seek to reduce the environmental and social effects of transport through encouraging less use of cars, lorries and planes and more use of rail, buses, trams, cycling and walking.

We believe the following elements are important if stations are to become less car-dependent:

 

  • Clear signage from the town centre and roads showing where the station is (preferably with a map for pedestrians)
  • Clear signage outside the station, clearly indicating the presence of a railway station
  • Communication between local bus operators and rail companies with the aim of providing bus services that broadly meet the trains
  • Information about the bus timetable and train timetable in a clear and obvious location
  • Walking, buggy and wheelchair access to the station that is clear from clutter such as overgrown hedges, that is well-lit and feels safe at night, and with safe pedestrian crossing facilities
  • Cycling access to the station that is well-signposted and has a reduced speed limit of 30mph; ideally this should take the form of a dedicated cycle lane leading directly into the station
  • Cycle parking at the station that is secure, overlooked by staff and CCTV, and preferably covered
  • Taxi ranks that are clearly signed, or a list of taxi numbers in the station building with a working public phone

[3] The statistics for the growth of station usage 2005-2006 are taken from Office of Rail Regulation.

 

[4] 184 stations were nominated across the country; this is approximately 7% of all stations.

 

Passengers' frustration at 'weakest link' train stations in the East of England

 

Rail passengers in the East of England cite poor buses that don’t connect with train times, insecure cycle parking and poorly-lit footpaths as barriers to using their local train station.

These are the results found in the ‘Weakest Link’ [1] survey launched by Transport 2000 [2] to find the best and worst train stations to travel to in England and Wales.

The Government has made steps in the right direction with station ‘Access for All’ funding, and a commitment in the Rail White Paper to introduce a task force to improve cycle provisions at stations and to introduce Station Travel Plans. Transport 2000 welcomes these decisions.

However, Tara Melton of Transport 2000 says: “Rail passengers need real travel choices. All stations should have good bus links, decent footpaths and secure cycle parking and must be accessible to all. What our survey shows is that this clearly is not the case for many rural and urban stations.

“With rail patronage growing in the East of England [3] it is now more important than ever not to disable or discriminate against rail users and to say ‘good-bye’ to inaccessible stations”.

 

Local responses

 

Marks Tey Station

James Elmer uses the station every day to commute to work and finds the whole experience distressing: “People who live nearby in Marks Tey and Copford who choose to walk to the station have a choice of either crossing a very busy and potentially dangerous slip road entrance to the A12 to get to the station or crossing a dual carriageway, albeit limited to 40mph. This is poorly thought out and causes serious safety concerns. Network Rail and the local council need to meet and sort out the mess before someone is hurt.”

 

Manningtree Station

Manningtree station is used by 1,300 people a day, but there are virtually no joined-up bus/rail journeys and no consideration of how people will get to the station on foot. Derek Monnery, local rail user and campaigner, said: “Manningtree Station is accessed from a busy roundabout, which has a 60mph speed limit and no proper pedestrian crossings or routes and is poorly lit. The buses don’t run when people need them, such as first thing in the morning or last thing at night, forcing people to drive.”

 

Hitchin Station

This station has been highlighted for its awful bus connections and unsafe and narrow access paths. Susan Dye lists many reasons why she thinks Hitchin Station is a contender for the ‘weakest link’: “Most buses don’t stop at the station, but fly past it half a mile into the centre of town. Access to the station is an awful experience. I have to walk under the horrible, smelly, dark, noisy rail tunnel. Walkers are penned in on one side of the tunnel by a continuous guard rail leaving barely enough space for two people. I know people who drive several hundred metres to the station to avoid walking or cycling through it.”

 

National survey results

The results of the survey [4] throughout England and Wales found that:

 

  • Only 29% of respondents thought that the bus timetables at their station were clear and accurate
  • Only 12% of respondents thought that the bus timetables generally connected with the train timetable
  • Sixty percent of respondents said that there were official cycle parking facilities at their local train station. However a staggering 60% of respondents also said that they would not feel safe leaving their bikes at the station
  • Sixty-two percent of respondents said that there was not a safe cycle route to the station
  • Only 36% of respondents felt that the paths to the station were safe, well-lit and free of obstacles
  • Sixty-one percent of respondents said that the town centre and nearby facilities were not well-signposted from the station entrance/exit

Notes to editors

[1] The ‘Weakest Link’ survey respondents included a mixture of commuters and occasional users throughout England and Wales. Respondents were asked to comment on their personal experiences of their journey to local train stations, whether by foot, cycle, bus or wheelchair.

[2] Transport 2000 is an independent campaigning and research body that represents the key transport interests of around 40 environmental groups, transport organisations and transport unions. We bring together people who seek to reduce the environmental and social effects of transport through encouraging less use of cars, lorries and planes and more use of rail, buses, trams, cycling and walking.

