True stories from the Great Railway Disaster

No 54: so you want the right information?
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The Independent Online
BETH FOLLINI, of Peckham, south London, was planning a weekend trip with friends to Fishguard, Wales, and looked up the train services in her timetable. Although it appeared that Great Western ran two trains a day, when she rang to check she was told that no trains went to Fishbguard on the day she wished to travel, as it was a holiday, and she would have to go to a station 40 miles away.

After double-checking her timetable, Ms Follini could not believe that there were no trains, and phoned a different number. This time she was told that while there were no services to Fishguard, she could catch a train to Clarbeston Road, a mere 15 miles away.

She then went to Euston and bought Apex tickets for herself and one of her friends. But when the rest of the party went to book, they were told that there was a train that ran directly to Fishguard after all.

Rather annoyed, Ms Follini and her friend attempted to change their tickets in order to join their rest of the group on the more direct service. They were told they would be unable to switch, as the two lines were run by different companies and the Apex tickets would not be accepted by Great Western to Fishguard.

After complaining that they had purchased the Clarbeston Road tickets only because they had been misinformed, Ms Follini was told that: "The lack of co-ordination in regard to timetabling was a result of privatisation."

Not only was Ms Follini not allowed to switch the tickets; she was also refused a refund to cover the price of the taxi journey from Clarbeston Road to Fishguard.

"Because of rail privatisation we had to pay for a taxi from Fishguard to Clarbeston Road and we were deprived of travelling back as a merry group," she says.

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