Britain's worst train stations named and shamed
The idea of getting a train fills me with a warm, fuzzy feeling. Travelling through the countryside at great speed... stretching out your legs as a nice old lady brings you tea.
Of course, the reality of a train journey snaps you out of it as you're penned up like battery chickens on stinking carriages that invariably turn up late to a platform that tells you nothing and offers no shelter from the relentless downpour. And you can never find a pisser when you need one.
Not all train stations are rubbish... just most of them. But which are the worst? Well, a new report has come out naming the 10 worst railway stations in the country... and gutted if you live in the North West.
Manchester Victoria received the lowest satisfaction rating, followed by Clapham Junction, in south London, and Crewe, in Cheshire, according to the inspectors' report, which calls on the Government to invest £50 million to carry out urgent improvements.
Transport Secretary Lord Adonis (that can't be his real name, surely?!), who witnessed the dilapidated state of some stations when he toured the country by train last summer, is due to visit 10 of the worst performers today, beginning at Clapham Junction.
The others bad'uns, as identified in the Station Champions report by Sir Peter Hall and Chris Green, were Barking, Stockport, Preston, Wigan North Western, Liverpool Central, Warrington Bank Quay and Luton. They were identified in a report by the Station Champions - Sir Peter Hall and Chris Green.
Lord Adonis said: "While touring the rail network in April this year, I was struck by the great variation in the passenger facilities at stations. Train travel has improved a good deal in recent years, but more needs to be done to improve conditions and services for passengers at stations.
"I want every station to be a good station - a hub of local community life and somewhere that you wouldn't mind spending time, with adequate facilities. I support the report's recommendations of minimum standards for stations - classed by size - in terms of information, car and bike parking, facilities and environment. I intend to make these minimum standards a requirement in future rail franchise agreements with train operating companies."
Sir Peter and Mr Green said: "Stations are deeply entwined with their local community and effectively act as the gateway to both town and railway. They leave passengers with their lasting impressions of both. A dilapidated station is bad business for both town and railway."
Anthony Smith, chief executive of rail customer watchdog Passenger Focus, said: "Passengers standing on wind-swept platforms across Britain should be able to find out if their train is coming or not. There are all too many stations that do not have any real-time information and in the 21st century this is outrageous. Today's report highlights this issue, and supports our position that real-time information should be standard, not a luxury."
Why don't you share your miserable experience in Britain's train stations in the comments?