We believe the following elements are important if stations are to become less car-dependent:

 

  • Clear signage from the town centre and roads showing where the station is (preferably with a map for pedestrians)
  • Clear signage outside the station, clearly indicating the presence of a railway station
  • Communication between local bus operators and rail companies with the aim of providing bus services that broadly meet the trains
  • Information about the bus timetable and train timetable in a clear and obvious location
  • Walking, buggy and wheelchair access to the station that is clear from clutter such as overgrown hedges, that is well-lit and feels safe at night, and with safe pedestrian crossing facilities
  • Cycling access to the station that is well-signposted and has a reduced speed limit of 30mph; ideally this should take the form of a dedicated cycle lane leading directly into the station
  • Cycle parking at the station that is secure, overlooked by staff and CCTV, and preferably covered
  • Taxi ranks that are clearly signed, or a list of taxi numbers in the station building with a working public phone

[3] The statistics for the growth of station usage 2005-2006 are taken from Office of Rail Regulation.

 

[4] 184 stations were nominated across the country; this is approximately 7% of all stations.

 

Passengers' frustration at 'weakest link' train stations in London

Rail passengers in London cite buses that don’t connect with train times, an absence of signage to stations, insecure cycle parking and poorly-lit access paths as some of the barriers to using their local train stations.

These are the results found in the ‘Weakest Link’ [1] survey launched by Transport 2000 [2] to find the best and worst train stations to travel to in England and Wales.

The Government has made steps in the right direction with station ‘Access for All’ funding, and a commitment in the Rail White Paper to introduce a task force to improve cycle provisions at stations and to introduce Station Travel Plans. Transport 2000 welcomes these decisions.

However, Tara Melton of Transport 2000 says: “Rail passengers need real travel choices. All stations should have good bus links, decent footpaths and secure cycle parking and must be accessible to all. What our survey shows is that this clearly is not the case for many rural and urban stations.

“It is vital that we don’t disable or discriminate against rail users. It’s time to say ‘good-bye’ to inaccessible stations”.

 

Local responses

 

Peckham Rye (Britain's 'hairiest' station?)

Peckham Rye was selected because of its entrance access paths, which are described as dirty, dark, gloomy and intimidating, particularly after dark.

Alfonso Pantisano, a regular at the station, describes his hair-raising experience: "The station access is very, very dirty and it makes me feel unsafe. The surrounding hair shops bin their waste straight on the floor. It`s a hair invasion!"

Another regular user said: “This station does not feel safe; the entrances are quite spooky and there are not enough staff and none at all at night.”

 

St Margaret’s station, Twickenham

The access to the station for pedestrians is narrow and obstructed and there is no cycle parking.

 

Manor Park

Manor Park station was selected because of the reported high number of bike thefts, which discourage cyclists from using the station.

Gill James, local cyclist, said: “Bikes are regularly stolen from the racks provided and the relevant CCTV footage is never available when claims are made.”

 

Nunhead

This station is located close to Nunhead Cemetery, a site of historical and ecological value, but there is no signage or map or local taxi numbers – visitors have no idea how to reach it from the station. This typifies a national problem of poor signage to local attractions from train stations.

Howard Francis, local resident, said: “There should be a sign with directions that tells passengers to alight here for Nunhead Cemetery as it is such a famous landmark.”

 

National survey results

The results of the survey [3] throughout England and Wales found that:

 

  • Only 29% of respondents thought that the bus timetables at their station were clear and accurate
  • Only 12% of respondents thought that the bus timetables generally connected with the train timetable
  • Sixty percent of respondents said that there were official cycle parking facilities at their local train station. However a staggering 60% of respondents also said that they would not feel safe leaving their bikes at the station
  • Sixty-two percent of respondents said that there was not a safe cycle route to the station
  • Only 36% of respondents felt that the paths to the station were safe, well-lit and free of obstacles
  • Sixty-one percent of respondents said that the town centre and nearby facilities were not well-signposted from the station entrance/exit

Notes to editors

[1] The ‘Weakest Link’ survey respondents included a mixture of commuters and occasional users throughout England and Wales. Respondents were asked to comment on their personal experiences of their journey to local train stations, whether by foot, cycle, bus or wheelchair.

[2] Transport 2000 is an independent campaigning and research body that represents the key transport interests of around 40 environmental groups, transport organisations and transport unions. We bring together people who seek to reduce the environmental and social effects of transport through encouraging less use of cars, lorries and planes and more use of rail, buses, trams, cycling and walking.

We believe the following elements are important if stations are to become less car-dependent:

 

  • Clear signage from the town centre and roads showing where the station is (preferably with a map for pedestrians)
  • Clear signage outside the station, clearly indicating the presence of a railway station
  • Communication between local bus operators and rail companies with the aim of providing bus services that broadly meet the trains
  • Information about the bus timetable and train timetable in a clear and obvious location
  • Walking, buggy and wheelchair access to the station that is clear from clutter such as overgrown hedges, that is well-lit and feels safe at night, and with safe pedestrian crossing facilities
  • Cycling access to the station that is well-signposted and has a reduced speed limit of 30mph; ideally this should take the form of a dedicated cycle lane leading directly into the station
  • Cycle parking at the station that is secure, overlooked by staff and CCTV, and preferably covered
  • Taxi ranks that are clearly signed, or a list of taxi numbers in the station building with a working public phone

[3] 184 stations were nominated across the country; this is approximately 7% of all stations.

