Liverpool Lime Street 25/5 poor crowd control

Discussion in 'UK Railway Discussion' started by howittpie, 25 May 2015.

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  1. howittpie

    howittpie Member

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    What an absolute shambles was made of crowd control this afternoon. While I understand you couldn't let everyone on the station in one go it would have helped if somone could have organised the system. Outside of the station there seemed be queues starting in all directions then joining into one. People just walking straight to front of queue yet people who complained about this were threatened with not being allowed on the station this was by people in respinse team high viz. Yet nothing was done aboutpeople jumping the queue.

    Some people missed there last available trains to Torquay were met with the respinse there fault by a member of Northern Rail staff. Northern Rail blamed Network Rail who blamed Livetpool council. Would be interested to know who was supposed to be responsable for the organisation. As an aside the train I caught the 16.52 Nottingham had plenty of spare capacity on departure how many people who wanted to catch it missed it.
     
  2. headshot119

    headshot119 Established Member

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    All of the Liverpool stations have no doubt been a shambles today.

    I visited for the Giants event last summer, to be met with rude and aggressive staff across the network, with no real system in place to deal with the crowds. They've known about this event for months, how can they not get organised?
     
  3. Camden

    Camden Established Member

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    When you're funnelling 10 or more x the no of people a system/station is designed to handle into it, how do you "organise" it and avoid crowds? And how do you realistically coral a crowd into a single, pliant queue? I'd suggest it's easier said than done.
     
  4. LNW-GW Joint

    LNW-GW Joint Established Member

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    Hooton station car park was full when we passed, with the queue for tickets maybe 50 yards long.
    We therefore made the mistake of driving to New Brighton, and witnessed a fracas for the free bus shuttle.
    The driver (for "Happy Al's" who were running de-branded London buses) ignored the patient queues, parked in the wrong place and let the back of the queue on instead of those who had waited longest.
    Words were spoken and pictures taken, but the jobsworth crews weren't interested.
    Spoilt the event. Nobody is ever in charge.
    Lime St is another place where you wonder where the management is, because they are never visible.
     
  5. Bayum

    Bayum Established Member

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    A system that stops people from boarding final train to destination is hardly conducive in even attempting to prevent crowd build up.

    Any system by the sounds of things would have been better than no system.

    What will happen to passengers who were waiting on trains to the likes of Torquay?
     
  6. cool110

    cool110 Member

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    I found that the queue at Moorfields was managed quite well and while it was stuck for a while when we got there once it got going it kept flowing with only short pauses.
     
  7. Jonfun

    Jonfun Member

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    I acknowledge that crowd management is difficult and you're damned if you do and damned if you don't, but I saw Lime Street as I passed it earlier and the first thing I thought was that it wasn't going to work. Then I passed it on my walk home and it was obvious it wasn't working. I don't think the volume of passengers was excessive compared to Lime Street on a normal busy day and it did look like the only thing causing crowding was the one entrance, one exit system they had in place.
     
  8. howittpie

    howittpie Member

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    Some crash barriers making a queue and some rail staffoutside the station helping people would be a start. Instead of giving sweets to kids when you eventualy enter the station. Some voluntears actualy went round the queue and apologised. And as for the suited network rail managers it has been discovered how fast they run when passengers complained at them.
     
  9. headshot119

    headshot119 Established Member

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    Working in a live music venue I have plenty of experience of dealing with large crowds, and funneling people in the correct direction. As a venue there are clear stratergies in place to avoid bad crowd management.

    My experience of the queuing around Liverpool during events has been poor to say the least.

    They know it's coming months in advance, get some signs sorted so people can clearly see what queue they need to be in (Moorfields I'm looking at you here).

    Lime Street is even worse with it not being made clear that the Wirral Line queues where in a different place to "main line" destinations last time I was there.

    ATW pull it off at Cardiff at almost every large rugby match, why can't other operators follow suit.
     
  10. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    ATW's approach of separate queues by destinations seems to be a good one. That way those for destinations with earlier last trains can be prioritised. I'd have also closed Lime St Low Level other than for those already inside the station interchanging, that would have kept a load of people away and at the other three city centre stations.
     
  11. cool110

    cool110 Member

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    One actually (Central), James St was completely closed, the Wirral Line platform at Moorfields is still under refurbishment and Northern Line trains were not calling at Central so there's no interchange there.
     
