Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Brains wanted

Not sure if I mentioned but a couple of months ago First Capital Connect installed ticket barriers at kings cross and Letchworth. Ignoring for today the fact that they don't take oyster cards on my line so you have to feed in your mangled card ticket every day, these machines are a nightmare.

At Letchworth there are just three barriers, through which I estimate 200 people squeeze, one at a time, from every peak train. The station is 100 years old and just doesn't have anywhere to put more than 3.

Over the weeks they have tried lots of combinations on the gates. Two exits and one entry in the morning, one exit and two entries.... Nothing stops the vast queue.

Today however they finally lost the plot. Today I bought my ticket and made my way to the barriers to be confronted with the usual 200 kids pouring through en route to school. But today they were using ALL THREE gates as exits.

The train before mine (the stopper) was already on the platform and the man next to me very obviously wanted to be on it. I stood there, a little too flummoxed at such an early hour to work out what to do. Blokey asks... Where do we go? "wait there and we will let you in when they are through" we are told as he points at 200 people queuing to use three gates.

Needless to say he missed his train.



Simon Collister said...

It is insane is it not?? As a Peterborough/Kings X commuter I empathise. I love the fact they installed the barriers at KX before they actually started building the other half of the terminal!

i can see what'll happen - my extremely expense cardboard season ticket will wear out through twice daily use in the machine and I'll have to pay for a new one. Grrr.

Emily Wearmouth said...

Ah the barriers at Kings X don't annoy me half as much as their habit of closing the entry to the tube just as the half of Hertfordshire arrives in the capital!

Although I realised today that despite buying a new ticket every day for the last two weeks not ONE of them has successfully scanned through the barriers all four times it needs to.


Ramsey Pietro Nasser said...

It's the digitisation of everyday life..

Emily Wearmouth said...

It's annoying and frustrating! Take me back to the '50s.

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