Books by Glenda Young

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

National Express, oh no

One of the most upsetting experiences of my life happened on a National Express bus. So the news this week that GNER has been taken over by National Express fills me with little joy as I travel up north often by train.

I was young and trying to get home safely from London after my friend and her parents had driven me from Oxford to London's Victoria Station to get the bus back up north. Despite the fact I was travelling alone, a very young teenager with the correct ticket to board the bus, the snotty-nosed ticket woman wouldn't let me on, something to do with my ticket having the wrong code on it which the travel agent had written on when I'd bought it. Anyway, I won't bore you with the details but I ended up in tears (not a pretty sight) in the middle of Victoria Station (ditto) miles away from home as the National Express bus driver and his partner in crime - a woman who brings back memories even to this day which make me grind my teeth in anger - laughed at my upset and distress. This was way back in the depths of the late 1970s, before anyone had heard of Human Rights, or even good manners.

With National Express now taking over the GNER railway line, does this mean passengers will be belittled as they get on the train, reduced to tears, then forced to stop at Newark for a toilet break after being served stale bread sandwiches and forced into a whip round for the driver before they're let off at the other end?
And heaven help you should you find your travel agent has put the wrong code on your ticket. You have been warned.

3 comments:

The Sagittarian said...

What a ghastly experience for a young'un. Lets hope things ahve improved over the years!

Steve said...

Blimey! I don't recall The Divine Comedy mentioning that in their song!

Old Cheeser said...

That's really bad news! To be honest GNER aren't exactly great - I've lost count of the amount of times their trains have broken down, been delayed etc when I've made journeys with them. So we now face the prospect of things getting worse? Nooo!!

Why oh why did they privatise the railways in the first place?

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