Thursday, March 15, 2007
I Hate First Great Western....
...is just one of many blogs I've recently found written by angry commuters. It's the name that best sums up my feelings. Though i might have slipped in a stronger word or two.
I've created a new separate link list of angry commuters. We need to share information, as, reading the various posts, people get given lots of different information. Our voice will become much louder if we co-ordinate our efforts and shout louder.
Cardiff Central to...? tells the story of John Shipston's efforts to get to places from South Wales (where I have to get to everyday). There are two (three if you count the occasional Virgin train) operators out of Cardiff, yet John only seems to have problems with one of them. Can you guess who it is?
Commuter blog is Max's story of trying to get from Bath to Oxford, made more difficult by having to change trains at different stops in the evening and morning! My favourite story of Max's is the driver not knowing the way to Chippenham from Swindon.
The now infamous, I Hate FGW blog is the tale of a government-friendly London commuter. Not that this means FGW run her train any better mind. She tells us there'll soon be badges for us all to wear, not the loudest of protests, but a very visual one none-the-less. I look forward to wearing mine.
More Train, Less Strain is not so much of a blog as a collective. It has a good forum to post your horror stories. They also seem to be our official spokespeople, and have such been granted an audience with Alison Forster (FGW managing director).
Oldfield Park is where I used to catch my train to work. But since all FGW timetables should be taken with a ±1 hour warning, I now need to catch an earlier train, so I cycle to Bath Spa. Our blogger here updates delays (and overcrowding) at this commuter station, which now has the most bizarre of timetables. (Though not as bizarre as the poor guys down at Melksham who have a gap in the timetable of nearly 12 hours without any trains)
Tehmina is a frustrated commuter between Salisbury and Southampton, proving that FGW are crap everywhere. I've pinched the nice picture on this site for this blog entry. It's also now my screen saver. Thanks Tehmina.
The Truth About First Great Western is a very professional looking blog. Carter Harrison's main argument is that the government are mostly to blame for the problems we have. Although I agree with a lot of what he says (see elsewhere) I believe he's trying to shift a bit too much blame away from FGW. Maybe he has another agenda? I dunno, read it (and the two associated mini-sites) and make up your own mind. I believe that FGW could, after all, run more, cleaner carriages, on time, and at cheaper fares to try and boost their profits by attracting more custom. There is another way.
Finally I've stuck Train Delays on the list. It's not a blog, but it is a good site for listing your delays, finding out if compensation is due, reading the crap excuses that are given and seeing where FGW falls in the league table of incompetence.
Let me know if you know of any others. Maybe the guys at MTLS should put up a more up-to-date list.
Don't forget to keep writing to your MP, keep writing to the DfT and keep claiming back the money your entitled to. I'll keep you updated. Maybe we all need to get together for a gathering outside the DfT at some point. Actions, after all, speak louder than words.