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WAGN answers commuter questions

WAGN's general manager, Suzanne Page, has responded to questions raised on this site about the recent disruptions.

Q: Why are the relief buses inadequate?

A: We currently have in excess of 70 buses/coaches on contract to us from a company called Frazer Eagle and as local companies could not possibly support this kind of demand, buses have been pulled in from as far away at Devon and Yorkshire. This has caused obvious problems with route learning and whilst at times we have not had enough buses at the right places, I feel our problem has been more one of effective utilisation of the resources available, as opposed to not enough resources. This is the first time that we or Frazer Eagle have undertaken such a large exercise over such a long period of time and on the whole we are pleased with their performance. However, I do acknowledge that on occasions improvements could have been made. We have yet to reduce the bus support and will not do so until such time as we feel the train service can stand-alone.

Q: Why are there premier parking spaces at Potters Bar when many commuters have no choice but to drive there?

Premier parking customers buy their dedicated spaces on an annual basis and are free to use them, as and when they see fit, so we are unable to deprive them of their space, even if they could be put to good use by other passengers.

Why is the main exit at Potters Bar closed before all regular commuters get home?

The main exit is closed once the ticket office is closed, to prevent the less desirable members of society from using the ticket hall for drugs dealing or as a urinal. We do have a member of staff there after that, but not the same member of staff every evening and so there would be a potential problem with the handover of keys. For security reasons, we would not want a large number of keys to be in circulation. This is not a new issue, but has become polarised as a result of the Hatfield incident, which has increased the use of the station.

Is there a plan to eventually close Watton station?

We have no plans to close Watton or any other of our stations.

When will compensation be paid and how much will it be?

The compensation forms were handed out at Kings Cross and Moorgate on Monday 27 November and we hope to be able to pay passengers within 28 days of receiving their completed form. We have given passengers a choice between a refund or an extension, to accommodate the different purchase methods our passengers have.

Monthly and annual season ticket holders will receive 19 days refund and for monthly ticket holders this will be a sum equivalent to the cost of their ticket divided by 22 and multiplied by 19, as we assume monthly usage to be 22 days. Annual usage is assumed to be 260 days per year.

Weekly ticket holders, will receive a refund equivalent to 50% of the cost of their ticket, which is actually 30% more than we are required to provide in terms of Passenger Charter regulations.

Daily ticket holders will be treated on a case by case basis in relation to the delays experienced.

The 19 days represents the working days from the 17 October to 11 November, which is the end of that particular train performance reporting period.

The compensation for the period after 11 November is still being negotiated and as soon as we know the outcome, we will let you know.

Thank you

As the General Manager for the Great Northern route, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your patience and tolerance during this exceptional period and to apologise for the many hours that you have lost as a result of this one event. I appreciate that this is wholly inadequate, but I and my team are trying to do our best and make improvements as and when we can and I hope that we can soon restore some semblance of normality.

I am a Welwyn Garden City traveller, so I do have every sympathy with your experiences and I like you, look forward to getting my life back on an even keel.

Kind regards

Suzanne Page
General Manager-Great Northern

The two websites to keep checking for rail news are WAGN's and Railtrack's sites.

If you want to discuss the state of the railways or your journey to work please use the 'Have Your Say' section.

November 29, 2000

Related news items
Compensation details from WAGN- November 25, 2000
Commuter misery in verse- November 23, 2000
Services back to normal by March- November 23, 2000
Stranded at Potters Bar- November 22, 2000
Questions for Railtrack and WAGN- November 20, 2000
New emergency timetable delayed - November 18, 2000
Emergency timetable due soon - November 13, 2000
Trains services resume ahead of schedule - November 9, 2000
Text of letter from WAGN Railways - November 8, 2000
Emergency rail service until February 2000 - November 8, 2000
Emergency rail service to continue - November 8, 2000
Rail disruption until middle of month - November 2, 2000
Commuters suffer more misery - October 31, 2000
No trains for the rest of the month - October 24, 2000
Broken rail caused derailment - Railtrack - October 19, 2000
Station fencing plan challenged - April 3, 2000
Station: security concerns raised - February 19, 2000
Toughened glass for station shelters - February 12, 2000
Station renovations continue - Jan 29, 2000
Patrols to target rail vandals - Dec 2, 1999
New station shelter vandalised - Dec 1, 1999
New shelter for station - Nov 29, 1999
Station shelter - work underway - Nov 11, 1999
New waiting room to be built next week - Nov 11, 1999
Station facelift brought forward - Nov 4, 1999
Vandals target station waiting room - Nov 2, 1999
Local residents to meet Railtrack - Oct 15, 1999
Vandalism to track damages train - Sept 9
Railtrack invite feedback on station  -  Sept 5
Railtrack to tackle vandalism  -  August 23, 1999
New plans to beat vandals -  July 13, 1999
Crackdown on station vandalism -  July 9, 1999
Station face-lift hits buffers -  March 19, 1999
WAGN failures -  August 20, 1998
WAGN anger - July 12, 1998

Have Your Say

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