Cancellation at Lime St

Par

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Looking for a bit of advice here please.

Yesterday I was intending to take the 2331 (2A99) Liverpool Lime St to Manchester Victoria. Two reasons why I’d selected this service, firstly it gave a good onwards tram connection to my final destination and secondly it offered the insurance of having the last Manchester train of the evening 2338 to Piccadilly (2M90) as a back up if there was a cancellation.

Arrived at Lime St at approximately 23.20, boarded the already busy (full and standing) 4-car 2A99 with more passengers boarding. 2331 came and went, no departure an no announcement about the likelihood of any impending departure. Wasn’t too concerned because in my experience late night services like this often leave a few minutes late, anyway come 23.45 it was becoming increasingly apparent there was a problem (still no announcement). About 23.50 a mass disembarkation took place, the service was obviously cancelled (I’ve since learned because there was no guard available).

Obviously by this time, my back-up plan (2M90) had departed to Piccadilly. The gateline staff indicated that there would be coaches, but none were there at that time and it was pretty obvious that even if coaches were to arrive, then because the cancelled service was a stopper with about a dozen or so stops before Victoria, that arrival in Manchester would be very, very late and that I’d almost certainly miss my onwards tram connection.

I sought out the Northern manager to request a taxi, he absolutely point blank refused to countenance the idea, he didn’t want to engage me at all and what’s more, and pretty poor in my opinion, he stated “I can’t help you because I finished my shift ten minutes ago” and then proceeded to disappear into an office and lock the door behind him when I continued to push campaign for a taxi. I must stress that I was insistent but not aggressive.

Eventually a bus driver was found who agreed to take the Manchester passengers (about 20 of us) direct to Victoria, where we arrived about 1.25. I therefore just managed to make the last tram at 1.32.

A couple of questions:-

My view is that I am entitled to delay Repay, but I rather suspect that Northern will reject the the claim citing the availability of the 23.38 to Piccadilly, but for this reasons stated above, this wasn’t really on option, so how should I approach the claim?

To say I was disappointed with the Northern manager’s attitude was an understatement and I am proposing to take this further, it simply wasn’t good enough (I have his name). Would this be worthwhile and is there any advice on how I should approach this?

Apologies for the long post and thanks in advance for any advice received.
 
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yorkie

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I have to say I've seen so many complaints about poor behaviour of Northern staff at various stations when last trains have been missed, I am not surprised at the stinking attitude displayed here.

When did they say the Victoria train was cancelled? If they did not say this until after the Piccadilly train has departed, they'd have no right to say you should have caught that. However I am aware people have been told similar nonsense in other cases by Northern

If Northern do not resolve the matter to your satisfaction then go to the Ombudsman: https://www.railombudsman.org/making-a-complaint/start-a-complaint/

Hopefully Northern will give you the full Delay Repay amount due, and instigate a full investigation into the staff complaint. I'd make your staff complaint a seperate matter to any delay repay claim and ask to be updated as to its progress. They won't say what the outcome was, but they should at least confirm that an investigation has taken place.
 

Par

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There never was an onboard announcement about the cancellation of the 2331, presumably because a guard never boarded the train, I think what prompted the disembarkation was a passenger engaging a a member of Nothern staff on the platform.

I estimate that there were probably 2-300 people on this train, mainly for local Merseyside stations I guess? Probably only 20 or so for Manchester.

With regards to the Piccadilly train, that was never mentioned at all, I’m just preempting what Northern might say when I submit a Delay Repay claim.
 

yorkie

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There never was an onboard announcement about the cancellation of the 2331, presumably because a guard never boarded the train, I think what prompted the disembarkation was a passenger engaging a a member of Nothern staff on the platform.
That's about right for company with the level of professionalism that Northern posses.
I estimate that there were probably 2-300 people on this train, mainly for local Merseyside stations I guess? Probably only 20 or so for Manchester.
Yep; those local stations are very popular and most Manchester passengers would have taken the Piccadilly train, so that sounds about right.
With regards to the Piccadilly train, that was never mentioned at all, I’m just preempting what Northern might say when I submit a Delay Repay claim.
Indeed!
 

yorkie

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No worries.

I know others (e.g. @Starmill, @_toommm_ & more) have been mistreated in similar circumstances.

I know some people at TOCs such as Northern really dislike me for providing advice to people who have been mistreated, but that doesn't bother me. They can't silence me.
 

Starmill

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You are unquestionably entitled to compensation for the delay you incurred.

To borrow words from @thedbdiboy, it seems that the staff, and the company, did not do everything they could have to help you get on your way after you'd bought a ticket from them.
 

