Over the last week in July I completed another stage in my bus trip Around the County Towns of England travelling from Lincoln to Chester, via Nottingham and Derby. As all bus trips tend to be it was pretty straightforward, with none of the excitement that taking a narrowboat between those cities might be (although Derby might be a bit of a challenge).
Getting to and from the start and finish was another matter. I already have two outstanding Delay Repay claims against the railways. One from 15th March where Northern Rail has admitted it failed but has sent me my compensation is a form I hadn't asked for (which would you chose: a "free ticket to anywhere on Northern Rail" or 55 pence?!) and another from 28th June where the company insists the train I planned to use ran normally, whereas I know it was cancelled.
To these I can now add two more. On my way to Lincoln I found that there were no direct trains between Manchester and Sheffield for some unspecified reason and I was diverted via Leeds arriving an hour later than scheduled. And then on my way home from Chester the Arriva Trains Wales train to Warrington was delayed by 20 minutes. Not enough to trigger compensation in itself but it meant I missed my connection there and was 45 minutes late getting to Lancaster. Both Arriva and Trans Pennine are warning that due to the volume of claims this summer they can't meet the required 20 working days deadline to process claims, so I'm not holding my breath - although I will be chasing Northern rail again soon.