They had the inspectors out in force yesterday – one set on the train, and someone standing at the gate at Dalston selling tickets to all those people who ‘forgot’ to buy one earlier. There don’t seem to be any penalty fares on Silverlink unlike pretty much everywhere else in London. Maybe they’re worried that if they started to get too picky about passengers actually buying tickets we’d start to get a bit picky about Silverlink actually running the occasional train.
But it does bug me when people don’t buy tickets. There was one guy who used to travel on my train who never had a ticket. He would only get caught on average about twice a month, at about two quid a time so it made sense for him not to bother paying for a season ticket and just buying the odd single when the inspectors came round. The inspectors never put two and two together and every time it happened it annoyed the hell out of me because I shell out my forty odd quid every month & I don’t see why I should be subsidising somebody who clearly has a job but chooses not to pay. Obviously, I didn’t actually grass him up to the inspectors but it burned, it really burned. I’m with the train companies on this one. Apart from anything else, if you’re not paying for the journey, you can hardly complain when it goes wrong.
But there is one little injustice that does rankle. The excessively polite gentleman who normally checks the tickets always takes great delight in pointing out to people with zone 2 travelcards that they need a zone 3 extension if they’re going past Hampstead Heath, even if they’re not actually getting off, and if both their starting point and destination are in zone 2. It would help if they actually displayed any travel zone maps in the ticket offices but even then you’d need to peer pretty closely to make it out:
Zone 3 takes a little detour south, just to take in Hampstead Heath. Nowhere else is included and the whole of the rest of the line from Hackney Wick to Willesden Juntion stays safely in zone 2. Why? It’s almost as though it’s something personal on the part of the map maker. What unspeakable acts of woolly liberalism did the people of Hampstead Heath do to deserve their exile from the fleshpots of zone 2? I think we should be told.
Total time wasted today: 6 minutes
Total time wasted to date: 10 hours 50 minutes
No. of Silverlink days to go: 8