C. R. U. G. (Cottingley Rail Users Group)

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natureboy

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CRUG (Cottingley Rail Users Group) is a railway pressure group I am trying to set up.

This is an email I sent recently to the Yorkshire Evening Post which was in response to another reader's letter.

I also make good use of this station, and as Mr. Wilson clearly points out, the train only takes a few minutes to get into Leeds. The fares are also much cheaper too, especially when compared to those of First Bus. A peak time return by train is a mere £2:90 compared to £4:00 (£2:00 in each direction) with First. After half nine; which means the 09:59 and all later trains, the return fare reduces to £2:50 which is the equivalent of just £1:25 each way. This is well over a £1:00 cheaper than First!
First do offer day tickets at £4:60 (Anytime West Yorkshire) and £3:80 (Off-Peak Leeds), so one may opt to buy this ticket after 09:30; but these fares are still a lot more expensive than Northern Rail’s return fare, unless you intend to do more than two journeys.
With regard to the current service at Cottingley there is one particularly infuriating fly-in-the-ointment which I, and I suspect many other potential passengers absolutely detest! It is the fact we only have one train per hour most of the day. The Leeds - Manchester Victoria service via Brighouse and the Calder Valley only calls at Cottingley once towards Leeds and twice towards Manchester during the morning peak. It calls three times in the evening peak towards Manchester, but that’s it! We need more! This service needs to call at Cottingley at ALL times! I’ve written letters and sent emails to Metro and Northern Rail in complaint of this matter, but so far, nothing has been done and all I receive are lame excuses. The fact that these trains sit at Brighouse for approximately eight minutes because they’re early just rubs salt in the wound! These trains are allowed a whopping fourteen minutes to do a mere four miles from Mirfield to Brighouse! I’m certain that this time could be much better utilised by calling at Cottingley, and Ravensthorpe, which is in a similar position. Looking at the annual passenger count for Cottingley, which keeps growing year on year and is currently well over 77,000; I find it staggering we only have a basic service. If anyone would like to help set up “CRUG” (Cottingley Rail Users Group) please let me know!
Finally, I’m sure most people in the area are aware of work going on to repair the aging footbridge at Cottingley. When I asked what exactly was being done I was basically told; “The bridge is being re-stepped.” I was expecting the current bridge to be taken down completely, in readiness for electrification, and replaced with a ramped footbridge to aid prams and the disabled; how wrong I was! Some CCTV would also be a good idea at Cottingley to help kerb anti-social behaviour and cable theft. I await many replies to this letter.

So, if anyone would like to join me in this venture please let me know.


Cottingley Rail User’s Group Questionnaire


1. How often do you use Cottingley railway station? (Tick one box)

 A: Very rarely; less than 5 times per year.
 B: Infrequently; approximately 5 times every 2-3 months.
 C: Fairly regularly; once or twice a month.
 D: More regularly; once or twice a week.
 E: Frequently; Monday to Friday commute and some weekends.

2. Are you happy with what’s provided at Cottingley? (Tick one box)

A: No, absolutely not; especially after dark!
B: It’s basic and is in need of many improvements.
C: Reasonable, but could still do with a few improvements.
D: Generally acceptable.
E: Yes! I think Cottingley railway station if fit for the 21st. century.

3. What puts you off using Cottingley railway station? (Tick all that apply)

A: Lack of security.
B: Poor information on train running.
C: Poor disabled access.
D: Poor waiting accommodation.
E: Poor connections at Leeds (e.g. no connection with 07:00 to London KX or 07:10 to Aberdeen).
F: Not enough trains call at Cottingley.
G: Station is always untidy.
H: Train service is unreliable.
I: Train not convenient enough. Prefer to use other public transport or private vehicle.
J: Fares too expensive.
K: No staff in attendance. I frequently have to queue up to buy a ticket to exit Leeds station.
L: Overcrowding at peak time. I can’t always get on the 08:24 to Leeds.

4. What would make you use Cottingley railway station more often? (Tick all that apply)

A: Improved security; e.g. CCTV.
B: Improved information on train running.
C: Improved disabled access.
D: Improved waiting accommodation.
E: Improved connections with other services at Leeds (e.g. a better early morning service).
F: Two trains per hour ALL day; CRUG is pushing for this.
G: A cleaner station environment.
H: Improved train service reliability.
I: Electrification; which is planned.
J: More competitive fares.
K: Staff in attendance selling tickets during the morning rush hour.
L: Longer train formations to ease overcrowding at peak times.

