Train bosses have apologised to Norwich City fans for failing to provide extra carriages for fans travelling to Saturday’s FA Cup tie at Peterborough, and admitted they failed to anticipate the demand.

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Management at East Midlands Trains is now re-assessing its plans to ensure there is no repeat of conditions which saw hundreds of Canaries fans standing on many services to and from the third round match at London Road.

Norwich City has also sent its sympathy to fans affected and said the club would be working with train operators to help avoid future problems for its “fantastic” support.

Travelling Canaries took to Twitter to air their views on Saturday, and complaints and comments have flooded message boards on the EDP’s sister paper websites for the Norwich Evening News and Pink Un.

A spokesman for East Midlands Trains said: “We will review the plans we put in place but we have a limited amount of spare capacity, and we are sorry to any passengers inconvenienced as a result.”

Passengers who bought an advance purchase ticket with a reservation and were unable to travel on their booked service may be entitled to claim a refund under the East Midlands Trains passengers charter.

The spokesman said East Midlands Trains had a limited amount of spare stock available on the day because of other FA Cup ties and took the decision to extend the 11.57am train to Peterborough and 5.39pm return after discussion with the British Transport Police.

“The thinking behind using [extra capacity] on the 11.57am train as opposed to earlier was to make sure we picked up any people left over, rather than providing extra capacity too early.” She added: “The numbers [of passengers] were far greater than we could have anticipated.”

Concerns over safety in the crowded carriages, where some passengers had to stand for the entire two-hour journey to and from Peterborough, were also raised by fans.

The spokesman said there was no maximum number of passengers permitted to travel on one carriage, but the final decision lay with the guard or train driver. She added: “If the guard felt the train was too overcrowded, he or she would take that decision, though they would work with the British Transport Police to get their advice.”

The BTP said officers would intervene where they saw a danger to the public or law breaking.

Two additional football special services were run by Greater Anglia, on which fans were able to use pre-booked East Midlands Trains tickets after the two operators agreed

Norwich City ran 12 Canary Club coaches and transported 561 supporters to Peterborough.

A spokesman said the club had been “in dialogue with the two train companies to pass on our supporters’ comments” and ensure the best possible service for fans. She added: “We have sympathy for supporters who had difficulty in travelling on Saturday – the loyalty of our fans both home and away this season, as always, is fantastic – and we will be looking at ways to address some of these issues through future dialogue with the train providers involved.”

6 comments

  • Never been to an away football match by train before and expected much better than was served up by this train company. Moan moan brigade? Presumably you belong to that footy16? After all, you are the one moaning about the transport systems in general whereas I am just referring to incompetence on a specific return journey on a specific day.

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    Mel Lacey

    Tuesday, January 8, 2013

  • It is interesting to note the company is offering fans who booked in advance a full refund. I certainly did and I have submitted an official complaint to the company. I have not heard a word from them which suggests their communications department works at the same level of efficiency as their operations department.

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    Mel Lacey

    Tuesday, January 8, 2013

  • I am afraid to say people in this country know dam well how goodbad our transport systems are, but they still use it then moan afterwards, if you don't like the way these transport companies operate its quite simple "Don't Use them" !!!.. for what the train companies charge you can drive there in your car alot cheaper, or hire a mini bus and get a group of you and split the cost between you, quite simple alittle bit of forward planning before the event saves time and money..and saves the moan moan moan brigade..(Like CID)

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    Footyboy16

    Tuesday, January 8, 2013

  • So the shareholders should be smiling - overbooked trains should help their dividends! Trouble is these privatised companies do not have the spare capacity when needed, they are spread to thin just like the current bus companies. British Rail had its faults, but compared with what we have now, they were a godsend!

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    biglingers

    Wednesday, January 9, 2013

  • Following up from my first post, I have just phoned East Midlands trains and they ARE NOT giving refunds to anyone other then those few who had actually reserved a particular seat!

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    Mel Lacey

    Tuesday, January 8, 2013

  • Total Con this....EMT or the EEN say Full Refund to those who Pre-Booked Tickets, Yet EMT only Refunding those who Pre-booked Seats, Considering when Pre-buying the Super Saver 4 ticket for the four of us who Travelled we Couldn't Pre-Book a Seat This is a Total Farce and Con from EMT. The Phrase couldn't organise a piss up in a Brewery if given the Keys comes to mind...

    Report this comment

    CanarySid

    Tuesday, January 8, 2013

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

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