LETTER: “SWR NEED THEIR FEET HELD TO THE FIRE OVER THIS NONSENSE”

Island Echo always welcome letters to the editor, which may of course not reflect the views of the publication and its staff.

Island Echo previously reported that Island Line trains will run a 40-minute timetable from 2nd June.

Read more at https://www.islandecho.co.uk/new-island-line-timetable-to-see-just-1-train-every-40-minutes/.

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Letter to the editor – 20th May 2024

“We wrote to Bob Seely at the end of February expressing our concern at the Island Line change that saw them in breach of their franchise obligation, and worry that it would hasten a decline in passenger numbers that would bring financial pressure for eventual closure.

“Unfortunately the letter was merely forwarded to SWR, who replied telling us what we knew already. But at least they were running an hourly service that connected with Wightlink at the Pier Head in the time-honoured way (six-minute connection in each direction).

“Today details of the new service from 2 June were announced – a train every 40 minutes!

“Now we have worked in transport all our lives and we can tell you that running a 40-minute service to connect with an hourly service does not work; connections will be variable according to your time of travel – the unwary will find themselves kicking their heels at Pier Head for up to 26 minutes. By its nature a 40-minute service cannot be memorised, so casual traffic will soon wither away.

“Close examination of the new timetable shows that the running time on Island Line has been increased from 25 to 27 minutes. That does not sound much, but that vital two-minute difference makes it impossible to run a reliable hourly service with one train, hence the 40-minute frequency to be inflicted on us.

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“Have the DfT authorised this deviation from the franchise commitment? If so, why, with no consultation at all?

“SWR need their feet held to the fire over this nonsense, that can only end badly”.

Janet Taplin
Shanklin

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The views/opinions expressed in these comments are solely those of the author and do not represent those of Island Echo. House rules on commenting must be followed at all times.
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A Ha
A Ha
29 days ago

Island Line is part of South Western Railway (SWR) who during COVID conceded control to the Department For Transport (DfT) so they could be bailed out by the taxpayer.

– Don’t be fooled into blaming railway employees for the shortcomings of management (puppets) and politicians (puppet masters).

Catherine Johnson
Catherine Johnson
Reply to  A Ha
29 days ago

Yes, obviously the management of the train companies are to blame for the changes to timetables etc (and the extortionate fares across the country), but weren’t Island Line staff on strike recently demanding more money? More money for less work, that sounds like a way to run an already struggling company (and, especially, a financially struggling branch line) into the ground.

A Ha
A Ha
Reply to  Catherine Johnson
29 days ago

Ah but it’s frontline staff that unfairly receive all the grief (no doubt the same at Red Funnel, Wightlink, Southern Vectis or the Floating Bridge).
SWR don’t employ enough staff relying on overtime to meet their timetable commitments – if you recall they were going to recruit (but instead cut the service).
Policitians say railways were subsidised during COVID to protect railway employees jobs but this is disingenuous – it was to keep the country running. Yet staff continue to work through ‘a cost of living crisis’ some without a pay increase since 2019.
– Railway employees should not be paying for the cost of running the railways during COVID just as we would not ask nurses to pay for the cost of PPE.

islander
islander
29 days ago

By its nature a 40-minute service cannot be memorised

..

Yes it can, quite easily and so you have to wait 20 mins for the boat – boo hoo

Rick70
Rick70
29 days ago

Talk about Islandline being dammed if they do and dammed if they don’t, a 30/30 service would also mean a wait for ferry / train at the Pier.
Islandline have tried for a number of years to provide a seamless transition for ferry to boat and vice versa for years and with continuous complaints about not enough time so they do something about it and still get slaughtered..no pleasing some!!

Helen Highwater
Helen Highwater
29 days ago

Hope you aren’t really expecting Dr Bob to sort this out …

Hayling Billy
Hayling Billy
28 days ago

Re the 40 min service yes passengers will need to consult the new Island Line timetable to see when their train is running. However the train that does connect with the Cat each hour at the pier head arrives 10 mins before the Cat departs and waits 10 mins after the Cat arrives so no more running to/from the ferry for onward travel and there is some extra time is scoped in to cover for late running either by the train or the Cat. As long as a two train service can be maintained then I believe it’s worth a try to see if this timetable works well for the passenger this summer.

 

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