Transport minister launches furious rant at train company

A Greater Anglia train
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A transport minister has launched a furious rant after a platform worker instructed a train to depart, despite seeing him running towards it.

George Freeman said he was left “stranded for an hour” because the 9.09am Greater Anglia service from Cambridge to Attleborough on Tuesday morning was not held up for him.

The Tory MP described how he was one of five passengers who “sprinted” along the platform after a connecting service from London King’s Cross was delayed.

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He expressed his frustration in a series of tweets to Greater Anglia, stating that the member of staff responsible for dispatching trains could see them running but chose to close the doors and instruct the driver to depart.

The worker then “smirked and ignored us”, the MP for Mid Norfolk added.

Greater Anglia replied that “in most cases” it cannot hold trains when services run by other operators are late.

Freeman responded: “Not even for 15 seconds when passengers from a connection are AT THE DOOR?!”

The company apologised and accepted “there should have been some discretion”.

The MP said it was a “huge honour” when he was appointed as a transport minister by prime minister Boris Johnson last month.

His portfolio includes technology, innovation, decarbonisation and connectivity.

Featured image via Flickr – Matt Buck

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  • Show Comments
    1. And what if whilst they held the train some more late passengers arrived, and some more, then some more?

      Or are exceptions only for government ministers?

    2. Breathtaking sense of entitlement? Perhaps what most upset him was people on the train, those aware of his identity, laughing.

      Government ministers ought not be expected to suffer such vicissitudes. They must be treated with deference at all times. An extra train should have been put into use; this regardless of widespread disruption elsewhere on the network consequent upon an unscheduled journey.

      Revenge will be sweet. The minister will drop a word in Johnson’s ear to ensure neither the Chairman nor CEO of the rail company shall receive honours other than those already doled out.

    3. “A transport minister has launched a furious rant after a platform worker instructed a train to depart”

      I would imagine that as a transport minister George Freeman knows that guards are train crew not “platform workers”.

    4. I’m quite stunned at this, and it is a dismal portrayal not just of our rail services (well they’re not really ‘Ours’), but of our expectations (particularly it seems if you are a transport minister).

      This leads me to ask the following rhetorical questions;

      1) I wonder how Japanese train crews would have dealt with this event?…….oh I know……firstly, let’s deal with the issue of Trains in Japan being late?………….. Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha, Hee Hee Hee Hee Hee…Haaaaaw…….sheesh!

      2) If Japan can have punctual trains and passengers, why can we still not? ……..maybe because we are not very good at learning lessons from those who demonstrably have better systems.

      3) Is it right to expect a train to wait for a few passengers (even if the connection was late) at the expense of a great deal more passengers, and increasing the lateness to every other connected train service on the network? ………sadly I think some like George Freeman think that they are far more important than the many who clearly were already on the train, and who had also paid for the service.

      4) Is George Freeman now going to try and have that Train Crew member, and Greater Anglia Trains punished in revenge?……………I mean how very dare they treat such an illustrious frack with such disdain? Considering he is the new Transport Minister, it is not very encouraging at all to know that the best he can do is to complain without the slightest comprehension of what needs to be done to improve the service.

      So here is a solution for you George Freeman – UK Transport Secretary, I’m sure it will be warmly accepted seeing your ire at being late and stranded is so misdirected.

      Re-nationalize the rail service, strive to be as good as The Japanese (and others) rail services (better would be a most worthy challenge), and in so doing, re-imbue National pride in what was after all a British invention (which Japan and others have since schooled us on) .

      It is high time we (Britain) realized that our naffness and ‘it’ll do’ attitude is NOT what made Britain a great nation, it was our pride in making world-renowned things (Steel, Trains, Motorcycles, Ships, Aircraft, and a great deal more, and services like the NHS, Journalism, even the BBC) that enabled us to hold our heads high, not the whiney, whingy, its not fair to me attitude that has replaced it.

    5. Congratulations Mr Freeman! Now you know what it is like for the rest of us! I hope you have a c2c “Smartcard” and you can’t use it because the system doesn’t work, and when you try to phone to complain you get left on hold for TWO HOURS until you give up; maybe you could do something about the bunch of idiots who run that train company; how about sending them back to where they came from, the country that gave the world the Costa Concordia!

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