Cancelled train causes packed waiting room and wait times of over one hour

By Emily Barker

With the upcoming General Election this Thursday (DEC12), UK citizens are heavily researching what political party to vote for on what issues affect them most; one of these being public transport.

There have been a number of reports on social media about train disruptions, delays and cancellations over the last few weeks all targeted at major train operators.

CrossCountry Trains operate intercity services and other long-distance trains across the country, including Leicester station.

Leicester train station

On Saturday, November 30, a 20.18 train service from Leicester to Stansted Airport was cancelled at 19.27, less than an hour before its scheduled departure.

A spokesperson for the CrossCountry company, said: “The 20.18 service from Leicester to Stansted Airport was cancelled due to a shortage of train conductors, but we are not affected by any industrial action [strikes].

“The train was cancelled between Birmingham New Street and Cambridge.

“The cancellation was made at 19.27.”

The cancellation of this service left lots of angry passengers sat waiting on the floor of the waiting room with over an hour for the next train.

Official statistics of the Office of Rail and Road were published on December 5 comparing the times of trains from this time the previous year.

Passenger Rail Performance

A breakdown of Passenger Rail Performance (SOURCE: Office of Rail and Road – https://dataportal.orr.gov.uk/media/1630/passenger-performance-2019-20-q2.pdf

Trains that were “On Time” increased by 3.3% to 65.1%, the “Public Performance Measure (PPM)” increased by 1.4% to 87.3%, and interestingly the “Cancellations Score” decreased by 0.2% to just 2.8%, showing that fewer trains were actually cancelled this year compared to last year.

On Time means early or less than one minute after the scheduled time, and PPM means that the trains were punctual (early or less than five to 10 minutes after the scheduled arrival time) at their final destination.

If you have been delayed by a CrossCountry train service, you can use their Delay Repay Scheme to get some compensation for your delayed or cancelled service here.

Review: Frozen II – should we have just “Let It Go” after the first film?

Frozen II: Review by Emily Barker

With Jenifer Lee and Chris Buck directing once again, Disney are back with Frozen II six years after the original movie was released, and boy are they back with a bang.

Anna, Elsa, Olaf, Kristoff and Sven the reindeer (voiced by the originals from the first film) all return to our screens throughout the UK, this time to find out the origin of Elsa’s snow powers in order to save the kingdom of Arendelle.

Pexels Frozen 2

(SOURCE: Pexels)

This film opens with a flashback of the girls’ Mum singing a lullaby to All is Found, singing “can you face what the river knows?” in which we first hear the soprano, whistle-like noise that will become all the more apparent and more substantial throughout the rest of the film.

The sequel follows Elsa on her journey to follow this sound, leading her through the ancient, permanently-autumn Enchanted Forest to the Ahtohallan River to get the answers she so desires, even touching briefly on climate change issues, a big issue in today’s society, keeping the film current and up-to-date.

Pexels Frozen 2 2.jpeg

(SOURCE: Pexels)

A battle between the Northuldra soldiers and the soldiers of Arendelle however, means that the forest has been sealed off for decades by some form of magical fog. Elsa and her clan discover those people who are trapped within, the Northuldra soldiers and the Arendelle soldiers.

This time not featuring Let It Go in any form, the song in every child and parent’s head for a solid year or so (never actually reaching number one in the charts), but Into the Unknown, which is a more mature song about Elsa and her struggles, showing that the audience has in fact grown up with the characters themselves. Kristoff also gets a ballad in this film, Lost In The Woods about his struggle with finding himself and what to do about the one he loves. The cute snowman Olaf also gets a number about growing older, simply called When I Am Older. Anna sings about the first step for change in The Next Right Thing.

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(SOURCE: Pexels)

Frozen II was everything I expected it to be, and more, and it’s nice to see the directors have realised that the audience have grown up with the film by putting in mild adult humour whilst still keeping it family friendly, and that the songs are a lot more mature than in the original. I love that it has kept its family-friendly appeal.

Frozen II is in cinemas throughout the UK now, and you can watch the trailer below.

Anticipation builds as Demon FM announce their biggest show of the year

By Thomas Carter

De Montfort University student radio station Demon FM have announced a groundbreaking all-night General Election show for Thursday(DEC12), providing political coverage throughout the evening for nine hours.

Set to take place live from the on-campus studio this week, the show will be on air from 10pm to 7am, ensuring listeners are kept up to date with all the events from this year’s General Election.

