On Monday 25th June, Morecambe and Lunesdale CLP took part in the National Rail Campaign Day. For months and months, the rail service around the Constituency has been dreadful, with regular cancellations, rail replacements and delays. Following the introduction of the new timetable in May, it’s got even worse.
We handed out lots of leaflets to rail users across 3 stations, it was a very busy morning, lots of school children travelling into Lancaster as well as commuters.
At Morecambe station we met a young woman who had just missed the 6.45am Rail Replacement because no one had told her that it was a bus not a train and she was waiting on the platform when the bus went out. The 7. 10am was also a replacement bus. The driver did not seem to know where to park, stopping at the bus station across the road instead of pulling into the railway station. The bus was unsuitable for disabled travellers as it had steep steps.
Common themes that came up included the lack of proper information especially the short notice of cancelled trains or trains just not turning up, overcrowding and costs. Fares have risen steeply but the service has got considerably worse.
"The railway is so important to residents here and in the surrounding areas, getting to school and work everyday shouldn’t be a gamble." Lancaster City Cllr. John Reynolds - Carnforth and Millhead
"At Morecambe station we met a young woman who had just missed the 6.45am Rail Replacement because no one had told her that it was a bus not a train" Jean Withers - Morecambe and Lunesdale Disability Officer
"On a day when we are at Bare Lane Train Station to talk about disruption to services we find ourselves forced to move to a bus stop... kind of makes the point for us doesn’t it." Phillip Black - Bare Ward Candidate for Lancaster City Council
"People were really pleased to see us out campaigning and it was great being able to listen to Northern By Arriva passengers at the bus stop." Chris Price - Bare Ward Candidate for Lancaster City Council