As a Londoner with Kentish roots, I often venture back to the ‘Garden of England’ to see family and catch up with friends. However, this comes at a cost.
A full-price ticket for my return journey costs a hefty £26.50. Thankfully, I invested in a Network Rail Card at the start of the year so I get a third off that price.
Before one of my recent trips back, I noticed Southeastern railway was also offering passengers 20% off on the weekend I’d planned to travel. Needless to say, I wasted little time in booking tickets.
However upon booking, I found there were planned engineering works on the line on those dates. My round trip, which usually takes just under two hours, was going to take approximately three and a half.
The 20% discount helped make this unexpected inconvenience a little easier to swallow. But while the clever marketing team at Southeastern sold it to me as a "Valentine’s Weekend Offer", I chose to look at it as deserved compensation for the disruption I was to experience.
Yet what if the train company hadn’t chosen to celebrate the day of love with such a generous (and not to mention romantic) offer? Surely it wouldn’t expect people to pay the regular price for a service which is anything but? Actually, it would.
As someone who only uses trains on weekends, this isn’t the first time I’ve been inconvenienced by engineering works. While I accept this is the most convenient time to carry out maintenance work, I resent the fact I’m often forced to pay the same price for these arduous journeys as I would for a normal service.
If an item of clothing was damaged or stained, you wouldn’t expect to pay the same price as you would for one that was in mint condition. If you were booking tickets for a show and the seats had a restricted view, you’d feel aggrieved forking out as much as those sitting in the front row.
Surely it’s unfair not to apply the same rules for rail passengers?
I’m going to go full steam ahead and call this a miscarriage of justice. What do you think? Please let us know your opinions in the discussion below or in the forum.