True stories from the Great Railway Disaster

A weekly chronicle of the absurdities caused by the Government's privatisation programme; No 68: so it costs more on the other train?
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The Independent Online
Iain Morley was travelling from Reading to London Paddington and found that he had to pay pounds 3 extra to travel on the faster InterCity service rather than Thames Trains. This is because he is a holder of a zone 1-6 London Travelcard and in the past he has been able to buy a ticket to the zone 6 boundary, which is pounds 3 cheaper than a ticket all the way to London. However, he has now been told that he cannot travel on the privatised InterCity Great Western trains if he is trying to make use of the Travelcard.

Mr Morley complained to Great Western about this change in policy. He was told that it is a result of the new National Conditions of Carriage introduced in January. The logic seems to be that as the faster trains do not stop at the intermediate stations, then Mr Morley cannot use them.

There is an added confusion for Travelcard holders. In order not to attract people onto the slower trains, some Thames trains are shown to stop at Ealing Broadway when, in fact, they go all the way to Paddington. Mr Morley got on the 12.20 Thames service from Reading which was shown as going only to Ealing and in fact it went to Paddington. As Mr Morley put it: "They want to encourage those going to Paddington to board Great Western trains but as they don't recognise the Travelcard, it is more expensive." So Travelcard holders either have to ignore the destination boards, or cough up more money.

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