I've been thinking about setting up a survey, to find out if things have changed on First Great Western in the past year, and whether you're seeing any improvement in the service. The company says nine out of ten trains are now running on time, so it sounds like things are getting better, but if anyone will know the truth, it's the 'haters' who visit this blog, so I'll be putting together a few questions in the next few days, and asking you for your opinions.
In the meantime, it seems there's still hate out there. I received an e-mail from a good friend this morning as follows:
"I'm so angry!! There are 'revenue protection officers' at Reading station this morning stopping anyone not holding a first class ticket from even standing up the first class end of the PLATFORM! They are now saying you can incur a penalty fare for STANDING in the first class end of the train! I wish I had some of your badges this morning I can tell you! So cross, on a 7.42 overcrowded service to not allow people to stand in first class is utterly ridiculous!"
Surely, surely, on a seriously overcrowded train, not to even allow passengers to stand in the vestibules is unreasonable? Reading to Paddington is only 22 minutes, so first class passengers don't have that long to put up with not being able to move around the train freely, and surely, surely, the aim is to move as many people back and forth along this busy stretch as possible, so why are FGW clamping down on this in such a heavy-handed way? Those of you who work for FGW and visit the blog, please let me know, as this is one of the things that really annoys people. If commuters are prepared to pack themselves in like sardines in order to get to work on time, at least you should let them. Even better, let some of the poor buggers sit down in First Class if they've paid full price for a return ticket, considering how much they cost. Surely, surely, empty seats in First Class and people packed like sardines into standard class is not the way forward? Somebody say something sensible on this please.