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Metrolink 'Bad For City's Image' Claims MP

Stringer attacks 'unreliable' tram network

Written by . Published on January 24th 2012.

Metrolink 'Bad For City's Image' Claims MP

GRAHAM Stringer, MP for Broughton and Blackley, has criticised the Metrolink tram network and claims recent failures are 'unacceptable.'

"This is happening far too often for it to be considered an extraordinary circumstance."

Stringer told BBC Manchester the spate of problems was 'bad for Manchester's image.'

"It is absolutely vital that buses and trams turn up to get people to work," he said.

"Transport for Greater Manchester and the tramline operators have to get their act together and ensure that when people get on a tram it gets to the destination that it says on the front.

"This is happening far too often for it to be considered an extraordinary circumstance."

Transport for Greater Manchester said: "We fully appreciate that any disruption to services can be frustrating and we know that it is felt particularly keenly at the busiest times.

"We apologise sincerely to anyone who has been affected in recent days.

"We investigate every failure to find out what has happened, why, and how we can prevent it from happening again."

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23 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

it's the city, duffusJanuary 24th 2012.

all talk - only one thing will produce results:

sue them

6 Responses: Reply To This...
GimboidJanuary 24th 2012.

Alright then, on what grounds do you suggest they be sued, Lieutenant Litigation?

It's the city, duffusJanuary 24th 2012.

for repeatedly not fulfilling their part of a CONTRACT?

or are we all in this FOR FUN?

give me strength...

GimboidJanuary 24th 2012.

Do you really think a contract would be set up so that a service provider could be sued for equipment failure? Who would sign that? You haven't got a clue mate.

it's the city, duffusJanuary 25th 2012.

One would have to prove negligence. Continued (daily) breakdowns must be someone's fault.

Unlike some would believe, running a track-based transport system is not NASA stuff.

A design flaw, failing management, who knows, I certainly would not want to guess.

What I would do is expect the council to turn the thumb screws by now.

AnonymousJanuary 25th 2012.

Duffus Metro Link has nothing to do with Manchester Cit Council. It is run by Stage Coach on behalf of GMITA. But I recall Mr§Stringer campaigned for it so presumably he is disappointed. I'm sure,
though, Simon has access to the contract and I would expect compensation from the
operator. Perhaps more free days.
Is in not covered as a light railway with
the existing "quality rules.

Stagecoach is the dominant public operator in transport suppler in Manchester managing it's buses, Metrolink and Virgin Trains.

You can judge for yourselves whether it is shinning example of private provision of public services.

It's the city, duffusJanuary 26th 2012.

Ok, thanks for clarifying - but now I am confused.

It's RATP that operates Metrolink.

It's TfGMC that should be checking up on these chaps from RATP.

Why aren't they?

My point is that someone in the council (or one of their sub-bodies for that matter) has effectively outsourced the 'service of providing transport to the people of Greater Manchester' in return for a contract and presumably some dosh...

Surely, it is this committee's job to ensure a reasonable standard of services is provided for the taxpayers of Greater Manchester.

Councillors Andrew Fender and Roger Jones sit at the top of TfGMC...

AnonymousJanuary 24th 2012.

Liam can sue Noel but MCC can't sue RATP?

Someone is not doing his job.

the Whalley RangerJanuary 24th 2012.

Ranger tale to tell tourists:

before the Commonwealth Games in 2002, Manchester did not even have a bus TIMETABLE. Buses just turned up when they liked. Can you believe that?

anneiaJanuary 24th 2012.

There has always been problems in Manchester with transport. I remember before de-regulation, thats what whalley ranger remembers possibly.

It got rather messy after that especially with the other firms when given permission to run several services as we have now.
fights and bus wars as i remember.

The Tram was brill, cheap, and on time when it first set off i was on the first tram from bury. Now it seems to be how much can we screw them for now.

The prices have gone up again and they change the timetable, this has stopped my other half getting the tram due to missed connections from victoria to Bolton. We have also found that the trains from victoria are just as bad if not worse. For this tram/ train service he pays £1000 a yr for what is really a disgraceful state of affairs.

Feel really bad for out of towners using our transport services. Graham is correct in his assumptions im afraid to say.

1 Response: Reply To This...
anneiaJanuary 24th 2012.

ps duffus is right it is a breach of contract you buy the ticket to be transported at a certain time they sell that ticket, if it dont turn up they are in breach end of. 7:30 train to get you to work for 8am doesnt turn up or set off then your late.

you have breached your firms agreed contract so it works tht same for public buying that ticket in good faith.

GimboidJanuary 24th 2012.

No, no, NO! When has a bus or tram ticket or the conditions of sale EVER said that they will get you to a place by a certain time? If being late or having to cancel a journey constituted breach of contract on which the passenger could sue, it would be impossible to run a bus service, because there are some circumstances that the bus/tram companies can't control. If this isn't totally obvious to you, you must have no common sense at all. Have a look here: www.stagecoachbus.com/conditionsofcarriage.aspx…

'End of' indeed.

2 Responses: Reply To This...
GimboidJanuary 24th 2012.

That was to Jean.

AnonymousJanuary 25th 2012.

Right Gimboid but is is regulated on the railways with rules for compenstation so is the Tram a railway?

AnonymousJanuary 26th 2012.

I agree with Stringer. Currently the Metrolink is incredibly unreliable and always very busy. I use it everyday to come in and out of the city and consistently I see tram cars that are overcrowded to the point were the doors cannot be closed.

I don't care that I sometimes have to stand up on the tram but would it hurt to double up on tram cars during busy periods to alleviate this?

Another issue that infuriates me is the number of trams that are marked 'Not in Service'. A few nights ago I was waiting at Victoria and three trams went by a packed platform, all saying 'Not in Service'. It's a total disgrace.

