Who's stopped using Northern because of the service/strike and won't go back?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Puffing Devil, 6 Dec 2018 at 09:51.

  1. Puffing Devil

    Puffing Devil Established Member

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    Some of the comments in this thread about fare rising preventing travel had me thinking.

    Personally, I've stopped using the train for football games as it wasn't running and then I realised the convenience of the car once I was forced back into it. No 30-minute trudge from the station to the ground in the cold/rain and a much faster return journey have won out.

    I've also found a niche parking spot in the centre of Manchester which is great for theatre trips, which means another evening trip has gone.

    Even if the RMT and NR kiss and make up, I doubt I'll be back on the train in a hurry.
     
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  3. Deafdoggie

    Deafdoggie Member

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    Yeah, Northern have lost me too I'm afraid. Just realised how unappealing standing on cold wet platforms is, compared to a nice warm car. I happily used the train, but being forced off it by the strikes, has made me realise why so many people use cars
     
  4. jfollows

    jfollows Member

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    I avoid using Northern when I can for three reasons, almost all of my journeys are Wilmslow-Manchester:

    1. The introduction of evening peak restrictions for cheap day return tickets.
    2. The incompetent introduction of an unworkable timetable in May 2018 which has ruined the reliability of my local Northern services
    3. The continuing strike which sensible people would have resolved by now

    I sold my car two weeks ago but I don't commute, so I have some flexibility. I use Virgin-only First Class tickets most of the time, especially now that Virgin has plugged the morning gap with 1H50 07:10 Crewe-Manchester which I caught on Tuesday to get to my early appointment in Manchester.

    Last time i used Northern to visit a friend in Heaton Chapel for lunch (look out for new down side sign due to be installed on 10 December) I worked out the diagram of my outbound train and followed its progress to ensure that it was running. For my return journey I simply ignored the timetable and went to the station when it suited me, to find a very late running Wigan-Alderley Edge service arriving just as I did.

    I will be using Northern reluctantly next week because I will have a late evening return trip home. Normally I'm happy with the hourly Virgin service because (unlike London Euston) I can usually sit on the train well before departure time in comfort if I'm early.
     
    Last edited: 6 Dec 2018 at 10:31
  5. CaptainHaddock

    CaptainHaddock Member

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    I don't drive and have no desire to, so switching to a different mode of commute isn't an option for me. However the Saturday strikes have changed how I spend my leisure time. Previously I would go to football matches all over the country or have a bike ride or walk in a picturesque area such as the Peak District or the Yorkshire Dales. But with no trains, I've had to restrict my walking to my home county of South Yorkshire and have found some surprisingly pleasant walks not too far from Rotherham, Doncaster and Barnsley particularly from this website.

    http://casualramblers.co.uk/syorks/

    With the strikes set to go indefinitely, I'll probably do every walk on the site before it's resolved!
     
    Last edited: 6 Dec 2018 at 11:28
  6. ChrisC

    ChrisC Member

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    I just use Northern occasionally for leisure purposes but have avoided this in recent months. For at least the past 15 years I’ve stayed with friends who run a hotel in the North West and made use of a 7 Day North West Rover whilst there. I didn’t bother this year and had a week elsewhere using a Heart of England Rover instead. I was planning weekend breaks in Leeds and Manchester this autumn but went to Bristol and Birmingham instead. Saturday trips out to Manchester, Leeds, Sheffield and other northern destinations have just been abandoned for the time being.
    I’m not saying that I won’t go back but things will have to significantly improve before I do.
     
  7. cuccir

    cuccir Established Member

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    My family, who live near Barrow-in-Furness, have significantly reduced their train travel on Northern - journeys that they would have made by train they have in the last year started making by car; the only exception really are trips paid for by work.

    For journeys up or down the WCML, they've now got into the habit of driving the 50 minutes to Oxenholme, avoiding having to rely on Northern for connections onto Virgin services.
     
  8. stuart100100

    stuart100100 Member

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    I used to use Northern to get from Ormskirk to Preston for my semi regular trips to Scotland via the wcml. I now drive and park at Preston station and will continue doing that going forward
     
  9. ricoblade

    ricoblade Member

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    I use Northern from Retford to Sheffield and I simply do not travel on strike days. We were planning a day out in Sheffield's pubs this Saturday for example but are now staying local. I will be back to them when they're running as I can then have a few pints in Sheffield and the service when running has not been too bad.
     
  10. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    I wonder is the parallel bus service (X2?) doing well out of all this?
     
  11. stuart100100

    stuart100100 Member

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    The 2A - I've used it once and it was fine and reliable. It finishes quite early though and gets a bit tiresome looping around Tarleton and Longton
     
  12. talltim

    talltim Established Member

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    The strike hasn't really affected me as I have three operators on my commute. However the general crapness of service since the timetable update is making me look for jobs that avoid commuting between towns.
     
  13. Starmill

    Starmill Veteran Member

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    I was on it a couple of weeks ago on a strike day, it was packed. The driver didn't charge us too (we all had train tickets) which was very kind of him.

    It was, however, very slow indeed. Some lovely views though.
     
  14. Starmill

    Starmill Veteran Member

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    You can still travel by train from Retford to Sheffield, changing at Doncaster. Admittedly connections leave much to be desired, but it is possible.
     
  15. DarloRich

    DarloRich Veteran Member

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    no pre match beers? you are brave!
     
