St Albans commuters kick at train station gates amid Thameslink chaos

St Albans commuters kick at train station gates amid Thameslink chaos

Signalling failure on network already disrupted by new timetable causes anger

Commuters frustrated by severe disruptions on the trains have taken their anger out on the gates of a station in Hertfordshire, kicking and pushing through them after they were closed to prevent overcrowding.

On Thursday passengers at St Albans were turned away from the platforms following a disruption to East Midlands and Thameslink trains during the morning rush-hour due to a six-mile signalling failure at Luton that caused delays and cancellations across the network.

Absolute chaos at St Albans and no communication. @TLRailUK how do you continuously get away with it? Absolute shambles of an organisation #thameslink #stalbans pic.twitter.com/BgqY8Sos4z

#thameslink plumbing new depths. No trains for hours, 1st that stopped so packed barely anyone could get on. 2nd empty – stopped, didn’t open doors AND THEN LEFT AGAIN! The staff have no idea what’s going on. Packed platform, utterly dangerous @TLRailUK @BimAfolami #savehpdtrains pic.twitter.com/u9FlxLEXA2

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Source: Guardian Transport

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Dear officials, Northern rail routes are not ‘valueless’ – your government is | Lisa Nandy

Dear officials, Northern rail routes are not ‘valueless’ – your government is | Lisa Nandy
Emails passed to me reveal the transport department’s contempt for passengers as a changed timetable causes misery

• Lisa Nandy is the Labour MP for Wigan

For four weeks, as Northern rail passengers have struggled with delayed, cancelled and overcrowded trains, ministers have been at pains to tell us how much they care. The prime minister expressed “tremendous sympathy”. The transport secretary, Chris Grayling, declared from the despatch box that “commuters in the north are as important as commuters in the south”.

If he means it, it seems he hasn’t convinced his own department. Emails from within the Department for Transport, released under the Freedom of Information Act (FoI), were handed to me by a passenger group this week. They describe our key northern routes as lacking “value” and discuss how to fob off MPs and passenger groups who raise complaints, such as being forced to “drag heavy bags between stations”, because officials in London have cancelled and diverted vital rail services without bothering to consult those of us who use them.

Related: People don’t want railways to be political totems. They just want them to work | Andrew Adonis

Related: ‘Yours cynically’: emails show DfT contempt for rail users, says MP

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Source: Guardian Transport

<a href="Dear officials, Northern rail routes are not ‘valueless’ – your government is | Lisa Nandy” target=”_blank”>Dear officials, Northern rail routes are not ‘valueless’ – your government is | Lisa Nandy

Greg Hands quits as minister to vote against Heathrow third runway

Greg Hands quits as minister to vote against Heathrow third runway

International trade minister resigns before plans to expand airport are put to Commons

The international trade minister Greg Hands has resigned in order to vote against Heathrow expansion when plans for a third runway are put to the Commons on Monday.

The MP for Chelsea and Fulham, a longstanding opponent of Heathrow expansion, wrote on Twitter: “As the government will be whipping the vote on Monday, this means I am resigning from the government.

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Source: Guardian Transport

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UK regional airports will be hit hard by Heathrow’s third runway | Letters

UK regional airports will be hit hard by Heathrow’s third runway | Letters
Expanding Heathrow would mean fewer flights elsewhere and further entrench the geographical economic divide in our country, writes Paul McGuinness. While Carolyn Hayman wonders what’s behind British Airways’ support for the scheme

According to the government’s own figures, the impact of Heathrow expansion on UK regional airports will be alarmingly negative. By as early as 2030, a third runway at Heathrow will mean 20,258 fewer direct international flights at Manchester each year; 17,100 fewer at Birmingham; 4,449 fewer at Leeds Bradford; 2,700 fewer in Scotland; 1,400 fewer at Doncaster Sheffield airport; and that as many as 17 million of the 43 million extra passengers projected to pass through Heathrow’s lucrative shopping malls will have been be drawn from growth at regional airports (Caroline Lucas interview, 16 June).

And there’s no letup in the projections: by 2050 there will be 162,000 fewer direct international flights each year at regional airports, if parliament permits Heathrow to build a third runway. The sole offer to the regions is the poultice of possible “connectivity” to an increasingly monopolistic Heathrow, but this possibility appears to be diminishing in a world where customers opt for direct point-to-point international flights, rather than transfer at hubs, and such domestic flights require taxpayer subsidy. In the last year alone, the number of “regional connectivity” flights from Heathrow has fallen.