At the start of the year Metrolink hiked up the price to £90 for a monthly ticket, If I have to pay more I expect the service to improve, not get worse.

AnonymousJanuary 26th 2012.

I'll probably never sue, but I am fed up of getting to the station at 8am, watching 3 trams go by before I manage to get even remotely close to the edge of the platform (usually by about 8.25) and squeeze myself on to one. Oh and then I'm late for work. That's all.

3 Responses: Reply To This...
SisyphusJanuary 26th 2012.

German schools start at 7:30am!

AnonymousJanuary 27th 2012.

Why is everyone trying to get to work/ school/ leave work etc at THE SAME TIME?

Has anyone heard of the concept of flexitime? Do it. Stop thinking about it. Just do it.

AnonymousJanuary 29th 2012.

Then get to the station earlier...

AnonymousJanuary 26th 2012.

Ever tried to ring and complain about trams or buses - very hard to find anyone to complain too and the tram does seem extremely unreliable - we seem to get all the old stock on the bury line and my kids tell me the doors keep getting stuck - in fact one got trapped and had to travel to the next stop. I would really like to see some easy to find performance data and better complaints system.

NorthernGeezerJanuary 26th 2012.

You CAN actually register your complaint, but it falls on deaf ears.
Over the last 2 years I've complained about the bus service between Leigh and Manchester, AND I've even got a written reply, apologising profusely, by way of what appears to be a standard letter, but the same issues keep arising again and again, late or missed services with a piss poor excuse from the driver.
Its a shyte service from a shyte company that wont ever change.

It's the city, duffusJanuary 27th 2012.

all talk. only one thing will produce results:

sue TfGMC, the peoples' representative - for not doing their job.

Phil MurphyJanuary 23rd 2013.

Almost a year later, to the day, and I am disappointed to see that nothing has improved.

If by some miracle of escapism Mr Coleman is still in his job, and I have never said this before, he should be removed from his position and replaced.

I am furious at the constant regressive tendencies displayed by a system without the ability to operate in a way that minimises disruptions and handles disruptions in an acceptable manner.

The operation of the trams had been poor for far too when the article above was published and has, quite simply, been given long enough to improve.

Their time is up.

I am a season ticket holder and I seem to not have an acceptable deal with the people I give money to for it, that in turn tell me they will offer an acceptably punctual service. I had to pay for a bus journey tonight after being stuck in one at the Manchester Central incline for 45 minutes on an Altrincham bound service.

The tram, a new one, stopped in a whiplasshingly swift fashion before all power failed. Yes, on a new tram, the prognosis for the new lines with the new trams is not good.

We were eventually turfed out at about 1745 hours onto a packed platform at Gmex whilst being advised that another service would be along for us soon. Everybody there that uses that service knew immediately, every single person, that all Altrincham bound trams for at least the next thirty minutes would be full to the rafters. Metrolink staff, apparently, were the only people that didn't realise it. Burying heads in hands, attempting to make unworkable procedures seem adequate, is not the way forward that Mancunians see for their public transport infrastructure.

It is not good enough.

In the complete absence of any material assistance what so ever from Metrolink I assisted two women who didn't have a clue where they were or where to get a bus. I walked them to their bus stop and put them safely onto one before making my way to my bus stop, paying AGAIN for the journey home after I paid Metrolink to do so BECAUSE they said they would.

I made sure those women got to where they are going because I am basically a decent human being. By telling people you are going to provide a service and then do not do so and refuse to compensate that person, you are NOT doing the decent thing, you're ripping people off. You are stealing their money, picking their pockets.

It's theft in any other line of business. I am a season ticket holder that recently visited Berlin for a couple of days and unfortunately couldn't work for a couple of days upon my return due to a dreadful virus. Then today I had to pay to get a bus home. So far, just in this month (and it isn't particularly untypical in many ways) I'm about £15/£20 down because you refuse to provide a means for people to rightly reclaim money for a service unused. Why is refunding me, in a decent way, not possible?

Stop picking people's pockets, it is theft.

As a public transport business in a modern 21st century city you are actually achieving the opposite of one of your main aims - you're actually pushing people back into using their cars. You consistently fail to provide the very straightforward and regular service on a set on lines that is neither extensive nor complicated.

The operational procedures that you deploy when there is a problem are not fit for purpose. Each individual at a senior level that has not challenged the repeated failure to provide timely solutions in the face of unforeseen difficulties should take a long hard look at their ability to scrutinise the service they're managing for us.

Those that fail to accept that the number of unforeseen difficulties is at an intolerable level should be made to use the Altrincham line to get to and from work for six months. Perhaps you have to see how bad it is to believe how bad it is.

It is appalling.

One young woman took her chance and escaped after an engineer got on to talk to the driver, she just pulled open the doors and jumped off and ran down the slope, because she lived nearby. Foolish? Yes. A complete lack of care that put passenger lives at risk? Quite possibly.

Your operational procedures are not good enough, to the point that you're not only failing to provide a modern and reliable transport system; you're actually failing to the point that people are jumping off and running unsupervised down the track directly beside (in the dark) a working track!

Stop all expansion work right this instance and pour every resource you have into bringing the working lines up to a reasonable standard that takes advantage of widespread technologies taken for granted in comparable systems.

Get the basics right before you dare to mention how great the system will be. You have lost the vote of no confidence because you are failing to address the concerns of your customers, and the public of Greater Manchester, sufficiently well over a long enough period of time.

Drastic action needs to be taken right now because Metrolink is letting us all down too often, we no longer believe them and no longer trust them and we no longer believe what they say.

And, Mr Stringer, take note and PLEASE, take action. Now.

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