Thursday, June 28, 2007

What's wrong with this picture?


Today, I was going to write "Bum on seat, part 2: C34a", but to be honest, I got to the station, the seat was free, I sat on it, and, well, that's it really. There's nothing much else to say except that the seat reservation system continues to work, and it's delightful.
I would, however, like to pass on some of the comments that I've been receiving in my inbox at IHateFGW@yahoo.co.uk, as they are far more interesting.
Firstly, today's photo comes from Tangers, who wonders how exactly the disabled people at Swindon Station are supposed to exit after going through the special barrier. Answers on a postcard.
Also, I was delighted to hear from Ryan, who tells me there's a FGW guard currently to be seen wearing an I Hate First Great Western badge that he was given by a passenger at Bristol. Apparently he's doing it for a dare, brilliant!
Finally, news from our regular visitor Billyo, who's discovered that the fares system is such a mess, it's sometimes cheaper to buy a ticket to Paris, or Rosslare in Ireland than it is to get an open return between Bath and London. This is because open returns are uncapped by the government, and are therefore often priced at a level that can only be described as bonkers. I've heard from others that you can save a small fortune on your ticket by breaking it up into smaller journeys, or buying a cheap ticket to a location beyond the one you'll actually be getting off at. I'd be interested to hear from anyone who has tips on how to save money. I'll also be trying to look into it, but I went on two European websites yesterday, and trying to find out the rail fares from the UK made my brain melt, so I gave up. Check his blog post here for the full debate on the issue, really quite unbelievable.

10 comments:

Billyo said...

We have a new transport secretary....

...Ruth Kelly.

I fear this tells us everything we need to know about GB's feelings towards Public Transport. Her ministerial record is appalling.

I hate FGW said...

Noooooooooooo!

Anonymous said...

The photo you are showing is the entrance to the college and nothing to do with getting to the platform so no issue with wheel chairs !

I hate FGW said...

Oh, well then, I take it back, sorry about that. I'll tell off the person who sent it to me and send them to bed early with no ovaltine.

Richard said...

Just the sight of a wheelchair-friendly gate and a set of concrete steps right after it brings a smile to anyone's face surely?

One would have thought the FGW genius who decided what kind of gate to put there would have thought about the surrounding area.

Its like me putting an opening window in a submarine so the sailors can get some fresh air.

I hate FGW said...

Your mistake was assuming that all the blog visitors have a sense of humour. They are commuters, don't forget, and their goodwill is tested to breaking point on a daily basis. Is is any wonder that a funny photo fails to raise a smile? (I laughed though)

Anonymous said...

Even though the photo was a bit misleading about access there, it's right on the mark about disabled access in general on FGW. I've had to learn to see life from the disabled perspective in the past two years due to a misdiagnosed knee problem and botched surgery. I'm ambulatory, but can't walk far or stand long, so a small, three-wheeled mobility scooter is my best bet to get around. Enter FGW's uncaring customer service. Their policy on scooters -- you can use them on a train if you *carry* it aboard. How is a disabled person supposed to carry a scooter aboard, particularly one that's sturdy enough to make it through the streets to the train station?! God forbid FGW make clear policies on the size and weight of scooters that users can ride onto a ramp the same way wheelchair users board. That would be too customer-friendly to consider. And FYI, I bought a scooter the proper size and with the proper turning radius that is accepted by Virgin trains and and all planes, so I know FGW could handle it too -- if they wanted to.

Billyo said...

Actually, I witnessed an appalling example of FGW's attitude towards the mobility impaired at Bath Spa station last week.

An elderly lady asked a member of staff where the lift to the platform was, as she was pulling a heavy, wheeled suitcase. He replied that there wasn't one, but step free acess to the platform is available at the side of the station and pointed the way to her.

This route however is through the car park and is quite steep. He then went about his business.

I offered to carry her case up the stairs for her instead of the long walk around. Would it have been so much for a member of staff to help her in this way?

Richard said...

"Could you be so kind as to help me with this heavy suitcase?"

*sniff* more van me jobs worfh, guv'nor! *sniff*

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