Monday, 9 November 2009

In the Club!

My local train operator, Arriva Trains Wales, currently has a special offer on fares for people not quite old - or young - enough to get a railcard. Its called "Club-55".

According to their website, club-55 tickets are available at the bargain price of £15 return between "any two stations served by Arriva Trains Wales". well, Hereford is certainly served by ATW and so, according to the map on the site, is Wolverhampton so when I needed to go that way en-route to Starcross, which was at Compton at the time, being of the appropriate age I asked for a "club-55 to Wolverhampton" at Hereford station.

"Sorry", came the reply, "we can't sell you one of those; that fare is controlled by London Midland!"

Rail fares are complicated enough as it is - in fact a recent commentator on railway matters described them as "out of control" - without passengers having to know who "controls" their fares, so I complained to ATWs head office.

It appears that this was something so complicated that even they hadn't thought of it, but not to worry. Instructions have been given to Hereford station (and, hopefully, to Wolverhampton) that in future anyone requesting a club-55 ticket between Wolverhampton and Hereford will actually be sold one from Abergavenny at the same price.

I'm glad my complaint will hopefully stop anyone else from being refused a cheap ticket they are entitled to but, really, "you couldn't make it up!"

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