‘Angry customers, double fail’ – Commuters’ outrage as driver of Great Northern train to Royston forgets to stop at Stevenage

Great Northern initially failed to acknowledge that the train had skipped Stevenage, right, before a

Great Northern initially failed to acknowledge that the train had skipped Stevenage, right, before admitting what had happened and apologising. Passengers took to Twitter to complain, left. - Credit: Archant

A train driver outraged commuters yesterday evening when he forgot to stop at Stevenage – with the line operator not realising until passengers complained.

When passengers tweeted Great Northern to complain that the train to Royston had not stopped at Stevenage, the company replied: “Showing here as having stopped there.”

Commuter Richard Melton retorted: “I’m on the train and it didn’t. Looks like your systems don’t work.”

Great Northern apologised and decided to terminate the service early at its next stop, Letchworth – where commuters watched a train back to Stevenage pulling out just as they arrived, forcing them to wait another half an hour.

Carly Gregory from Stevenage tweeted: “Not so great, Great Northern! After the train not stopping at Stevenage, could have made the 6.30pm back to Stevenage wait!”

Another passenger, identified only as ‘Bobby’, agreed: “You could have held it for two minutes – angry customers, double fail.”

The 5.53pm Great Northern service from London King’s Cross went straight through Stevenage, where it was supposed to stop at 6.14pm. Passengers said that the driver explained over the tannoy that he had misread a diagram and forgotten to stop at Stevenage.

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After initially denying that Stevenage station had been skipped, Great Northern confirmed that the driver had missed the stop and apologised to commuters affected.

A Great Northern spokesman said: “If a train does miss a stop then our very tight safety regulations stipulate that the driver is stood down, hence the termination at Letchworth. We are investigating the incident to understand what happened and why.

“Unfortunately the terminating train arrived at Letchworth just as the 6.29pm from Cambridge train was pulling out. Due to the tight constraints of the timetable and delays it would have caused other services, we could not hold the second train back. We realise that this must have caused additional irritation and delay to passengers’ journeys, for which we apologise again.”

He added that anyone delayed by more than 30 minutes can claim compensation at greatnorthernrail.com/delayrepay.

Responding on comments on Twitter, another Great Northern spokesman said the matter of the driver missing the stop would be ‘dealt with internally’.

He added that the decision to terminate the service at Letchworth rather than continuing to Royston ‘will not be investigated’.

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