 

 

Passengers' frustration at 'weakest link' train stations in the North East

Rail passengers in the North East cite poor bus links, difficult-to-cross roads, insecure cycle parking and a lack of cycle paths as barriers to using their local train station.

These are the results found in the ‘Weakest Link’ [1] survey launched by Transport 2000 [2] to find the best and worst train stations to travel to in England and Wales.

The Government has made steps in the right direction with station ‘Access for All’ funding, and a commitment in the Rail White Paper to introduce a task force to improve cycle provisions at stations and to introduce Station Travel Plans. Transport 2000 welcomes these decisions.

However, Tara Melton of Transport 2000 says: “Rail passengers need real travel choices. All stations should have good bus links, decent footpaths and secure cycle parking and must be accessible to all. What our survey shows is that this clearly is not the case for many rural and urban stations.

“With rail patronage growing in the North East [3] it is now more important than ever not to disable or discriminate against rail users and to say ‘good-bye’ to inaccessible stations”.

 

Local responses

 

Morpeth Station

Morpeth Station stood out in the North East as a Weak Link. Tara Melton of Transport 2000 says: “Morpeth Station has seen a growth of 8% in the last year and is increasingly popular with commuters. The National Rail website warns that the car park fills up by 8:30am; shockingly however there are no cycle storage facilities.”

Local passenger Dennis Fancett explains: “The southbound platform has a bus turning circle marked ‘bus only’ but no buses call there; buses only serve the main road which is a short walk away. There are no sign posts to the bus stop. To get a bus into town you have to cross the main road with no pedestrian facilities. We’d like to see the bus company working to get the buses actually into the station complex.”

 

National survey results

The results of the survey [4] throughout England and Wales found that:

 

  • Only 29% of respondents thought that the bus timetables at their station were clear and accurate
  • Only 12% of respondents thought that the bus timetables generally connected with the train timetable
  • A staggering 60% of respondents said that they would not feel safe leaving their bikes at the station
  • Sixty-two percent of respondents said that there was not a safe cycle route to the station
  • Only 36% of respondents felt that the paths to the station were safe, well-lit and free of obstacles
  • Sixty-one percent of respondents said that the town centre and nearby facilities were not well-signposted from the station entrance/exit

Notes to editors

[1] The ‘Weakest Link’ survey respondents included a mixture of commuters and occasional users throughout England and Wales. Respondents were asked to comment on their personal experiences of their journey to local train stations, whether by foot, cycle, bus or wheelchair.

[2] Transport 2000 is an independent campaigning and research body that represents the key transport interests of around 40 environmental groups, transport organisations and transport unions. We bring together people who seek to reduce the environmental and social effects of transport through encouraging less use of cars, lorries and planes and more use of rail, buses, trams, cycling and walking.

We believe the following elements are important if stations are to become less car-dependent:

 

  • Clear signage from the town centre and roads showing where the station is (preferably with a map for pedestrians)
  • Clear signage outside the station, clearly indicating the presence of a railway station
  • Communication between local bus operators and rail companies with the aim of providing bus services that broadly meet the trains
  • Information about the bus timetable and train timetable in a clear and obvious location
  • Walking, buggy and wheelchair access to the station that is clear from clutter such as overgrown hedges, that is well-lit and feels safe at night, and with safe pedestrian crossing facilities
  • Cycling access to the station that is well-signposted and has a reduced speed limit of 30mph; ideally this should take the form of a dedicated cycle lane leading directly into the station
  • Cycle parking at the station that is secure, overlooked by staff and CCTV, and preferably covered
  • Taxi ranks that are clearly signed, or a list of taxi numbers in the station building with a working public phone

[3] The statistics for the growth of station usage 2005-2006 are taken from Office of Rail Regulation.

 

[4] 184 stations were nominated across the country; this is approximately 7% of all stations.

 

Passengers' frustration at 'weakest link' train stations in the North West

Rail passengers in the North West cite poor bus links, difficult-to-cross roads, insecure cycle parking and poorly-lit footpaths as barriers to using their local train station.

These are the results found in the ‘Weakest Link’ [1] survey launched by Transport 2000 [2] to find the best and worst train stations to travel to in England and Wales.

The Government has made steps in the right direction with station ‘Access for All’ funding, and a commitment in the Rail White Paper to introduce a task force to improve cycle provisions at stations and to introduce Station Travel Plans. Transport 2000 welcomes these decisions.

However, Tara Melton of Transport 2000 says: “Rail passengers need real travel choices. All stations should have good bus links, decent footpaths and secure cycle parking and must be accessible to all. What our survey shows is that this clearly is not the case for many rural and urban stations.

"With rail patronage growing in the North West [3] it is now more important than ever not to disable or discriminate against rail users and to say ‘good-bye’ to inaccessible stations."

 

Local responses

 

Kendal Station

Paul Holdsworth, who uses Kendal Station most weekdays, explains: "This is probably the prettiest branch line in the country, with sleek modern trains that are well-maintained, clean and comfy on a spectacular scenic route into the heart of the Lake District. But the connection between the station and town centre is dire!

