Anorak News | Train Firms Target Flood Victims

Train Firms Target Flood Victims

by | 27th, July 2007

damien_hirst_flood_sale.jpgWITH extortionate ticket prices, crowded carriages and those annoying ticket-checkers constantly interrupting our journeys, the country’s train companies are doing little to endear themselves to the great British commuting public. (Pic: Beau Bo D’Or)

And news that Britain’s biggest train company, South West Trains, has been exploiting the recent flooding will do little to improve the rail industry’s dismal public image.

According to the Times, the firm instructed guards and ticket office staff not to sell cheaper long-distance tickets via Oxford to passengers forced to take diversions due to the dreadful weather.

While it is standard rail industry practice to allow passengers travel via alternative routes without paying a further sum, South West Trains sent a message to staff on Wednesday telling them not to sell passengers the cheaper tickets via Oxford. Instead they were advised to sell the more expensive tickets which go via London.

When the Times initially questioned the train company, a spokesman said: “You have to pay to go via London because that’s the only route available. Anyone who turns up now to buy a ticket knows full well that there is disruption and that we are advising people not to travel. But if they want to travel they have to go via London and pay more. That’s the decision they have made.”

However an hour later, they phoned back to change their story, citing apparent ‘confusion’ over the issue and eventually offering to refund the difference for each passenger affected.

Makes you respect fare dodgers even more.

Posted: 27th, July 2007 | In: Money Comment | TrackBack | Permalink