  12. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    So Northern Line passengers had to use Moorfields and Brunswick? Messy. I'd have gone for Northern Line to Central and Wirral Line to/from James St.
     
  13. bb21

    bb21 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    For such a major event, I would be shocked if there were not separate queues for broadly separate directions of travel.

    If that did not at least happen then Network Rail, who run the station, must take a huge chunk of responsibility for long-distance passengers missing their last trains.
     
  14. Statto

    Statto Established Member

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    Problem at Central is the island Northern line platforms can't hold large crowds, due to the station layout, whereas Moorfields can.

    It's quite easy to do a filter system, have one queue for each platforms using crash barriers, as mentioned ATW do it at Cardiff after events at the Millennium Stadium.
     
  15. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    As it's still 25/5 and only 1940, and the event causing the crowding occurred a number of hours ago, I doubt any last trains will be missed.
     
  16. HilversumNS

    HilversumNS Member

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    No mention of traffic issues on the BBC news covering the Three Queens, but there is some in the local:

    http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/live-three-queens-traffic-travel-9327082
     
  17. bb21

    bb21 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    What happened to those Torquay pax?
     
  18. fowler9

    fowler9 Established Member

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    My dad tried to travel home through Lime Street. There was a pretty small sign he showed me a photo of advising people of 5 different queues depending on destination. There was however no apparent evidence of any different queues and no one directing people. By the tie you reached this sign you would have been queuing for a good long while already. Not an issue for many people but some people travelling long distances could have had problems quite easily. It looks like nothing at all was learned from the "Giants" event.
     
  19. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    Ah, I missed that one. Hopefully put in hotels care of the railways to travel tomorrow (as a taxi that far wouldn't be fun).
     
  20. Ianigsy

    Ianigsy Member

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    As far as I can see, the main difference from the Giants events last year was that it wasn't possible to go straight from the Wirral Line station to the main line. Not a major issue given that I was heading back from Leeds by coach, but a loss for a few of the shops in the station where I normally buy coffee, papers etc. on the way back. I did see a number of buses heading out towards Huyton and St Helens full and standing, so perhaps some people preferred sitting on a slow-moving bus to waiting for an unknown amount of time before being able to get on a train.

    I feel sorry for anybody trying to make a normal journey today- with the absence of any interchange between the Merseyrail lines, anybody trying to get from (say) the Liverpool suburbs to Manchester Airport or the Trans Pennine network would have had a job on their hands.
     
  21. fowler9

    fowler9 Established Member

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    The buses in Liverpool were Sunday service today. Very poor. I am not aware of much additional capacity being put on bus wise. The trains were from what I could tell increased to double units at least on my local route. This was cancelled out by poor organisation in some stations.
     
  22. Mike99

    Mike99 Member

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    SWT always cope pretty well at Twickenham, as do LU at Wembley Park,queues, but organised and people get away pretty quickly.
     
  23. AndyW33

    AndyW33 Member

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    The "old railway" had tried and tested systems for coping with large (but expected) flows of passengers for specific events or Summer Saturday holiday resort peaks. So did the bus industry. Certainly some parts of the national network have retained the knowledge of the best way to do this. BR(WR) was particularly good at it which probably explains why FGW and ATW cope with events like Glastonbury, Cheltenham Festival and Millennium Stadium matches.
    You'd think that Liverpool would also have some memory of organising the return trains after the Grand National, maybe nobody listened to the people who could remember how to do it.
     
  24. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    This traffic is spread out a bit by it originating from Aintree, and some of it goes via Preston.
     
  25. Camden

    Camden Established Member

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    Looking through the timeline of that article, it seems to go from supposed "chaos" at around half four, to "wrapping up soon" just an hour later, including with Merseytravel getting in touch to say everything is busy but going to plan.

    Not something that can be compared to Twickenham, Wembley or even Aintree - those are events that attract 100,000 road/rail travellers, maybe 200,000 in the case of Aintree. The article states that 1.3 million people attended.

    I was at the event, and travelled not just to/from but also between each side of the river and I couldn't see anything to fault. This is including dealing with that 2 of the four "Wirral Line" stations were closed, Moorfields station for refurbishment, and I assume James Street station had to be closed because it is accessed only by lifts and thus could too easily be overwhelmed by packed trains arriving and emptying minutes apart. I can think of a couple of tube stations where exactly the same thing I would expect to happen were that risk there.
     
  26. frodshamfella

    frodshamfella Member

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    I went to the 3 Queens Cunard event too, which I really enjoyed, great spectacle. My plan was to travel from Hooton but station car park and surrounding roads all full of cars. So I drove to West Kirby, parked easily, took train to Birkenhead North and changed there for New Brighton, worked very well, no complaints from me, and 6 car trains on Merseyrail was good.
     
  27. jamesst

    jamesst Member

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    People were advised well in advance that transport would be very busy and to stagger journeys. As usual no one bothered. So then you have thousands of people appearing at stations at the same time then wondering why they have to queue and complaining about it!
    The sheep mentality is very much in evidence here!
     
  28. M28361M

    M28361M Member

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    And events such as Aintree are generally focused on one line; the vast majority of passengers travel from the city centre to Aintree. It is reasonably straightforward to provide a strengthened service on that one line.

    The Three Queens was different - people travelling from all over Merseyside and beyond, converging on the city centre, meaning all lines took an equal hammering. I think Merseyrail did the best they could under the circumstances - running 6 trains per hour to New Brighton and a 20 minute frequency on the Northern Line to allow more trains to be strengthened to 6 car.

    Can't comment on the queues at Lime Street as I didn't travel that way. I got a train from Aigburth to Brunswick around 11.20am (very busy), walked to the waterfront near the marina to watch the ships, then walked into town. I knew the trains and buses would be crazily busy for the next hour or so, so went and had something to eat, then looked round the shops for a while.

    Stopped at Rubens in Central station for a cup of coffee. By this time (around 4.00pm) the queues for the Wirral Line had died down. What I was surprised by was how many people were completely unaware that the Northern Line was closed (even with a giant poster at the station entrance announcing it). There were two Merseyrail staff members with megaphones repeatedly announcing "Wirral Line only" and I saw a lot of people reacting with an annoyed look and walking away.

    Saw one person on Twitter ranting at Merseyrail about Central station. When the response came that this had been advertised for many months, she replied, "Do you think anyone is assed with your posters"? :roll:

    I saw on Twitter that there was a long queue at Moorfields so went to Liverpool One for a bus home instead. I had to wait about 15 minutes, letting the first bus go because it was full, but it wasn't too bad.

    There were extra buses although they seemed to be running on an ad-hoc basis, responding to crowds, rather than a timetable. I was at Liverpool One bus station and watched a full and standing Stagecoach double-decker depart on route 82, and another one turned up almost immediately. There was a man in Stagecoach hi-vis jacket at the stand monitoring the situation.

    I also saw Arriva send out some empty buses not picking up at Liverpool One and instead starting their journeys at the next stop out, presumably to "mop up" the people who were stuck at intermediate stops.

    On my way home we passed lots of buses travelling towards Liverpool city centre showing "NOT IN SERVICE" presumably running back empty to pick up more people as quickly as possible.

    I would argue that there were lessons learned. During the Giants, Northern ran a more or less normal Bank Holiday service (with a handful of extras) and it was completely unable to cope with the crowds.

    This time round there were significant changes focused on getting people from the city centre to the surrounding area. For example, the Manchester Airport service did not run for most of the day and instead an Earlestown-Liverpool all stations shuttle was operated. There were also extra services from Wigan. Stops at Newton-le-Willows were inserted in TPE services, and the Blackpool-Liverpool South Parkway service, which normally runs non-stop between Lime Street and LPY, called additionally at Mossley Hill and West Allerton.
     
  29. howittpie

    howittpie Member

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    Myself and other family member boarded different trains and both our trains left Liverpool with plenty of space on. Mine the 16.52 to Nottingham had plenty of spare seats on departure yet I am sure there were plenty of people queueing who wanted that service if it had been managed like the times I have travelled back from the rugby in Cardiff it would have solved some of the issues. Infact after Manchester the carrige I was in was less than 50% full despite nearly every seat being reserved Liverpool to Sheffield and beyond.
     
  30. martynbristow

    martynbristow Member

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    Theres nothing puzzling about it really. They knew there were going to be big crowds and the city has struggled with this problem since 2007-8 when we had the capital of culture. Thousands of people defend upon the city and there isn't the capacity to deal with it.
    I don't think theres a valid excuse for this at all
     
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