"It would be great to have a pedestrian crossing right outside the station. There are buses running from Kendal station to a number of destinations in the Lakes, but there is no information and they are very expensive. I’d like to see Cumbria County Council and the Lake District National Park Authority working with Trans Pennine Express, the station manager, promoting sustainable transport in the National Park – instead it's totally car-dominated."

 

Wallasey Village Station

Wallasey Village Station in the Wirral scored particularly badly in our survey, with no cycle facilities and no cycle paths, no signposts to the town centre from the station, very busy roads to cross and numerous steps to climb before entering the station.

Karen Richards explains that she would use the station more if she didn’t have to drag her pram and children up steep and uneven stairs: "This station is inaccessible to all but the athletic. It’s easier to walk to the next station along the line than to board at Wallasey Village station! The road to cross to reach the train station is extremely busy and leads onto a dual carriageway."

 

National survey results

The results of the survey [4] throughout England and Wales found that:

 

  • Only 29% of respondents thought that the bus timetables at their station were clear and accurate
  • Only 12% of respondents thought that the bus timetables generally connected with the train timetable
  • A staggering 60% of respondents said that they would not feel safe leaving their bikes at the station
  • Sixty-two percent of respondents said that there was not a safe cycle route to the station
  • Only 36% of respondents felt that the paths to the station were safe, well-lit and free of obstacles
  • Sixty-one percent of respondents said that the town centre and nearby facilities were not well-signposted from the station entrance/exit

Notes to editors

[1] The ‘Weakest Link’ survey respondents included a mixture of commuters and occasional users throughout England and Wales. Respondents were asked to comment on their personal experiences of their journey to local train stations, whether by foot, cycle, bus or wheelchair.

[2] Transport 2000 is an independent campaigning and research body that represents the key transport interests of around 40 environmental groups, transport organisations and transport unions. We bring together people who seek to reduce the environmental and social effects of transport through encouraging less use of cars, lorries and planes and more use of rail, buses, trams, cycling and walking.

We believe the following elements are important if stations are to become less car-dependent:

 

  • Clear signage from the town centre and roads showing where the station is (preferably with a map for pedestrians)
  • Clear signage outside the station, clearly indicating the presence of a railway station
  • Communication between local bus operators and rail companies with the aim of providing bus services that broadly meet the trains
  • Information about the bus timetable and train timetable in a clear and obvious location
  • Walking, buggy and wheelchair access to the station that is clear from clutter such as overgrown hedges, that is well-lit and feels safe at night, and with safe pedestrian crossing facilities
  • Cycling access to the station that is well-signposted and has a reduced speed limit of 30mph; ideally this should take the form of a dedicated cycle lane leading directly into the station
  • Cycle parking at the station that is secure, overlooked by staff and CCTV, and preferably covered
  • Taxi ranks that are clearly signed, or a list of taxi numbers in the station building with a working public phone

[3] The statistics for the growth of station usage 2005-2006 are taken from Office of Rail Regulation.

 

[4] 184 stations were nominated across the country; this is approximately 7% of all stations.

 

Passengers' frustration at 'weakest link' train stations in the South East

Rail passengers in the South East cite buses that don’t connect with train times, insecure cycle parking and poorly-lit footpaths as barriers to using their local train stations.

These are the results found in the ‘Weakest Link’ [1] survey launched by Transport 2000 [2] to find the best and worst train stations to travel to in England and Wales.

The Government has made steps in the right direction with station ‘Access for All’ funding, and a commitment in the Rail White Paper to introduce a task force to improve cycle provisions at stations and to introduce Station Travel Plans. Transport 2000 welcomes these decisions.

However, Tara Melton of Transport 2000 says: "Rail passengers need real travel choices. All stations should have good bus links, decent footpaths and secure cycle parking and must be accessible to all. What our survey shows is that this clearly is not the case for many rural and urban stations.

"With rail patronage growing in the South East [3] it is now more important than ever not to disable or discriminate against rail users and to say ‘good-bye’ to inaccessible stations."

 

Local responses

Lewes

Lewes Station is difficult to travel to because of an absence of safe cycle routes and footpaths and buses that do not connect with the train timetable. One respondent explains why she singled out this station: "The walk to the station is two miles from our village, along a very fast road. The pavements are too narrow for a buggy and are overgrown by bushes, and the path is often flooded. The road is lethal to bicycles and is far too dangerous for most to risk."

"Bus services are not regular and take different routes at different times of the day so even the driver gets confused. The bus timetable does not match with the trains and there is no service back in the evening or at all on Sundays."

 

High Brooms, Tunbridge Wells

The main problem highlighted with High Brooms is a lack of bus integration with the surrounding villages and the station feeling disconnected from the town. One respondent explained that: "There is no bus between High Brooms and Pemburty, Paddock Wood or other nearby towns and villages and only infrequent buses to Tunbridge Wells. The station itself is poorly-signed and not obvious until you come close to it. There are no directional signs from the station to facilities, leaving unfamiliar users entirely disorientated."

 

Cobham and Stoke D’Abernon

Cobham and Stoke D’Aberon Station was nominated because buses don’t connect with train times and don’t operate in the evenings and at weekends. The station also lacks designated cycle paths and not all footpaths feel safe. Irene Threlkeld, a regular user of the station, explains: “I would like the bus services to be more frequent, run longer throughout the day and to connect better with the train services from Cobham and Stoke D’Aberon Railway Station.”