Par

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OK, so I’ve submitted both a claim for Delay Repay and a separate complaint about the staff member.

Will report back when I hear from Northern.
 

gray1404

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I too have been refused taxi's at Liverpool Lime Street but it has always been when other TOCs services have been delayed. Northern have taken the view after the event that I need to contact the TOC concerned for a refund of an fares I've paid. They have refused to comment on 3 occasions that as the TOC managing the station they must help. In your case however it was a Northern train that was cancelled so they can't get out of that.

I really would take this complaint further until assurances are given they will act in line with their franchise commitments in future and address issues with the disgusting way you were treated.

Northern also need to refund your tram ticket, in addition to delay repay.
 

scrapy

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I too have been refused taxi's at Liverpool Lime Street but it has always been when other TOCs services have been delayed. Northern have taken the view after the event that I need to contact the TOC concerned for a refund of an fares I've paid. They have refused to comment on 3 occasions that as the TOC managing the station they must help. In your case however it was a Northern train that was cancelled so they can't get out of that.

I really would take this complaint further until assurances are given they will act in line with their franchise commitments in future and address issues with the disgusting way you were treated.

Northern also need to refund your tram ticket, in addition to delay repay.
The way Northern dealt with the cancellation was extremely poor and unless the conductor was taken ill/assaulted last minute the cancellation should have been advised much earlier to allow passengers to decide to travel on the 23.38.

However I fail to see why Northern are required to provide taxis when they provided a bus? Yes it may be good customer service but surely most operators would provide a bus. I also fail to see why they have to refund a tram ticket for a tram journey the OP was going to make anyway? If the OP had missed the last tram then fair enough they have claim under the Consumer Rights Act for a taxi but they didn't.

The OP has every right to claim delay repay for the difference in intended and actual arrival times at Victoria.
 

Par

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A bit of an update.

Received a fairly wishy-washy reply from Northern, basically stating that several factors are involved in cancelling trains and this isn’t done lightly but agreeing that communication wasn’t good enough on this occasion and with a promise that they are going to get better in future years!

Regarding my complaint against the staff member, that is apparently internal and I won’t be updated about any outcome, hopefully the employee will receive some guidance as to how to better interact with customers going forward?

On a side note, I’ve not yet received the Delay Repay five weeks on from submitting my claim (admittedly we’ve had Christmas and New Year) in this period, but is it reasonable to have expected payment by now? What is the usual type of timescale with Northern and is it worth chasing up?
 

island

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And they would be breaking GDPR if they told you what action (or non-action) was taken against the employee.
 

Djgr

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and with a promise that they are going to get better in future years!

Better in future years because these clowns won't be allowed to be operate a railway larger than a model one in the loft.
 

Par

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and with a promise that they are going to get better in future years!

Better in future years because these clowns won't be allowed to be operate a railway larger than a model one in the loft.
Yes, I did have to laugh at that, the lifespan of this company might be measured in weeks not years if some reports are to be believed!

The exact quote is as follows:-

“I apologise that this information did not reach you in a timely and appropriate manner on this occasion; however I can assure you that over the coming years we are making considerable investments in our communication networks so that future occurrences of what you experienced on the day in question can be avoided.”
 

gray1404

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I assume you have a separate delay repay reference number. It would not hurt for you to reply to response you got from your complaint. In this you could thank them for their reply but state you are still waiting for the delay repay for this journey. You could quote your delay repay reference number and ask them to please ensure this is paid as soon as possible. It might speed things up a bit.

Furthermore, for clarity, did you occur an additional expenses as a result of the delay? If so, it would be fine to upload proof of such and ask for reimbursement of that too.
 

Par

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I assume you have a separate delay repay reference number. It would not hurt for you to reply to response you got from your complaint. In this you could thank them for their reply but state you are still waiting for the delay repay for this journey. You could quote your delay repay reference number and ask them to please ensure this is paid as soon as possible. It might speed things up a bit.

Furthermore, for clarity, did you occur an additional expenses as a result of the delay? If so, it would be fine to upload proof of such and ask for reimbursement of that too.
Spooky, that’s exactly what I did earlier today.

No, in the end no additional expense was incurred but only because the replacement bus went direct to Manchester enabling me to [just about] catch the last tram.
 

gray1404

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Good. Hopefully you'll get your delay repay sooner rather then later then.

And, had the Northern train been on time, you would still have been catching the tram right - and thus having to pay for it? In other worlds, you didn't need to get the tram as a result of Northern delaying you?
 

