Platform announcement mix-up means rail users get incorrect warning when fast trains zoom through Meadowhall station in Sheffield: ‘It’s not safe for passengers’

Rail passengers in Sheffield say their safety is at risk – because of incorrect loudspeaker announcements at Meadowhall station.

By Kasey Smith
Thursday, 08 August, 2019, 13:28
Meadowhall railway station. Picture: Scott Merrylees

Automated messages, triggered when CrossCountry services going to and from Sheffield Midland pass through without stopping, wrongly state trains are about to travel past platform four at Meadowhall Interchange.

The mainline trains, in fact, go through platforms two, three and one, meaning passengers are not prepared when locomotives hurtle by.

Northern Rail, which operates the station, said staff had been unaware of the error which would now be fixed.

But commuter David Cook told The Star he had raised the issue repeatedly.

“I’ve complained several times, over the past few months, that safety announcements are wrong – nobody takes any action,” he said.

“When a CrossCountry train is approaching from Sheffield, this is a non-stopping train. An announcement is made: ‘Move away from the edge of platform four, fast train approaching.’

“The problem is, it's actually platform two that it's approaching. The same applies to platform three and one.”

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Fellow users of the station expressed worry and frustration.

Molly Parker, a shop assistant who regularly catches trains at Meadowhall, said it had been a long-running problem.

“It should be the right one – it should easily be changed,” she said. “It shouldn’t be an issue, but it’s been going on for ages.”

Another passenger, who wanted to remain anonymous, said: “I think it’s disgraceful, I really do. Sometimes I stand on that platform and if you’re not aware of a fast-moving train, it’s a bit unnerving.”

And one rail user – Tesco trainee Angela, who only wanted to give her first name – said the consequences of misinformation could be fatal.

“It’s not safe for passengers,” she said. “There could be kids on the platform, they could fall into the train and die.”

A spokesman for Northern said: “We thank the customer for making us aware of this and the team is working with our suppliers to resolve this issue.”