Wednesday, 17 December 2008


Stoke-on-Trent Station

"Deeply fascinating" debates on the new rail timetable have some distance to run perhaps. We'll not go into that right now. Not much, anyway...

Upon inspecting the new destinations on Stoke station's departure boards this morning, my first thoughts raced straight to Ninian Park, Whaddon Road and Ashton Gate... with no need to change at Birmingham. Wu-hoo!

This is wonderful news. Our horizons seem instantly expanded and the service seems generally better on paper. A nice empty Pendolino to Manc at 7.45 replaces the crowded four coaches at 7.36, but - nnngh! - the return journey is now totally out of sync with The Glorious XXI, making it infinitely more difficult to arrive home in time for Sam's bath.

And there's no improvement to the Longport service. Many northbound trains in the morning, with crap all coming back. Not that one would ever expect it - nice new information screens, but barely a departure to display... (it would seem all the Londoners want to visit Kidsgrove instead)

And now the last train home is even earlier! FFS! It's a very personal slant (ok, an unpolishable rant) on the issue, but there's surely mileage in the idea that this stuff - that is, being able to access opportunities afforded by adjacent big cities at night, be they work, education or leisure - is fundamental to persuading people to live and stay in Stoke.

1 comment:

Clare White said...

I don't think it's a personal stant, I think everyone would agree with you. The potential for lifting Middleport/Burslem into opportunity would be hugely enhanced if Longport had as many connections as surrounding rich places.