Wednesday 15 April 2009 3.43pm
Jonathan, I couldn't agree more, it's a complete ripoff, why can't people just be let through. If you go on the tube you wouldn't be able to get off the other end, as there's a barrier, so it doesn't matter if people go through. We raised this with Val Shawcross, maybe other people could write as well, it seems to be working for the number 1/78!!
I used to travel from Waterloo East every day to Tonbridge, Kent. Because Southwark is my nearest station I would go there and buy my ticket at the machine there in the foyer and walk through to Waterloo East. Never a problem going, as the barriers recognised the ticket but almost every day (until a few members of staff got to know me) there would be an argument when I came home.
The barriers at Southwark, for some reason best known only to themselves and their programmers, would never let me through on the way back. So, I would have to find someone and explain as patiently as I could (didn't often manage it) that I had bought the ticket at Southwark's machine in the morning, that it had let me go to work so it ought to let me out again.
Invariably, they would say that simply wasn't possible and that I would have to buy a platform ticket or go back all the way and come out at Waterloo. My standpoint was that if the machine right there in front of them had sold me the ticket, surely I had the right to get on the train from there. After one particularly nasty confrontation, I wrote and complained officially. I got back various responses but none of them could explain the anomaly. I then kept a laminated copy of the response so would whip it out swiftly whenever accosted by a stroppy Tube person. Astonishingly, sometimes they still wouldn't believe me which is when I would find myself shouting in fury.
There was never a problem at the British Rail barriers at the top of the escalators, it was only at the tube end.
This went on for the three years I worked in Tonbridge. It was exhausting!