I blogged a couple of years ago about the uselessness of signs telling people not to run in the train station. My point: people don’t run in the station because they think it’s fun, or because they’re unaware of the dangers; they run in the station because the passenger experience encourages people to run, and posters saying the opposite will do very little to change that.
Don’t tell me not to run in the station.
Announce my platform well in advance so that if I reach the station in good time, there’s no need to hurry at any point.
Signpost my platform properly so I don’t have to run around as I struggle to find it.
Hire more staff. A 20-minute queue to buy my ticket turns “plenty of time” into “maybe I can make it if I sprint”.
Typical: of course the ticket machine chooses a busy time to go wrong. In Oxford station, queues were forming at a machine that refused to display Network Railcard as a valid railcard. The woman at the front of the queue tried for quite some time to make it work, then gave up and sought assistance. I was eavesdropping on her conversation with James, a busy member of station staff, when I got to the front of my own queue and encountered an identical problem. Soon it became clear that all the ticket machines had the same issue: refusing to display Network Railcard as an option.
Today's tale is my experience of buying train tickets from the First Great Western website. I was trying to buy a ticket from Oxford to London, returning on the following day.
I wanted to see all the return tickets available
- What I did: chose “return” and typed in the dates of travel.
- What I got: lots of different single ticket types, then one choice of return ticket (an off-peak return).