I’ve mentioned the problems with the Stansted Express train in this blog before… If you arrive at Stansted late on a Sunday evening, it is impossible to connect with the last Victoria Line underground service going southbound. Unfortunately, the staff in the train insist that connections are indeed possible and last night I ended up in an argument with a fellow passenger about the matter. He left the train at 2345 at Tottenham Hale, a full quarter of an hour after the last underground had departed and would have got stuck somewhere in north London. Pity it was because I was right about the underground times, and the guard and the announcements in the train were not. Anyway, rather that make it look like I am eccentric opposing what the guard in the train says, I have written a complaint letter to One Railway that you can read here. We’ll see what happens.
Dear Sir / Madam,
I write to make a complaint about your Sunday evening Stansted Express services between Stansted Airport and London Liverpool Street via Tottenham Hale. I am a regular traveller and normally take either the 2245, 2300 or 2315 departure from Stansted at least two Sundays each month.
London Underground closes an hour earlier on Sunday evenings than it does during the rest of the week. The final train southbound Victoria Line train going any further than Seven Sisters departs from Tottenham Hale at 2331. This means that the 2245 train from Stansted is the last one that connects with a Victoria Line service at Tottenham Hale. The 2300 departure from Stansted arrives at Tottenham Hale just as the last tube is departing, and by the time the 2315 train arrives, the last tube is long gone.
Yet last night on the 2315 departure, as has happened many times before, the automated announcement on the train cheerily informs passengers that they should change at Tottenham Hale for the Victoria Line to the west end and Oxford Circus. One passenger sat close to me in the train yesterday evening even asked the guard, and he assured the passenger that there were indeed still trains southbound. This is simply not true. Both the announcements made in the train, and the information given by the guard ??? yesterday, in common with previous times I have taken the service ??? are simply wrong. You are welcome to verify this fact using http://www.tfl.gov.uk/journeyplanner/
I would hence be very grateful if you could assure me that staff working on Stansted Express will be informed of this fact about Sunday operation of the London Underground. This will help tens of passengers to avoid getting stranded at Tottenham Hale, and will surely also help the reputation of your service. For ??23 return, one would hope that at least the correct information could be provided to passengers.
I look forward to your reply.
Worth referring this to the Rail Passengers Council (http://www.railpassengers.org.uk/). It’s hard to see how it cannot be a breach of the terms of their various licences to operate if Railway Companies negligently provide incorrect information to passengers about supposedly connecting services.
Let’s just see what One Railway writes in reply to the complaint. It’s so easy to solve after all! I’m not even wanting the train to run on time, or even complaining about the extortionate fares. Just a small memo to their staff would be sufficient.