Tuesday, November 04, 2008

National Express East Anglia - not on my Christmas card list

Having made it to Sheffield, Ros and I set out for Stowmarket and our country refuge. It was never going to be an easy journey, but I really must thank National Express for making it that much more difficult...

Our first leg was to Retford and, just as we were making ourselves comfortable on the platform, a wave of people in red and white striped shirts surged into the station. Yes, the Sheffield United game had finished, and it was time to go home. We did make it onto the train, although I had to stand as far as Worksop. Our connection at Retford ran on time though, and we arrived at Peterborough with half an hour to spare for our train to Stowmarket. Except that it wasn't on the departure board...

So I asked the guy at customer services... "Yes sir, there's a bus at about 10.15 to Bury St Edmunds.". "So what happened to our train?", I asked, not wholly unreasonably, clutching the seat resrvation for the train in my hand. "Engineering works...", he replied, slightly irritated by my audacity in asking the question. Unimpressed, I went into the booking office. "I don't know why he told you that, there's the late running service to Norwich, you can connect for Stowmarket there, you should arrive at about 10.30."

Bearing in mind that it was 7.25, I was less than impressed. Why, if you're running a bus replacement, does it leave half an hour earlier than the train? How is anyone connecting to it supposed to allow for that if, when they buy their advance ticket, they are told that it is only valid on a specific service?

In the end, utterly convinced that Peterborough station is staffed by people who don't like passengers and that National Express East Anglia's management should be spit-roasted over an open flame, we gave up, booked into a hotel, and holed up for the night.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Never happened with GNER. I used to work at P/Boro and we ALWAYS helped out passengers as much as we could.