5. What are your main reasons for using Cottingley railway station? (Tick all that apply)

A: Travelling to/from work.
B: Shopping/daytime leisure pursuit.
C: Hospital/doctor or other appointment.
D: Holiday/weekend away.
E: Evening entertainment.
F: Visiting friends and/or relatives.
 
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Just out of interest really, but is there really that many people who would use 1tph from there? Your figures of 77000 pax per year works out at roughly 212 people per day. that isnt a lot of people to justify 2tph imo.

But good luck with your project.

Also could you post back the results of your survey when you get it completed as would be interesting to read to see who uses it for what.
 

4SRKT

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The best way to increase usage is to stop the Manchester via Brighouse workings there. The 212 people per day is probably because the service is so dire. There are a lot of new houses on the Churwell side of the railway since the station was built, and driving on the A653 is enough to make anyone suicidal very quickly. There is potential here IMHO, and there is room in the schedule for the extra stops: some peak trains already do so. 1 TPH for somewhere so close to the centre of Leeds is borderline unusable. Frizinghall, a similar relative distance from the centre of Bradford (actually a good bit closer) does a lot better but has 6 TPH, although from observation very few of them bother about such absurdities as buying a ticket......
 

yorksrob

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Best of luck to the group.

I used to commute to Cottingley and I wrote to WY Metro when they withdrew one of the morning stops (I believe they did re-instate it after the next timetable change, although it probably didn't have anything to do with my efforts !).

The reason they gave for not stopping both slow trains there was the crowded nature of the timetable - not enough recovery time to keep all the trains running smoothly.
 

4SRKT

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Best of luck to the group.

I used to commute to Cottingley and I wrote to WY Metro when they withdrew one of the morning stops (I believe they did re-instate it after the next timetable change, although it probably didn't have anything to do with my efforts !).

The reason they gave for not stopping both slow trains there was the crowded nature of the timetable - not enough recovery time to keep all the trains running smoothly.
Sounds like balls to me. All the Leeds > Victoria services wait for ages at Brighouse so slack is the timetable.
 
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Sounds like balls to me. All the Leeds > Victoria services wait for ages at Brighouse so slack is the timetable.
Maybe its to make sure its off the Huddersfield line and onto the Brighouse branch before it slows down the xx25 off Leeds to Manchester Airport service? Coming the opposite way if there is any late running they may argue it makes the difference between the trains next service leaving on time or not (whick usually is the xx43 to Huddersfield).
 

yorksrob

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Sounds like balls to me. All the Leeds > Victoria services wait for ages at Brighouse so slack is the timetable.
Indeed. The fact that two trains stop there in the morning rush hour suggests to me that having both stop there would be perfectly feasable through most of the day.

However, getting the powers that be to agree....
 

4SRKT

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Maybe its to make sure its off the Huddersfield line and onto the Brighouse branch before it slows down the xx25 off Leeds to Manchester Airport service? Coming the opposite way if there is any late running they may argue it makes the difference between the trains next service leaving on time or not (whick usually is the xx43 to Huddersfield).
Both the xx:13 Victoria and xx:43 Huddersfield are booked to be overtaken by the xx:25 and xx:55 Airport services in the long running loop between Ravensthorpe and Heaton Lodge. Likewise, nobody seems to worry that the xx:31 off Huddersfield actually stops at Morley at xx:55 rather than xx:21 as per the ex-Victoria, and does the stop at Cottingley, giving a 6 minute turnaround into the xx:13 Leeds > Victoria rather than a 12 minute turnaround on the opposite cycle. It's nonsense basically.
 

Tomnick

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Both the xx:13 Victoria and xx:43 Huddersfield are booked to be overtaken by the xx:25 and xx:55 Airport services in the long running loop between Ravensthorpe and Heaton Lodge.
Taking the 13:13 off Leeds as an example, it's booked past Mirfield East Jn at 13:33, with the following Airport train nearly seven minutes behind at 13:39H. The former is booked 6H mins from Whitehall Jn to Morley, whilst a random train stopping at Cottingley is booked 8 mins for the same. Indeed, the difference between a train calling at both Cottingley and Ravensthorpe and one calling at neither only seems to be 2H mins, which still gives four minutes ahead of the Airport train at Mirfield East Jn, and the Vic train is booked to stand at Heaton Lodge Jn for four minutes anyway.

