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Sir Tokyo Sexwale

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two rail passengers were fined a total of £114 ($176) for apparently “getting off [a] train two stops early”. Emma Clark and Davyd Winter-Bates had purchased discounted rail tickets for a return journey between Southampton and London. Heading home, though, they decided to leave the train at Eastleigh, two stops before Southampton. And that's where the fun started:


…when they handed over their tickets they were told they had breached railway rules and should have stayed on the train until their destination.


They were then fined TWICE the standard fare of £28.50 each - a whopping £57 each.


Now, the original draft of this blog post was a defence of Stagecoach, the company which runs South West Trains and which also owns the megatrain.com website through which the travellers booked their journey. I was ready to say that Miss Clark and Mr Winter-Bates should have read the terms and conditions of their purchase a bit more clearly. Stagecoach is not a charity, after all, and if it can make some money when travellers break pre-agreed rules, then that's fair enough.


Indeed a company statement offers just such a two-handed defence of the penalty:


It is made very clear in the terms and conditions of travel that leaving the train at an intermediate station is not permitted on these discounted tickets. As with any service offered by any company, it is important passengers comply with the terms and conditions.


It is also important to understand that the cost of a rail ticket is not solely based on distance travelled. It is based on the level of flexibility purchased by the customer and factors such as the popularity of the route, the time of travel during the day and when the ticket was booked in relation to the date of travel.


But having just re-enacted the Southampton-London booking, my sympathies have swung strongly across to the impoverished travellers. Yes you're told to tick your agreement to the company's terms and conditions, but these include more than 2,000 words of technical verbiage before you reach this line:


Bookings are only valid on the journey(s) and places stated.


And that's the only relevant reference I can. From this, it seems, travellers are meant to infer the perils of failing to travel through to their official journey's end. This is anything but a clear warning, and given the severity of the fine, I can only think that travellers should be told much more clearly, and much more obviously, what happens if they get off the train too soon.


Economonist Blog ;)

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Bookings are only valid on the journey(s) and places stated.


If that is genuinely the only line in the online Ts & Cs which refers to not being able to break the journey then they would, in my opinion, win hands down in the county court if they were to sue South West Trains.


And I hope they do.


SWT are - as has already been pointed out here - a horrible shower of massive massive c***s.

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I had a not disimilar experience on holiday recently. I have one of those Post Office Travel cards that you can load money on to and then use as a debit card. I keep a Euro version for travel on holidays and work etc.


Anyway, I'm half way through my holiday and decide to top up the card. So I ring back to the UK and get through to the Post Office customer service number. I ask to put another £500 on the card. It is refused. I ring my bank thinking there is some issue with my bank acoc***. But no, bank account is fine. So I ring the Post Office again and try to process the £500 again. Once more it fails. Long story short, the Ts&Cs of the Post Office car says that a customer cannot load money onto the card more than once a fortnight and that the amount of money that can be loaded is limited by the Post Office and that amoutn may change from time to time. It really is that vague.


I checked when I got home and the line in the Ts&Cs where this is specified (if you can call any thing that vague a specification) was on the last page of a 30 page booklet.


It's mental - a fortnight gap when in fact most people only go for a fortnight's holiday. And if you're limited to £500 how is that gong to get you through a two week holiday - especially when you've got a family.

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Stagecoach run a bus service up here along with east yorshire coaches.


For my journey home of an evening its £1.20 on east yorkshire or £1.45 (going to £1.50 next week) on stagecoach. The bus stops are literally 6 foot away from each other and the routes and times are identical.


Bunch of money grabbing whores so they are.

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the unacceptable face of transport

It's their owner/founder who put up something like a £1m a couple of years back tpo fight to keep clause 28, at least in Scotland wasn't it? I'd look it up but I'm trying to do about qo things at once here!


One thing I do know as I've had this straight from my regular Stagecoach driver - their rather poor quality, always breaking down coach stock is largely bought second hand from national Express after they've flogged it within an inch of disintegration - sometimes the cheap bast*rds don't even bother changing the internal seat covers for ages if it's in decent nick and the national Express logo is there for all to see. The bus I take to Bristol when I go in is usually either an N or M reg - about 17 years old. The only bigger scandal on this front is the quality of bus stock used by so many local councils to ferry schoolkids about.

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