COMMENT: Westwell of Ely

Ely Standard columnist Rosemary Westwell,

Ely Standard columnist Rosemary Westwell, - Credit: Archant

A recent experience made me wonder just how the train and bus providers get away with such a poor service and how a few of the staff keep their jobs after they have insulted passengers.

I will admit that MOST members of staff are the epitome of politeness. However, this is not true of the chap who insists on chaining open the door to the waiting room at a train station down south.

It’s very cold in the middle of winter. He told me he does it because they won’t put a camera in the waiting room.

Then there was the railway staff member who told a traveller she had to buy a second ticket because the ticket she had previously paid for was not in the machine. This customer had grabbed the two or three cards and had gone to the platform. She checked them and found the ticket itself was not there. When she returned she was told it was her fault.

How come? Besides, if you are like most of us, we haven’t got a clue which tickets would be the best to buy anyway whether Anytime, Advance, Off-peak, Super Off-peak, Rovers, Rangers, Season or any other made up name to rip off the customers. You want to scream at the ticket machines, just give me one cheap ticket will you?

I see that these companies are supposed to comply with the Consumer Rights Act 2015. That means you should be able to claim compensation if the service is below standard. So we can ask for compensation when our transport is late, or cancelled, too overcrowded, if the seat you have booked for or in first class is not available, if the toilet isn’t working on long journeys and if they say food is available and it isn’t. You can even claim financial loss if the bad train service has affected you this way. Most of us are conditioned to shrug our shoulders and accept our public transport system is diabolical. However, now I’ve had to call a taxi firm in Ely for a second time to come and rescue me from the wilds because there was no decent train service, and of the five buses I caught recently, four were late, I think it is time to get proof and demand compensation. Perhaps this is the only way they’ll try to improve the service.

Pity the poor policeman who tasered a man who would not drop the weapon he seemed to be holding.

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The man was blind: the weapon his cane.

This particular police force is reviewing its training procedures.