Bevan Price

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The Lime Street management are a bit of a strange lot. For example, they would never put new printed timetables on display until after a timetable change - at many other stations, new timetables would be on display a week or two before the change. Now, in an even more incomprehensible manner, they have removed all the current printed timetables from the display racks in the enquiry office.
 

gray1404

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The Lime Street management are a bit of a strange lot. For example, they would never put new printed timetables on display until after a timetable change - at many other stations, new timetables would be on display a week or two before the change. Now, in an even more incomprehensible manner, they have removed all the current printed timetables from the display racks in the enquiry office.
Does anyone know why they have removed all the timetables from display in the Liverpool Lime Street Travel Centre?
 

SteveM70

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12 weeks, crikey, can you claim Delay Repay for delayed Delay Repay?
My current backlog with Northern delay repay claims is:

4 approved but not yet paid, oldest is from 7 December

3 with no response yet, oldest is from 14 December
 

HSP 2

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If a delay repay is taking a long time I phone them up, the last time I did that it was due to me receiving a single ticket for my delay, when it should have been a return. Spoke to someone about it and got two returns and the single, but was asked not to speak about it!!!!!!
 

Par

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OK a bit of an update.

I did as gray1404 suggested in post#17 and took the opportunity (in my response to Northern’s reply to my initial complaint) to query the status of my Delay Repay claim. I received a reply five days later on January 23rd advising that, and I quote:-

“I have checked your delay repay claim it stated in progress and was escalated to a level 2. I have accepted this claim, £14.70 will be in your bank in the next 5 working days.”

No explanation as to what “level 2” means, but nonetheless I awaited payment. Unsurprisingly this wasn’t made (and still hasn’t been).

Following the non-arrival of the payment I followed this up yesterday asking why this unequivocal commitment wasn’t met and asking when it will be.

I today received a reply stating the steps were taken to authorise the claim, but still no explanation why the five day commitment wasn’t adhered to.

The email goes on to say that if I am not satisfied with the manner the complaint has been handled that I can go to the Ombudsman and that this latest correspondence can be considered to be a Deadlock Letter.

Any advice on how to proceed from here?

Thanks
 

HSP 2

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Why not just wait a day or two more, or do as I do and just ask for a delay repay ticket, Its better than cash. Anywhere on the Northern network.
 

Bovverboy

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I estimate that there were probably 2-300 people on this train, mainly for local Merseyside stations I guess? Probably only 20 or so for Manchester.
Yep; those local stations are very popular and most Manchester passengers would have taken the Piccadilly train, so that sounds about right.
Why would most passengers for Manchester have taken the Piccadilly train, when it takes longer to get to Manchester than the Victoria train?
 

gray1404

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@Par I would do 3 things here:

1. I would reply to Northern's email in which they confirmed they're paying £14.70 compensation. I would thank them for confirming the payout but state that you have still not received the paying. Could they please ensure it is now sent to your bank account or, if easier, could they send a cheque and state your address.

2. I would also phone the Northern Customer Experience Centre and tell them that you are happy they've confirmed the £14.70 but it has not yet arrived in your bank account. Their number is 0800 200 6060

3. I would start a complaint with the Rail Ombudsman. To do this you attach to your complaint a copy of the email in which Northern said you could go to the Rail Ombudsman. It is important to be very clear what you are unhappy with that has caused you to take your complaint to the Ombudsman. In this case I would say something like:
"Although I am happy that Northern have approved my delay repay claim £14.70, they have failed to actually make the payment to me. I am still waiting for the compensation to be paid to me, despite contact them to follow this up, so I have no choice but to bring thing matter to the Ombudsman. I would like the Ombudsman to resolve this matter by ensuring Northern pay the compensation they have agreed to."

You can always cancel your complaint with the Ombudsman if Northern pay up in the mean time. Although there is a chance that the Ombudsman suggest Northern pay compensation for the delay or a goodwill gesture. Here is the address to start a Rail Ombudsman complaint online: https://www.railombudsman.org/making-a-complaint/start-a-complaint/
 

Par

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OK, so I received the Delay Repay today.

Regarding my separate complaint about the staff member at Lime St, then there is no way I’ll ever find out what (if any) investigation took place, I just hope it did / does and that the individual interacts better with his customers going forward.

Thanks to all who replied and helped on this thread.
 

Haywain

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Regarding my separate complaint about the staff member at Lime St, then there is no way I’ll ever find out what (if any) investigation took place, I just hope it did / does and that the individual interacts better with his customers going forward.
And that is only right - disciplinary action is a private matter between an employee and their employer.
 

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