  16. Iskra

    Iskra Established Member

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    I've realised how much money I save by not getting drunk (due to having to drive to games instead). So now I drive to the majority of games and will only be getting the train to the more appealing/derby fixtures where I would specifically like a drink or two. Driving is also considerably faster, more comfortable and the cost is the same.

    I've also only done one of the Newspaper offer rangers, whereas I would have probably done 3 without the strikes. When I have travelled, I've used other operators more so Northern are getting less of my money.

    Rather than using Chapeltown, I have also been using Meadowhall more to pick up TP services instead.

    I do feel sorry for local businesses in places only served by Northern trains though, as it must be impacting them significantly.
     
  17. gnolife

    gnolife Established Member

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    I've gone the opposite way - I'll go out of my way to force my bookings for Glasgow to Manchester to travel on Northern services - I've made the trip back 5 times in the last three months, and so far, the net cost to me is nothing because I've got delay repay every time. (I'm something of a cheapskate who doesn't value his time very highly, so I don't mind getting stuck waiting an hour for a connection at Wigan North Western)
     
  18. Kite159

    Kite159 Veteran Member

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    Makes sense. There are worse places to spend an hour waiting for an connection than Wigan North Western
     
  19. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    There are better ones - for that journey I'd go with Preston. Or is it the slow services into Wallgate that are better bets if you do want to deliberately look to end up with Delay Repay? :)
     
  20. sheff1

    sheff1 Established Member

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    If you like a drink, North Western (or to be precise Wigan Central :D) is definitely better than Preston. If you just want a warm waiting room, then I agree with Preston.
     
  21. 61653 HTAFC

    61653 HTAFC Established Member

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    The strikes haven't affected me so much, as my local service is TPE (for the next three days, anyway!). Where it has affected me is on one trip to Nottingham, and a trip to the Burnley v Huddersfield game which was taken by car instead. My father and brother can no longer use the train to get to home matches (from Shepley) so usually drive due to Yorkshire Tiger also cutting bus services. If the replacement Huddersfield stoppers are affected by the strikes (word seemed to be they wouldn't due to using TPE guards, but I'm not counting my chickens) then my regular travel to Huddersfield will go to...

    Arriva Yorkshire!
    (and occasionally First West Yorkshire)
    Wasn't there supposed to be rules about monopolies?
     
  22. gnolife

    gnolife Established Member

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    I actually travel to East Didsbury, so I'm free to choose whether I connect at Preston or Wigan (its a direct train either way). Given that I have a lot of luggage with me, I find easiest to make a same platform connection at Wigan. That said, I do go Delay Repay fishing when I go back to Glasgow, by booking through to my closest station, Kelvindale, rather than the marginally longer (IE less than 5 minutes difference) walk from the vastly better served Hyndland.
     
  23. underbank

    underbank Member

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    Yep, stopped using Northern services. Used to use them regularly, particularly the Furness and Cumbria lines. The last time I used one was early July and that was so stressful due to delays & missed connections, I vowed not to bother again. It'll take me a lot to go back now I'm in the habit of using the car instead. I was already pretty fed up with the ancient trains, but the cancellations/delays pushed me over the edge.
     
  24. yorksrob

    yorksrob Veteran Member

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    I've ended up using long and convoluted routes to get to places I would normally be visiting direct. I don't mind the routes so much, however it's getting expensive. It's also difficult to avoid the dreaded crowds as well.

    Also more difficult to get to the Lake district and the Dales.
     
  25. LOL The Irony

    LOL The Irony Established Member

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    I've got the choice of the crap bus to Altrincham and then a tram or a direct train in about half the time so I don't realistically have a choice other than to use Northern services.
     
  26. Puffing Devil

    Puffing Devil Established Member

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    Taking a 12yo usually precludes the pub. Have saved a fortune on pre-match burgers, though.
     
  27. DarloRich

    DarloRich Veteran Member

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    Weatherspoons is your friend in such circumstances - anyway 12 is old enough to get a round in ;)
     
  28. Puffing Devil

    Puffing Devil Established Member

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    It was in my youth, though I need to set a example for my boy. Waiting until 13 would be prudent.
     
  29. DarloRich

    DarloRich Veteran Member

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    Sounds about right. TBH I find a need a couple of pints to get through the horror that have been our performances this season! Luckily i haven't had cause to use Northern much. Away games tend to be North West via Virgin and home games tend to be LNER from Kings Cross.

    However if i go to my gf's near Leeds we now tend to get the bus to town rather than the train as, sadly, the bus is more reliable.
     
  30. robbeech

    robbeech Established Member

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    Nope. Not anymore. It’s no longer mapped. In a bid to make things easier for the passenger this is no longer permitted. Map SH is all you get.

    Retford to Meadowhall has an any permitted which IS valid via Doncaster but it’s £18.90!

    I’d suggest that it’s a reasonable route on a strike day and you might get away with it but the TPE services you’d have to catch from DON would be busy and the XC don’t call at Meadowhall so the ticket wouldn’t be valid.
    A combination of a Retford Doncaster and a South Yorkshire Connect plus would be a couple of quid more again but would give you a fair bit of flexibility, including the option of a bus from Doncaster to Sheffield.
     
  31. ricoblade

    ricoblade Member

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    Yep - I can get dropped in Donny and go from there but it's a lot easier from Retto and the taxi home is a lot less.
     

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