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06 September 2010

Corporate Madness

In the days when Britain's trains were run by the State controlled British Rail one came to expect visits to the strange and wonderful world of the bureaucratic mindset.

I had hoped that with the privatisation of the railways we might see some more sensible decisions by train company boardrooms, driven as they should be by the need for good customer relations.

It is sad to report, then, that Stagecoach (the company that operates South-West Trains) have seen fit to fine Emma Clark and Davyd Winter-Bates £114 for getting off their train two stops early!!!

The couple were travelling to Southampton from London with South West Trains when they decided to get off two stops early at Eastleigh.

When they handed over their tickets at the station, they were told they were each being fined £57 because they had not stayed on the train until their destination.

The fine was twice the standard fare of £28.50.

The company said the couple had been fined because they were using discounted tickets, which do not allow passengers to break their journeys.

In a statement, the train company said: “Leaving a train early is not allowed on heavily discounted tickets. The fine is double the standard single fare.”

Miss Clark said to the Sun Newspaper, “It is utter madness. I could understand being fined if I had stayed on the train two stops beyond my destination.”

Hear! Hear! I can only describe this as a signal failure of common sense leading to a PR image heading straight for the buffers!

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