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Source: Guardian Transport

<a href="UK regional airports will be hit hard by Heathrow’s third runway | Letters” target=”_blank”>UK regional airports will be hit hard by Heathrow’s third runway | Letters

Private emails show DfT contempt for rail users, says MP

Private emails show DfT contempt for rail users, says MP

Labour’s Lisa Nandy says ministers and officials were warned over timetable changes

Private emails sent between government officials after warnings of impending rail chaos in the north of England show “complete disrespect and contempt” for passengers, an MP has said.

Documents released after a freedom of information request to the Department for Transport, and passed to the Labour MP for Wigan, Lisa Nandy, show discussions between officials after passenger groups warned more than two years ago that planned changes to train routes would result in widespread disruption.

Related: Northern rail strike brings fresh disruption for passengers

Related: The great timetable fiasco: what’s gone wrong with England’s railways?

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Source: Guardian Transport

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Port of Dover warns of 'regular gridlock' in event of hard Brexit

Port of Dover warns of 'regular gridlock' in event of hard Brexit

Port’s head of policy says there will be serious congestion without a suitable trade deal

The port of Dover has warned there will be serious traffic congestion once a week in the town and on surrounding routes unless the government achieves a Brexit deal involving frictionless trade.

Richard Christian, the port’s head of policy, said there would be “regular gridlock” in Kent in the event of a hard Brexit and disruption to freight traffic on ferries and Eurotunnel services would have a profound impact on Britain’s economy.

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Source: Guardian Transport

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Northern rail disruption to last until November

Northern rail disruption to last until November

Franchise chief blames lack of ‘stable network’ for prolonged chaos since timetable change

Rail passengers in the north of England will face uncertainty and disruption to their journeys until November due to the lack of a “stable network”, industry chiefs have said.

Senior executives from the Northern rail franchise and Network Rail, under questioning by a transport watchdog on Tuesday in Manchester, admitted they were aware of the chaos a new timetable would cause two days before it was implemented.

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Source: Guardian Transport

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Northern rail strike brings fresh disruption for passengers

Northern rail strike brings fresh disruption for passengers

RMT members stage 24-hour walkout with further stoppages planned for Thursday and Saturday

Passengers on Northern rail services are facing further travel misery on Tuesday with a fresh strike in a long-running dispute over guards on trains.

Members of the RMT union are staging a 24-hour walkout, with further stoppages planned for Thursday and Saturday.

Related: Northern trains operator asked for timetable changes to be delayed

About 20 passenger left at Poulton le fylde can’t fit on rail replacement bus @northernassist same old same old. #keeptheguard just sort it out. Nobody apart from your management and finances wants this #northernfail

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Source: Guardian Transport

<a href="Northern rail strike brings fresh disruption for passengers” target=”_blank”>Northern rail strike brings fresh disruption for passengers

Northern trains operator asked for timetable changes to be delayed

Northern trains operator asked for timetable changes to be delayed

Request was refused by Network Rail and other train operators and changes led to chaos for rail users

The operator of Northern trains requested in January to defer the introduction of the rail timetable that has sparked chaos across its network, but was refused by Network Rail and other train operators, it has emerged.

However, executives from Northern and Govia Thameslink Railway told MPs that the scale of problems only became clear in the final three days before the timetable change, when drivers’ rosters were drawn up.

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Source: Guardian Transport

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Vintage train company steps in to reopen Lake District line

Vintage train company steps in to reopen Lake District line

West Coast Railways to run services on Oxenholme to Windermere route hit by Northern timetable fiasco

A vintage train operator that normally runs journeys for enthusiasts has stepped in to provide rail services to the Lake District after the operator Northern cancelled all of its trains following a timetabling fiasco.

West Coast Railways, which runs charter trains along some of the UK’s most scenic routes, launched its first service on the Lakes line on Monday, two weeks after Northern suspended all journeys and introduced a replacement bus service.

The 925 to Windermere leaves Oxenholme on time! For the first time in more than 2 weeks, we have a timetabled train on the Lakes Line. Thank you to everyone who helped make this happen. pic.twitter.com/fH7I9mHbDz

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Source: Guardian Transport

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