 

National survey results

The results of the survey [4] throughout England and Wales found that:

 

  • Only 29% of respondents thought that the bus timetables at their station were clear and accurate
  • Only 12% of respondents thought that the bus timetables generally connected with the train timetable
  • A staggering 60% of respondents said that they would not feel safe leaving their bikes at the station
  • Sixty-two percent of respondents said that there was not a safe cycle route to the station
  • Only 36% of respondents felt that the paths to the station were safe, well-lit and free of obstacles
  • Sixty-one percent of respondents said that the town centre and nearby facilities were not well-signposted from the station entrance/exit

Notes to editors

[1] The ‘Weakest Link’ survey respondents included a mixture of commuters and occasional users throughout England and Wales. Respondents were asked to comment on their personal experiences of their journey to local train stations, whether by foot, cycle, bus or wheelchair.

[2] Transport 2000 is an independent campaigning and research body that represents the key transport interests of around 40 environmental groups, transport organisations and transport unions. We bring together people who seek to reduce the environmental and social effects of transport through encouraging less use of cars, lorries and planes and more use of rail, buses, trams, cycling and walking.

We believe the following elements are important if stations are to become less car-dependent:

 

  • Clear signage from the town centre and roads showing where the station is (preferably with a map for pedestrians)
  • Clear signage outside the station, clearly indicating the presence of a railway station
  • Communication between local bus operators and rail companies with the aim of providing bus services that broadly meet the trains
  • Information about the bus timetable and train timetable in a clear and obvious location
  • Walking, buggy and wheelchair access to the station that is clear from clutter such as overgrown hedges, that is well-lit and feels safe at night, and with safe pedestrian crossing facilities
  • Cycling access to the station that is well-signposted and has a reduced speed limit of 30mph; ideally this should take the form of a dedicated cycle lane leading directly into the station
  • Cycle parking at the station that is secure, overlooked by staff and CCTV, and preferably covered
  • Taxi ranks that are clearly signed, or a list of taxi numbers in the station building with a working public phone

[3] The statistics for the growth of station usage 2005-2006 are taken from Office of Rail Regulation.

 

[4] 184 stations were nominated across the country; this is approximately 7% of all stations.

 

Passengers' frustration at 'weakest link' train stations in the South West

Rail passengers in the South West cite buses that don’t connect with train times, insecure cycle parking and poorly-lit footpaths as barriers to using their local train stations.

These are the results found in the ‘Weakest Link’ [1] survey launched by Transport 2000 [2] to find the best and worst train stations to travel to in England and Wales.

The Government has made steps in the right direction with station ‘Access for All’ funding, and a commitment in the Rail White Paper to introduce a task force to improve cycle provisions at stations and to introduce Station Travel Plans. Transport 2000 welcomes these decisions.

However, Tara Melton of Transport 2000 says: “Rail passengers need real travel choices. All stations should have good bus links, decent footpaths and secure cycle parking and must be accessible to all. What our survey shows is that this clearly is not the case for many rural and urban stations.

"With rail patronage growing in the South West [3] it is now more important than ever not to disable or discriminate against rail users and to say ‘good-bye’ to inaccessible stations."

 

Local responses

 

Weymouth

Ken Reed explains why he nominated Weymouth as a ‘weakest link’ station: “Weymouth is a major seaside resort and the host for the ‘green’ Olympics but has no public transport interchange. The station is a long way from the nearest bus stop and it is difficult to find out where the bus goes from the stop. Even changing buses is confusing and requires a long walk. There are no cycle routes to the station or signed routes in any direction from the town centre”.

 

Bristol Temple Meads

Bristol Temple Meads was highlighted by respondents as being poorly-signposted from the town centre and lacking a bus connection to the Bedminster area. Kerren, a Bristol resident, explains: "Temple Meads Station is not signposted well in the 100 yards or so before people approach it. Often passengers on a bus will ask where the station is as we pass it, because there is nothing to tell them it is coming up soon. There are a few signs, but they stop well before the station. The station signs, such as they are, are aimed at car users, not pedestrians or bus users."

Plymouth

Roger Creagh-Osbourne explains: “The scandal is the near complete isolation from the bus stop. Since the footbridge was damaged a year ago you have to walk several hundred yards up and down a steep hill to cross a busy road. Most people dodge across the busy dual carriageway – it is a miracle there has not been a serious accident yet. Plymouth City Council should be named and shamed!”

 

Kemble (near Cirencester)

Greg King explains what would make him use this station more: “I would use the station more if there was a half-decent bus service connecting to the station, if the conditions for cycling were not so terrible and if it was easier to take my bike on the train. The station seems to be almost exclusively set up for people to drive to. We all know that we need to reduce our carbon emissions and it sends a very poor message to anyone who is trying to cut down on car use, or who has got rid of their car entirely (as I have recently done), that you are treated as a second or third class citizen.”

