I like the new ticket machines at Vauxhall station, I really do. They’re quick, for one thing, and they have Kew Bridge listed as a station for another, which is a bonus when that’s the station you’re mostly trying to get to. But I do wonder exactly what kind of midget they had in mind when they designed them. I’m 5 foot 6 – not exactly a giantess among commuters – and I can just about work the touch screen with nothing more than a slight stoop. But the pin number pad is another matter. They’ve carefully recessed it out of sight – good, obviously, so nobody can see your fingers as you key it in. But then that nobody includes you, the user, who has to bend double just to read the instructions on the screen.
It’s for wheelchair users, I thought to myself as I straightened the kinks out of my back and put my newly purchased ticket throught the gate. Accessibility and all that and entirely a good thing. Yes, wheelchair users can easily buy tickets here at Vauxhall and if they ask nicely and show their newly purchased ticket, I’m sure the ticket guy will open up the big gate and let them through to the corridor. Where they can sit at the foot of the stairs and gaze longingly upwards at the platforms where all the trains are.