Letters: Keith Leedell, December 11, 2015

King's Lynn rail station ENGANL00120130116122207
King's Lynn rail station ENGANL00120130116122207
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I was a signaller at Watlington, Magdalen Road box, from the start of privatisation and retired two years ago.

There was a plan to extend the platforms at Watlington, Littleport and Waterbeach to allow the use of eight car trains. I spoke to senior management when they visited at Watlington and the scheme was achievable, most of the platforms are wooden anyway and only a few signals would need moving. I read in the Lynn News that it is now intended to operate eight car trains next year to reduce overcrowding. This was always a better option than a half-hour service with two stretches of single track between Lynn and Ely. Any delays always had a knock-on effect and I maintain that passengers plan to get on a particular train, not the next if it is crowded. Some eight car trains do run now but if more do run the shorter platforms could get a two-hour service. This was the service when I started on the railways. It will also cause chaos as inevitably some passengers will be on the wrong part of the train and try to stop it by using the emergency lever. I have seen it happen. Even if you could get the passengers into the forward unit, the drivers will be against it for safety reasons. I still live in Watlington and an even bigger problem is parking for train travellers, which is totally insufficient. This is the case for all stations on this line and the new enterprise park at Downham will make it worse. The railways should stop pandering to MPs and make the best use of what we have.

Keith Leedell