The broadcast will feature a range of panelists, as well as streaming live to the official vote count for Leicester, delivering updates and getting reactions from local voters.

Tom Fair, who is the Deputy Station Manager for Demon FM, said: “It’s a fantastic opportunity for us, and the biggest thing we have done this year.

“We’re lucky enough to be allowed in the count on Thursday night, so standing shoulder-to-shoulder with the big broadcasters like BBC and Sky is a huge reputation boost for the station!”

Alongside this, the Demon Magazine (another strand of the student-run Demon Media Group) will be running its first live blog, which will provide a timeline for people if they are unable to listen on radio.

Masters student and Demon FM Producer Jack Vines also commented on the anticipation for the upcoming show, saying: “It is vital for us to deliver entertaining but impartial coverage of the results.

“The all-night election show is great as it shows that young people are still interested in politics.”

Listeners can tune in live from 10pm to 7am this Thursday, catching all the action on the Demon FM website here: https://www.demonfm.co.uk/

Alternatively, those who are unable to listen in can follow all the updates and reactions from across the Midlands with the Demon Magazine live blog on their website: https://www.demon-media.co.uk/magazine/

Lifelong fan-turned backroom staff might be the final cog in the Foxes’ football machine

By Ewan Collins

A Leicester lad is enjoying a dream start to his dream job as Leicester City Football Club continue their winning run since his arrival.

Jack Stephens, 23, was recently appointed as set-piece and training analyst at his boyhood club, following graduation from Bath University.

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Jack Stephens as a boy

Following the Foxes’ recent 4-1 away win over Aston Villa, he said: “I’m over the moon with how the first few months have gone, both for myself and for the club as a whole.

“It’s just great to see the team performing so well.”

This latest victory takes Leicester’s winning streak to eight Premier League games in a row, which started on the weekend of Jack’s arrival; a 2-1 home win over Burnley. 

“It started becoming a bit of a joke amongst mates after about three or four wins on the bounce,” he said.

“You know they’d say things like ‘Stephen’s at the wheel’ after every goal or say it was my fault when a set-piece didn’t result in one.

“I am starting to get superstitious though, which isn’t like me. I’ve got an old [Leicester football] top that I wore for the first couple of games that I now have to wear on every match-day.

“I know it’s ridiculous but I can’t bring myself to not wear it now.”

He added: “All jokes aside though, when you see how much hard work there is behind the scenes, from all the staff and the players, it’s no wonder we’re doing as well as we are.”

Jack also worked for a year at Shrewsbury Town Football Club as an academy video analyst while he was at university. 

“It was hard work when I was at Shrewsbury. I was getting up at six [am] almost every day to get the train, and I wasn’t getting back until 7-or-8ish at night. And it was all unpaid. 

“I loved it there though [Shrewsbury FC], and looking back it’s great to see all my hard work get me where I am now…doing what I love at the team I’ve supported my whole life.”

Leicester welcome visitors Norwich City to the King Power Stadium this Saturday, where the home side will be looking to keep their winning streak alive.

The NHS: another winter, another crisis

By George-Peter Boyd

Leicester_infirmary.jpgCrisis ahead? Leicester Royal Infirmary (Image source: Google Images)

A Registered Nurse at Leicester Royal Infirmary fears that a lack of available beds and higher patient numbers is leading the NHS into a ‘Winter Crisis’.

The nurse, who wishes to stay anonymous, said: “Due to a higher incidence of seasonal illness and exacerbation of long-term conditions, there are additional pressures placed onto the health service which is already tight for bed capacity.

“With a shortage of almost 50,000 nurses in England alone, we simply don’t have the staff to safely staff more beds.

“This results in blocked emergency departments.”

The current general election campaign has shown that NHS funding is at the forefront of voters’ concerns within all parties that are pledging to increase the NHS budget.

When asked if they think the current situation deters people from joining the NHS, the nurse stated: “Yes. I think people are not looking to go into NHS careers at the moment because of the negative media coverage of working life and its pressures.”

According to the nurse, Leicester Royal Infirmary has about 600 to 800 people attending A&E a day, with long waits to offload people from ambulances, leading to challenging and potentially unsafe conditions.

The solution? More beds, more staff, and more funding, stressed the nurse.

“Opening up more hospital beds requires more central funding, more nurses to staff these beds and the additional facilities and support services to upkeep them and provide the necessary care.

“The NHS is one of the most efficient publicly funded organisations and health care systems around the world, yet it is still running a deficit, which evidences the lack of funding received.”