Mild Idiocy, Nobody Hurt

The Guardian was reporting this morning that – no doubt as part of their brave new era – SouthWest Trains would be getting tough on fare evaders. I have no problem with that – I spend 15 quid a week on my travel and I don’t see why that should be subsidising anyone else. It was just that they had cleverly decided to kick start this campaign by stationing two ticket inspectors at the foot of the stairs at Kew Bridge, checking the tickets of people not just getting off the trains but those who were rather hoping to get on one some time before the evening was over. The flaw in their cunning plan was this: the only place you can buy a ticket at Kew Bridge is from the machine which is … on the platform. So to get around this problem, the ticket inspectors were selling tickets to people who didn’t have them. Which made them rather inefficient at checking the tickets of those people who did. For while both of them were burdened with credit card pin number machines and ticket issuing machines, only one of them had an oyster card reading machine – something I only found out after I’d queued up behind the guy buying a ticket from the one who didn’t have an oyster reader and then had to queue up behind the other guy buying a ticket from the one who did. And all this with a perfectly good brand new ticket machine sitting idle on the platform. Aargh.

Fortunately, despite their best efforts, I got my ticket inspected and caught my train. And now it is definitely and officially the weekend, and I’m not going to worry about it any more.

ps. Apologies for the late running of this blog, which was due to a lack of internet connection on the line…


14 responses to “Mild Idiocy, Nobody Hurt

  1. *stumbles in*

    Um, party? Someone say party? I’m sure they did? Where are the pringles? C’mon, it can’t be all over already.

  2. you’re a week late, Pete…

  3. i made it to the party even later. catching up from central africa can be a little difficult.

  4. do they still get commission? i think they used to get 5%.

  5. Wendy – you’re excused, this time
    John – ah yes, our old friend the peverse incentive.

  6. Oh, and you can’t make a party last all week anymore? šŸ˜‰

  7. Good Lord, no, Pete, I’m in my thirties. I’m lucky if I can make a party last all night.

  8. I can’t and shan’t believe a word of it, your legend precedes you.

  9. (love the expanded categorising btw!)

  10. You wait till you get old, Pete, you’ll see…

  11. They have gone ticket checking crazy on the Sutton to Blackfriars line. You have to produce the oyster at least once on the trip itself and then there are new barriers at Blackfriars by which 3 ticket inspectors stand for no apparent reason. Am I the only one who finds the phrase “show me your oyster” somehow indelicate.

  12. Yeah but do they actually check your oyster or just look at the outside of the wallet? Half the time that’s enough on the Hounslow loop, I have no idea why.

  13. Here’s a link to my sorry experience with Silverlink Trains and penalty fares. The more I try this public transport lark, the more I want to stick to using my car!

    PS Couldn’t figure out how to use this track/pingback thingy. I hope this link appears correctly.

  14. Ah, well, Silverlink. All bets are off with Silverlink

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