 

Highbridge and Burnham

Highbridge and Burnham Station was nominated because of a lack of bus integration, poor cycle provisions and access paths feeling unsafe. Mike Newman explains: “It`s particularly sad that a station with a fairly reasonable service, in the middle of an area earmarked for regeneration, is so poorly linked to other local transport, and is so unfriendly to use – particularly for disabled passengers (who apparently only want to travel northbound!)".

 

Melksham

Melksham Station was nominated because of buses not connecting directly to the station, and a lack of safe and direct cycle routes and footpaths. Graham Ellis, a local resident, explains: “We were told to ‘use or lose’ the station; we chose to use it, but we still had the service cut back to two round trips a day. It makes for an unnecessarily long day for commuters. The station car park is regularly used by HGVs and forklifts to upload for the local businesses and you have to be very careful walking to the station as you dodge between parked lorries”

 

National survey results

The results of the survey [4] throughout England and Wales found that:

 

  • Only 29% of respondents thought that the bus timetables at their station were clear and accurate
  • Only 12% of respondents thought that the bus timetables generally connected with the train timetable
  • A staggering 60% of respondents said that they would not feel safe leaving their bikes at the station
  • Sixty-two percent of respondents said that there was not a safe cycle route to the station.
  • Only 36% of respondents felt that the paths to the station were safe, well-lit and free of obstacles
  • Sixty-one percent of respondents said that the town centre and nearby facilities were not well-signposted from the station entrance/exit

Notes to editors

[1] The ‘Weakest Link’ survey respondents included a mixture of commuters and occasional users throughout England and Wales. Respondents were asked to comment on their personal experiences of their journey to local train stations, whether by foot, cycle, bus or wheelchair.

[2] Transport 2000 is an independent campaigning and research body that represents the key transport interests of around 40 environmental groups, transport organisations and transport unions. We bring together people who seek to reduce the environmental and social effects of transport through encouraging less use of cars, lorries and planes and more use of rail, buses, trams, cycling and walking.

We believe the following elements are important if stations are to become less car-dependent:

 

  • Clear signage from the town centre and roads showing where the station is (preferably with a map for pedestrians)
  • Clear signage outside the station, clearly indicating the presence of a railway station
  • Communication between local bus operators and rail companies with the aim of providing bus services that broadly meet the trains
  • Information about the bus timetable and train timetable in a clear and obvious location
  • Walking, buggy and wheelchair access to the station that is clear from clutter such as overgrown hedges, that is well-lit and feels safe at night, and with safe pedestrian crossing facilities
  • Cycling access to the station that is well-signposted and has a reduced speed limit of 30mph; ideally this should take the form of a dedicated cycle lane leading directly into the station
  • Cycle parking at the station that is secure, overlooked by staff and CCTV, and preferably covered
  • Taxi ranks that are clearly signed, or a list of taxi numbers in the station building with a working public phone

[3] The statistics for the growth of station usage 2005-2006 are taken from Office of Rail Regulation.

 

[4] 184 stations were nominated across the country; this is approximately 7% of all stations.

 

Passengers' frustration at 'weakest link' train stations in Wales

Rail passengers in Wales cite buses not connecting with train times, poorly-signposted stations, insecure cycle parking and poorly-lit access paths as barriers to using their local train station.

These are the results found in the ‘Weakest Link’ [1] survey launched by Transport 2000 [2] to find the best and worst train stations to travel to in England and Wales.

The Government has made steps in the right direction with station ‘Access for All’ funding, and a commitment in the Rail White Paper to introduce a task force to improve cycle provisions at stations and to introduce Station Travel Plans. Transport 2000 welcomes these decisions.

However, Tara Melton of Transport 2000 says: "Rail passengers need real travel choices. All stations should have good bus links, decent footpaths and secure cycle parking and must be accessible to all. What our survey shows is that this clearly is not the case for many rural and urban stations.

"With rail patronage growing in Wales [3] it is now more important than ever not to disable or discriminate against rail users and to say ‘good-bye’ to inaccessible stations."

 

Local responses

 

Newport

Newport Station was singled out by respondents because despite having excellent connections to London, the station is disconnected from the surrounding town area and unappealing to walk or cycle to.

Ben Hamilton-Baillie, an urban planner and user of the station, explains that he would use the station more if there was: “Better access to both the City Centre and the residential area to the rear of the station, preferably avoiding the miserable, dank, dark and smelly underpass tunnel. The station is currently physically and psychologically disconnected from the town”.

 

National survey results

The results of the survey [4] throughout England and Wales found that:

 

  • Only 29% of respondents thought that the bus timetables at their station were clear and accurate
  • Only 12% of respondents thought that the bus timetables generally connected with the train timetable
  • A staggering 60% of respondents said that they would not feel safe leaving their bikes at the station
  • Sixty-two percent of respondents said that there was not a safe cycle route to the station
  • Only 36% of respondents felt that the paths to the station were safe, well-lit and free of obstacles
  • Sixty-one percent of respondents said that the town centre and nearby facilities were not well-signposted from the station entrance/exit

Notes to editors

[1] The ‘Weakest Link’ survey respondents included a mixture of commuters and occasional users throughout England and Wales. Respondents were asked to comment on their personal experiences of their journey to local train stations, whether by foot, cycle, bus or wheelchair.

