Monday, 22 June 2009

The great train robbery?

A recent spate of stories in the various news outlets around the issue of people unable to buy train tickets online being disadvantaged was brought rudely home to me the other day.

In a few weeks time (see, it always pays to be able to make arrangements in advance) I need to travel from Glasgow to Inverness. Being incapacitated following knee surgery, driving's out of the question. The bus, too, is out - they're a wee bit cramped for my liking and you can't get up and have a wander about to stretch your legs. The train seemed the sensible option so I visited the First Scotrail website to see what was on offer.

Just as well I did. Booking a little over four weeks in advance, a single ticket could be had for just £10. Turning up on the day to buy a ticket for the same journey at the same time would cost me £47.50! That seems pretty disgraceful. Why should those without internet access be at such a disadvantage? Perhaps more worrying was the fact that £47.50 wasn't even the dearest ticket available in "standard class". Needless to say I quickly selected the tenner trip before someone at Rail HQ spotted it and decided to withdraw the very generous offer.

It reminds me a little of the old road safety seatbelt campaign: Mouse Click every trip!

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