Things don't seem so easy in the other direction though - the ex-Vic train is only 3 mins behind a Newcastle train at Heaton Lodge East Jn, and the following Hull train is 4 mins behind by Whitehall Jn. Again, though, comparing the Vic train to a Hudds stopper suggests only a 1H min time difference (and that's with a stop at Ravensthorpe too).
 
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Yes but stoppers can lose time for various reasons eg. wheelchair passenger, doors sticking (pacers), guard getting caught up doing tickets and then having to get to the back to dispatch. If the demand isnt there you can see why Northern would rather give one of the trains some breathing space rather than TPE trying to attribute delay minutes to them. Im sure the decision to not stop is not just to p--s people off.
 

4SRKT

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Yes but stoppers can lose time for various reasons eg. wheelchair passenger, doors sticking (pacers), guard getting caught up doing tickets and then having to get to the back to dispatch. If the demand isnt there you can see why Northern would rather give one of the trains some breathing space rather than TPE trying to attribute delay minutes to them. Im sure the decision to not stop is not just to p--s people off.
But as discussed upthread, the demand may well not be there because the trains don't stop. 1 TPH to a station 3 miles from the centre of Leeds is never going to generate demand IMHO.
 

natureboy

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Just out of interest really, but is there really that many people who would use 1tph from there? Your figures of 77000 pax per year works out at roughly 212 people per day. that isnt a lot of people to justify 2tph imo.

But good luck with your project.

Also could you post back the results of your survey when you get it completed as would be interesting to read to see who uses it for what.
I'll post the results as and when; won't be anytime soon. I'm still working on it and need to add a few more questions.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
Yes but stoppers can lose time for various reasons eg. wheelchair passenger, doors sticking (pacers), guard getting caught up doing tickets and then having to get to the back to dispatch. If the demand isnt there you can see why Northern would rather give one of the trains some breathing space rather than TPE trying to attribute delay minutes to them. Im sure the decision to not stop is not just to p--s people off.
There's been quite a lot of complaints about the service at Cottingley [COT]. What we have at the moment is reasonably OK in the peaks, but not at other times. This the main reason for setting up "CRUG". The timings are so slack that if the XX:13 to Man Vic is late leaving Leeds it's back on time by Brighouse; unless the delay is over 15-20 minutes. Cottingley can easily be added to this service and should be!
 

Xenophon PCDGS

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Congratulations on your efforts in the hope of setting up a new rail users group. As has been stated previously, it is the paucity of the rail service provision itself which does not endear it to the local commuters and a viewing of the Northern Rail "Leeds to Huddersfield" timetable shows many "blanks" against Cottingley, whereas the remaining stations have a far better service provision. Churwell has a very good catchment area for an improved rail service.

Incidentally, were the contact details I sent to you any use in the matter of received advice from established rail users groups ?
 
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tbtc

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I suspect that the best chance for improvement would be once the line is electrified, and EMUs have shorter dwell times than EMUs (better acceleration etc), so there's maybe more scope for additional services to stop there.

The reason they gave for not stopping both slow trains there was the crowded nature of the timetable - not enough recovery time to keep all the trains running smoothly.
Sounds like balls to me. All the Leeds > Victoria services wait for ages at Brighouse so slack is the timetable.
Waiting at Brighouse is one thing (to make sure that they are on time for the busy section of route through Dewsbury. There's nowhere to wait at Cottingley before you have the fast TPE service behind you catching up pretty quickly.

But as discussed upthread, the demand may well not be there because the trains don't stop. 1 TPH to a station 3 miles from the centre of Leeds is never going to generate demand IMHO.
The location doesn't help though. Its a station between the busy M621 and the busiest out of town shopping centre in West Yorkshire (White Rose) yet it serves neither. Its also little use for the nearby Ring Road. What could be a busy P&R station on the outskirts of town is actually a badly located place that will struggle to attract anyone apart from those in the nearby houses.
 

yorksrob

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I can only speak from my experience, but there always used to be around 8 - 10 people alighting from my train there in the morning - and don't forget, this was against the commuting flow.
 
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