A Canaries fan has hit out at a well-used Norwich to Sheringham train service saying passengers are “cramped on so tight we are worse then lambs going to the slaughter”.

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Maurice Page, 51, a mental health worker from Gimingham, near Cromer, usually catches the 12.15pm North Walsham to Norwich train with his 16-year-old daughter, friend and his son for Saturday home matches and returns on the 5.45pm service.

The train only has two carriages and Mr Page said he has concerns about the number of people on the 5.45pm journey, which includes the elderly, young mothers with buggies and children, shoppers, workers and football fans, many of whom have to stand.

Mr Page said: “You are huddled on it like cattle. You end up standing in the centre of the aisle and cannot twist or turn. You have elderly people on the train and people cannot get up to let them sit down because they are so cramped. It is absolutely horrendous.”

He added when the service is at the point of “bursting” conductors – who usually cannot get down the aisles to give out or collect tickets – continued to direct people on the train.

“Health and safety is non-existent on this train. It is a disaster waiting to happen,” Mr Page said.

Politicians, business groups, rail operators and passengers from across Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex and Cambridgeshire have joined together today for a one-day East Anglian Rail Summit at Westminster, chaired by Norwich North MP Chloe Smith.

All of the work is aiming to put pressure on Network Rail ahead of its February 19 consultation deadline for its Strategic Business Plan for 2014-19.

The Bittern Line, operated by Greater Anglia, is included in the same franchise as the Norwich to London Liverpool Street service, which expires in July 2014.

Rural priorities included reducing the journey times between Norwich and Sheringham by five minutes, to 53 minutes.

A longer-term aim of increasing frequency to half-hourly, initially to North Walsham on the Bittern Line, is another goal.

Norfolk County Council published its priorities for the Bittern Line and Wherry Line service to Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft ahead of the summit, which included new or fully-refurbished trains and longer trains for peak times.

A Greater Anglia spokesman said: “Trains on the Sheringham line are very busy on Norwich City home match days and we monitor the numbers of passengers boarding the trains very closely and do not compromise any safety requirements.

“We have additional staff at Norwich station on match days to assist customers with their ticket purchases and to help manage queues in an orderly manner.

“We are always happy to listen to customer feedback and we will continue to monitor the 5.45pm service.”

17 comments

  • Right, I'm not a massive footie fan and haven't been to a game in about 20 years, but I have been stuck on a train going tofrom Norwich on game days because of other reasons, not everyone can drive and rely on public transport, as for not bleating on about my insignificant problems I'm just agreeing with the fact that the bittern line service is not meeting demand.

    Report this comment

    Reaper99

    Thursday, January 31, 2013

  • A Greater Anglia spokesman said: “Trains on the Sheringham line are very busy on Norwich City home match days and we monitor the numbers of passengers boarding the trains very closely" - and then we do nothing!

    Report this comment

    Mylen1um

    Friday, February 1, 2013

  • Reaper: It is a great solution if you stay at home and do something else instead.

    Report this comment

    KeithS

    Thursday, January 31, 2013

  • Lol... all 2 fans are moaning.. " Lambs to the Slaughter" a quite apt saying ....

    Report this comment

    Footyboy16

    Thursday, January 31, 2013

  • Chris Booty has nailed it on the head. Accountants run companies now not service oriented people, that "Just in time" idea is great in a factory setting but when you are running a service industry that does not go over well with your customers. Prehaps one day this will change but I doubt it very much..

    Report this comment

    canuk

    Thursday, January 31, 2013

  • You should try catching the tube every day!

    Report this comment

    Johnstonpickle

    Thursday, January 31, 2013

  • Keith S, what a great solution, more traffic into Norwich, more congestion on the roads, and what about those who can't drive for whatever reason, are they meant to walk? and Halloway why should anyone have to stay behind because the train companies can't provide the required service? The problem is an old one and is easily sorted by adding another carriage, they have done so before on rare occasions.

    Report this comment

    Reaper99

    Thursday, January 31, 2013

  • It's easy to say "put an extra coach on" but of course they actually ndon't have any extra coaches. 40 years ago there were always spare bits of rolling stock (and indeed locomotives) standing around in case needed. Now everything is run to the accountant's mantra of "just enough, just in time". So there are no spare carriages waiting around (costing money) in case they're needed, the hospitals have no empty beds waiting unused in case they're needed (costs money). It's the same everywhere - just try getting on the Central Line at Liverpool St in rush hour. But it's the way the country runs - because it's "efficient".

    Report this comment

    Chris Booty

    Thursday, January 31, 2013

  • Really can't believe the people that comment on these stories. It's not just the complainant that has the issue. Can you not see that he is highlighting the issue on behalf of everyone that catches that train...elderly, mothers with children etc. Should they all go for a pint and catch the later train?

    Report this comment

    Yellow Blood

    Thursday, January 31, 2013

  • Perhaps I should put it this way: stop bleating about your insignificant little problems and either solve them or put up with them. Be grateful that you have a rail service because most of the rest of Norfolk does not.

    Report this comment

    Halloway

    Thursday, January 31, 2013

  • This has been the same for years pre Greater Anglia. 19992006 when I was frequently travelling to and from London, the Bittern Line on a Saturday was always over full and even worse in peak season with tourists and especially when there was cyclists. On several occasions had to stand in the cycle storage area as there was no other space available. I could never understand why they did not put extra carriages on to cope with the extra demand. If Norwich City played at home you just did not stand a chance of getting on the train.

    Report this comment

    Essex Girl

    Thursday, January 31, 2013

  • is always the same when it is cromer carnival why don't they add extra carriages for special events!!

    Report this comment

    kaz

    Thursday, January 31, 2013

  • Well take your car or don't go, the solutions are simple enough.

    Report this comment

    KeithS

    Thursday, January 31, 2013

  • :Football fans are paying for the service the same as any travellers. Why should they wait for a later train? Having been a passenger on the train after a match I find it hard to believe the company monitors the number of passengers. All it takes is to put an extra carriage on after home games to make passengers more comfortable and safer.

    Report this comment

    Bev

    Thursday, January 31, 2013

  • Or perhaps he could go and have a pint or some tea and then take the 18:51 service?

    Report this comment

    Halloway

    Thursday, January 31, 2013

  • 'Monitoring, extra staff, queue management. Or maybe add a couple of carriages on busier services? Just a thought.

    Report this comment

    beeston bump

    Thursday, January 31, 2013

  • Chris Booty has nailed it on the head. Accountants run companies now not service oriented people, that "Just in time" idea is great in a factory setting but when you are running a service industry that does not go over well with your customers. Prehaps one day this will change but I doubt it very much..

    Report this comment

    canuk

    Thursday, January 31, 2013

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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