Things That Irritate Me - No. 1

Andy believes I can dedicate a whole blog to 'Things That Irritate Me' but as I already have a blog I should probably make use of it to vent my displeasure.

So the first post on this is about buses that terminate earlier than they should after you have already boarded the bus and swiped your Oyster Card.

Example - this morning: Get on 133 at London Bridge. Traffic is a little bad but nothing out the ordinary. There is another 133 just in front. Get to Elephant and Castle and an announcement comes across the tannoy 'The destination of this bus has changed. Please listen for further announcements'. Eventually confirm that the bus is terminating in Brixton. I need to get to Streatham where the bus originally was going.

Admittedly this morning was slightly different as an accident on the A23 near Camberwell New Road had closed the road in both directions and the bus was diverted via Stockwell. However the above is not a rare occurrence. And it is also not limited to buses.

Trains and tubes are just as notorious for changing destination - 'This train is now running fast too' or 'This tube is terminating here' but when you are on either of those you are still tapped in with your oyster and all you have to do is wait for the next train to arrive.

Buses are slightly different. A few months back whilst travelling back to the office after a meeting I was turfed off a bus at Streatham Hill Bus Garage after it changed it's destination. Myself and another guy on the bus went to get on the bus behind that was travelling to Streatham only to be asked 'where is your transfer ticket?'

Now - how many of you know about transfer tickets and how often has a bus driver offered you one when you have been turfed off the bus? I have never been offered one but if you ask the driver you can get one. Thing is it's one ticket for everyone on the bus.

Travelcard holders will be unaffected as they can merrily touch in again without being charged. PAYG holders on the other hand need these tickets to stop them paying again.

I wonder if anyone at TFL has been to Brixton but terminating a bus at a very busy bus stop, giving one ticket for the 20-30 people on the bus and then everyone splitting up to get onto various different buses - having one ticket to validate everyone onto another bus can be a bit of an issue.

Going back to the time I was asked for a transfer ticket and knew nothing of them, the driver refused to allow me and my fellow passenger on. Thankfully the driver of the bus behind wasn't as cruel.

Apart from the hassle of trying to get on another bus without being charged again the thing that irritates me with the destination change or termination or fast running of services across all modes of public transport is why they do it.

It's difficult to say for certain as I certainly do not have anything to back up my assumptions. Are the train companies and TFL massaging the figures by cutting stations or terminating services early so only x number of trains/buses reach their destinations late? Are they actually attempting to keep a regular service running?

Either way I find it very frustrating and if companies and TFL are going to continue to do so - please provide more information such as when the next stopping service will be along or how long we have to wait for the next tube that is going all the way to the end destination. And for the buses - give users more information on how to change buses without being charged twice especially for PAYG users.


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