After a number of press articles which appeared in the local news referring to passenger restrictions affecting the travel plans of our fans on potentially three match days, the chairman, Julian Tagg recently met with three representatives of GWR to understand fully the issues.
The main problem is the very limited size of the platform at St James Park. That limitation linked to the ability to open only one door on a four carriage train had led to serious safety concerns involving exiting the train, or actually, not being able physically to exit the train.
This one factor is most significant when all carriages are at full capacity. As reported in the media, it therefore affects Grecian fans on three possible occasions when fixtures could clash with the rugby club. Importantly whilst this specific element has been highlighted it also affects commuter services at other times as well.
The GWR delegation, one of whom incidentally was a keen Exeter City fan, had total empathy with our issue. The safety of passengers obviously can never be compromised and, whilst there is unfortunately no immediate fix, it is understood that efforts to secure the extension of the platform, the ultimate solution, are in the pipeline.
With the new Stagecoach Grandstand build now being underway alongside greater and greater commuter traffic ,the demand will only further increase, as underlined by a recent match day survey conducted by our own fans.
The club will be meeting with GWR officials again as soon as possible but certainly before the end of January.