[2] Transport 2000 is an independent campaigning and research body that represents the key transport interests of around 40 environmental groups, transport organisations and transport unions. We bring together people who seek to reduce the environmental and social effects of transport through encouraging less use of cars, lorries and planes and more use of rail, buses, trams, cycling and walking.

We believe the following elements are important if stations are to become less car-dependent:

 

  • Clear signage from the town centre and roads showing where the station is (preferably with a map for pedestrians)
  • Clear signage outside the station, clearly indicating the presence of a railway station
  • Communication between local bus operators and rail companies with the aim of providing bus services that broadly meet the trains
  • Information about the bus timetable and train timetable in a clear and obvious location
  • Walking, buggy and wheelchair access to the station that is clear from clutter such as overgrown hedges, that is well-lit and feels safe at night, and with safe pedestrian crossing facilities
  • Cycling access to the station that is well-signposted and has a reduced speed limit of 30mph; ideally this should take the form of a dedicated cycle lane leading directly into the station
  • Cycle parking at the station that is secure, overlooked by staff and CCTV, and preferably covered
  • Taxi ranks that are clearly signed, or a list of taxi numbers in the station building with a working public phone

[3] The statistics for the growth of station usage 2005-2006 are taken from Office of Rail Regulation.

 

[4] 184 stations were nominated across the country; this is approximately 7% of all stations.

 

Passengers' frustration at 'weakest link' train stations in the West Midlands

Rail passengers in the West Midlands cite buses that don’t connect with train times, insecure cycle parking and poorly-lit footpaths as barriers to using their local train stations.

These are the results found in the ‘Weakest Link’ [1] survey launched by Transport 2000 [2] to find the best and worst train stations to travel to in England and Wales.

The Government has made steps in the right direction with station ‘Access for All’ funding, and a commitment in the Rail White Paper to introduce a task force to improve cycle provisions at stations and to introduce Station Travel Plans. Transport 2000 welcomes these decisions.

However, Tara Melton of Transport 2000 says: “Rail passengers need real travel choices. All stations should have good bus links, decent footpaths and secure cycle parking and must be accessible to all. What our survey shows is that this clearly is not the case for many rural and urban stations.

"With rail patronage growing in the West Midlands [3] it is now more important than ever not to disable or discriminate against rail users and to say ‘good-bye’ to inaccessible stations."

 

Local responses

 

Bromsgrove

Bromsgrove Station scored particularly badly in all sections with no buses connecting the station, no safe cycle routes, a busy road to cross and no signposts to the town and local facilities. Gordon Selway, a regular user of the station, explains: “At Bromsgrove we`ve had a raw deal from the railways for years. The car park is too small and cars often park in the street and on verges which is real nuisance for residents. But now at last there is the possibility of a proper station. Plans are being drawn up for a four-platform station to the south of the existing one, with accessible platforms, staff, a bus interchange, we hope cycle parking, and much more car parking. It`s important the planners get the station right, and make sure it`s easily accessible on foot, or by bike or bus. If the planners fail here, residents` lives will be made more difficult.”

 

Walsall

Walsall Station was highlighted because it is poorly integrated with the town, with poor cycle access. One user of the station explained that: “My husband’s bike was stolen from this train station. The bike areas are serviced by CCTV but staff refused to view it citing that they do not review footage after eight hours. Seeing as the majority of people working a normal day will be leaving their bike there for over eight hours this makes the bike lock-up unusable. The trains are constantly late and often a train will arrive and leave the station without opening the doors”.

 

Smethwick Rolfe Street

Smethwick Rolfe Street Station was nominated for its woefully inadequate access. Buses do not connect with the trains, there are no cycle paths or official cycling facilities and access paths are full of obstacles, making access difficult for prams and those with a disability. Phil Crumpton, a regular user of the station, explains: “I am unable to use the station with my disabled wife because of inaccessibility issues; if only the masses of land was utilised to install a ramp onto the platforms. The money is there: it’s a disgrace.”

 

National survey results

The results of the survey [4] throughout England and Wales found that:

 

  • Only 29% of respondents thought that the bus timetables at their station were clear and accurate
  • Only 12% of respondents thought that the bus timetables generally connected with the train timetable
  • A staggering 60% of respondents said that they would not feel safe leaving their bikes at the station
  • Sixty-two percent of respondents said that there was not a safe cycle route to the station
  • Only 36% of respondents felt that the paths to the station were safe, well-lit and free of obstacles
  • Sixty-one percent of respondents said that the town centre and nearby facilities were not well-signposted from the station entrance/exit

Notes to editors

[1] The ‘Weakest Link’ survey respondents included a mixture of commuters and occasional users throughout England and Wales. Respondents were asked to comment on their personal experiences of their journey to local train stations, whether by foot, cycle, bus or wheelchair.

[2] Transport 2000 is an independent campaigning and research body that represents the key transport interests of around 40 environmental groups, transport organisations and transport unions. We bring together people who seek to reduce the environmental and social effects of transport through encouraging less use of cars, lorries and planes and more use of rail, buses, trams, cycling and walking.

