Friday, 8 March 2013

Incomplete journeys, people under trains, and the crusade against pavement advertising

A minute's delay on the tube from Edgware Road to Waterloo didn't cause me to miss my connection to Hersham, which ran on time.  No score draw.  Interestingly, the delay on the Bakerloo Line was described as 'severe' and owing to a person under a train as reported here, but as regular readers will know, this length of delay or longer is pretty much the norm for my journey on this very line.  It's never even been mentioned before, which leads me to the conclusion that any kind of incident is automatically reported as a delay as some sort of self-protection mechanism, regardless of whether the service is actually affected or not.  By contrast, if there's no incident, delays of pretty much any length are pretended not to have happened.

What else have I got for you today?  Well, there's the news (to me at least) that more than 54,000 journeys a week on TfL's network are never resolved as incomplete, meaning that those journeys are charged the maximum fare.  Granted, some of them may be deliberate fare dodgers, but the majority are likely not to be.  TfL goes out of its way to protect this revenue stream, refusing to answer Freedom of Information requests on technicalities.  Eventually, last year, they did introduce a way for those who've registered their Oyster card details online to check for incomplete journeys, but they were careful not to publicise this, and the web site doesn't alert you to an incomplete journey - you have to go in regularly and check.  The good news is you can now sign up to and get those notifications: don't let TfL steal money to which it's not entitled!

On the other hand, TfL earns my appreciation for crusading against pavement billboards.  They're always in my way - and being a marketer by profession, I have a higher tolerance than most for intrusive advertising, so when they piss me off, it's time for them to go.  Of course, the 'health and safety' reason TfL's given for this crusade is bullshit, but that's by the by.  It would be nice to see them simply say they're fucking annoying and have to go, but that's political correctness for you.

No comments: