Four associations of Norman train users are banging their fists on the table. They condemn “intolerable travel conditions” for several weeks and demand compensation from subscribers. They invite them to take as many reservations as possible, even on days when they are not running.
“It’s over a week ago that there has been a morning or an evening where we have been too late. And I’m not talking about ten minutes late. Again this morning (July 20) between Paris and Cherbourg, traffic was interrupted between 9am and noon. Yesterday morning it was the same. It’s every day“, the storm Pierre Dumont, the chairman of the UDUPC, the association of users of the Paris-Caen-Cherbourg line,”The couple is more than full.“Because these last seven days are only the latest episode of the great difficulties that users of the Normandy lines have encountered for several weeks. This Wednesday, July 20, four associations in the region, UDUPC, ADURN, Vernon Train de Vie and BBB Collective knocks fists on the table in a joint press release.
Several ingredients ignited the powder. Chronologically, there is first the “adapted circulation” plan launched last spring, the “temporary” abolition of certain trains decided by the Normandy region and the SNCF due to lack of profitability. An enhanced traffic plan during the summer season. “Normally 18 more trains have to run“Says Pierre Dumont. Then comes the EOLE plant in the Paris region all summer, the extension of the RER D, which automatically results in announced delays of half an hour. A minimum according to the associations.” We had warned (SNCF and the region) that users would be hit by huge delays (…) Specifically, all the Norman trains, Paris-Caen-Cherbourg, Paris-Rouen-Le Havre and the island of France all pass through the same place. It has a funnel effect.”
Added to this is “the good idea“by the SNCF and the Normandy region, as the chairman of the UDUPC ironically says, to impose mandatory reservations on Normandy’s lines from 1 July.”We had told them that it was a bad idea to introduce it in July, given the period of work we were going through. Bingo! We should have played the lottery.“Associations condemn train compositions that change at the last minute and no longer respond to users’ reservations.”When a long composition Omneo has to be able to transport 1000 people, and you end up with a short composition that can only hold 500 people, I let you imagine the problem that this entails (…) Those who can sit sit down down. The others do what they can. And at worst, they travel upright.“
The last ingredient in this explosive cocktail, the strong heat, which prevails for several days and will aggravate, according to the associations, these already difficult traffic conditions. “I can hear that this high heat has an impact on both infrastructure and rolling stock,” says Pierre Dumont, “The question I still ask myself is how are they doing in the PACA region. Every year, with temperatures exceeding 35 degrees, the trains continue to circulate. How is it that it does not circulate with us.“
The four associations of Norman train users will therefore launch this Wednesday, 20 July “and SOS“Through a joint press release. And more than an SOS, it’s rubbish and a slap in the face.Users are exposed to travel conditions that are totally intolerable, it is completely unacceptable.“The associations announce that they will no longer respond to requests from the SNCF and the Normandy region until further notice.”we suspend our contributions to the working groups“. But above all, they urge subscribers to turn the system of mandatory reservations against SNCF.”Subscribers, for main lines, have access to an online tool that allows them to reserve their place“, explains the chairman of UDUPC,”We invite subscribers to massively reserve seats, even on days when they are not in circulation. We use the tool we get, legally. We are not cheating.”
No threat without requirements. In the near future, the four associations will demand 50% compensation for subscribers (who have a subscription during the two summer months), restoration of a car in free parking during rush hour on Friday (today this car is only in operation from Monday to Thursday ) and compliance with the announced composition of the trains. In the long run, they also require the organization at the beginning of a “crisis meeting with the right interlocutors“, the president of the region, Hervé Morin, and the director of SNCF Normandy lines, Grégoire Forgeot d’Arc.”We will need answers, and we will need actions, concrete actions and not pseudo-action plans that have been sold to us for two years and that are changed every six months.“, Warns Pierre Dumont, President of UDUPC.