We believe the following elements are important if stations are to become less car-dependent:

 

  • Clear signage from the town centre and roads showing where the station is (preferably with a map for pedestrians)
  • Clear signage outside the station, clearly indicating the presence of a railway station
  • Communication between local bus operators and rail companies with the aim of providing bus services that broadly meet the trains
  • Information about the bus timetable and train timetable in a clear and obvious location
  • Walking, buggy and wheelchair access to the station that is clear from clutter such as overgrown hedges, that is well-lit and feels safe at night, and with safe pedestrian crossing facilities
  • Cycling access to the station that is well-signposted and has a reduced speed limit of 30mph; ideally this should take the form of a dedicated cycle lane leading directly into the station
  • Cycle parking at the station that is secure, overlooked by staff and CCTV, and preferably covered
  • Taxi ranks that are clearly signed, or a list of taxi numbers in the station building with a working public phone

[3] The statistics for the growth of station usage 2005-2006 are taken from Office of Rail Regulation.

 

[4] 184 stations were nominated across the country; this is approximately 7% of all stations.

 

Passengers' frustration at 'weakest link' train stations in Yorkshire and The Humber

Rail passengers in Yorkshire and The Humber cite buses that don’t connect with train times, insecure cycle parking and poorly-lit footpaths as barriers to using their local train stations.

These are the results found in the ‘Weakest Link’ [1] survey launched by Transport 2000 [2] to find the best and worst train stations to travel to in England and Wales.

The Government has made steps in the right direction with station ‘Access for All’ funding, and a commitment in the Rail White Paper to introduce a task force to improve cycle provisions at stations and to introduce Station Travel Plans. Transport 2000 welcomes these decisions.

However, Tara Melton of Transport 2000 says: "Rail passengers need real travel choices. All stations should have good bus links, decent footpaths and secure cycle parking and must be accessible to all. What our survey shows is that this clearly is not the case for many rural and urban stations.

"With rail patronage growing in Yorkshire and The Humber [3] it is now more important than ever not to disable or discriminate against rail users and to say ‘good-bye’ to inaccessible stations."

 

Local responses

 

Sandal and Agbrigg

The number of people using Sandal and Agbrigg Station has grown by 10% in the last year, the car park is full to capacity and yet essential bus services have been cut and there are no direct and safe cycle routes. John Seacome, a regular user of the station, explains: “It is very difficult to travel to Sandal and Agbrigg station as bus services have been cut by 50% in the last year and no effort whatsoever has been made to co-ordinate bus and rail times. Cycling to the station can be dangerous as there are no cycle lanes along Barnsley Road, a main road to the station. Once at the station there are cycle lockers but most cyclists take their bikes on the train because of security problems. It seems that people wishing to use this station are left with little option but to drive, and as the car park is full by 7:45 many passengers are left to drive further away to Wakefield station!”

Dore

Dore Station was nominated for its poor cycle access. Local passenger Simon Geller explains: “We have been trying to get the train operator to install cycle stands for many years. The station is well-used by commuters to Manchester but there is very little car parking and no cycle parking, so commuters tend to park on the main road, causing congestion.”

 

National survey results

The results of the survey [4] throughout England and Wales found that:

 

  • Only 29% of respondents thought that the bus timetables at their station were clear and accurate
  • Only 12% of respondents thought that the bus timetables generally connected with the train timetable
  • A staggering 60% of respondents said that they would not feel safe leaving their bikes at the station
  • Sixty-two percent of respondents said that there was not a safe cycle route to the station
  • Only 36% of respondents felt that the paths to the station were safe, well-lit and free of obstacles
  • Sixty-one percent of respondents said that the town centre and nearby facilities were not well-signposted from the station entrance/exit

Notes to editors

[1] The ‘Weakest Link’ survey respondents included a mixture of commuters and occasional users throughout England and Wales. Respondents were asked to comment on their personal experiences of their journey to local train stations, whether by foot, cycle, bus or wheelchair.

[2] Transport 2000 is an independent campaigning and research body that represents the key transport interests of around 40 environmental groups, transport organisations and transport unions. We bring together people who seek to reduce the environmental and social effects of transport through encouraging less use of cars, lorries and planes and more use of rail, buses, trams, cycling and walking.

We believe the following elements are important if stations are to become less car-dependent:

 

  • Clear signage from the town centre and roads showing where the station is (preferably with a map for pedestrians)
  • Clear signage outside the station, clearly indicating the presence of a railway station
  • Communication between local bus operators and rail companies with the aim of providing bus services that broadly meet the trains
  • Information about the bus timetable and train timetable in a clear and obvious location
  • Walking, buggy and wheelchair access to the station that is clear from clutter such as overgrown hedges, that is well-lit and feels safe at night, and with safe pedestrian crossing facilities
  • Cycling access to the station that is well-signposted and has a reduced speed limit of 30mph; ideally this should take the form of a dedicated cycle lane leading directly into the station
  • Cycle parking at the station that is secure, overlooked by staff and CCTV, and preferably covered
  • Taxi ranks that are clearly signed, or a list of taxi numbers in the station building with a working public phone

[3] The statistics for the growth of station usage 2005-2006 are taken from Office of Rail Regulation.

 

[4] 184 stations were nominated across the country; this is approximately 7% of all stations.