First Great Western

For a company with the words 'First' and 'Great' in its name, First Great Western is pretty shoddy.

Earlier this year the company won the West England and Wales franchise. It then drew up a new timetable, which comes into place in December 2006. This met the requirements of the Department for Transport, but it wasn't welcomed by commuters who'll now see key services cut. In fact, if you're travelling from Monmouthshire to Bristol you'll see an 80% cut in services.

A campaign group has been set up, and they'll be grilling politicians and representatives from First Great Western in Caldicot tonight.

The company claims 'the new timetable, along with rolling stock improvements and First Great Western’s investment to increase the maximum speed of the relief lines between Reading and London Paddington will lead to a 20 per cent increase in seats in the morning and 30 per cent in the evening peak.'

That's increasing capacity by cutting a number of train services that are 'already standing room only,' according to Passenger Focus spokesman Simon Pickering. Some logic.

Having lived in Japan, I've become something of a train elitist. Over there they observe our transport difficulties with bewilderment. There's a word they'd probably use to describe it - wafu, meaning 'Western Style'. Not first, not great.

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posted by Blamerbell @ 8:24 am,


At 1:05 pm, Anonymous banjodog said...

The cuts in services are a disaster,reduceing teh quality of service to that of a 3rd World country.

The reduction in train services and carriages introduced by First Great Western this week are hitting commuters hard.

There were angry scenes at Oldfield Park railway station in Bath this morning as commuters attempted to board the 07:31 service.
The Cardiff bound train, which also calls at Keynsham, Bristol Temple Meads and Filton Abbey Wood arrived at Oldfield Park with only 2 carriages and was already full and
standing. As around 50 commuters at Oldfield Park attempted to board the train the guard had to ask people not to attempt to board on safety grounds.
Only a handful of the waiting commuters were able to board. There were angry words exchanged betwen commuters and train staff, with the train staff
agreeing with the passengers about the inadequacy of the service and handing out complaints forms.
"If you all complain, things will change" one of the staff told the frustrated passengers. Staff also told passengers that they would be raising the issue with their management.

Passengers for Filton Abbey Wood had to wait for the next scheduled service 20 minutes later and Cardiff passengers faced a 40 minute wait.

At 10:23 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you have a complaint about First Great Western, please visit You can then post complete details of your complaint and it will be forwarded to FGW.


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