Or rather that should be First Crapital Connect.
But another day, another hideous commute.
I was lucky, some people were stuck on a train for 3 hours with no information and then still had to try to get home when they finally made it to a station.
I left work, late, sprinted to the station, to discover chaos.
Chaos which the First Capital Connect staff weren’t doing a lot to help with.
Fortunately I’ve had this happen before so I had a back up plan to go on the parallel service a bit further out and then get a taxi back to pick up my car. Trouble was that other people had realised this and with only two trains an hour going north I couldn’t physically get on.
And First Capital Connect staff had thrown in the towel and gone home. But not before making sure there were an awful lot of police about just in case their passengers got a bit antsy because nobody was there to help them and the announcements were giving out any useful information. Which is normal so I don’t know why we commuters expected otherwise.
An hour wait and I managed to get on the third train. Which was so crammed the staff were having to stop people getting on because it was unsafe. There were even people standing in the toilet. And in the connecting bridge between carriages. But it went and we got to Luton and I was able to get a taxi back to my station and collect my car and go home and let my nanny go (who thankfully was able to stay and babysit for the extra time).
End result, should have been home at 8, was home just before 10pm. Had to pay nanny overtime, a £14 taxi back to the station carpark and now face having to get to work today with the service not yet back to normal.
And for this I pay £300 a month plus their extortionate car parking charges because guess what, their fares are controlled but the car parking isn’t. In the 4 years we’ve lived here the cost has gone up by nearly £3 a day.
I know accidents and incidents happen.
Thing is that its not about having accidents and incidents, although I suspect that a bit more investment in the infrastructure and building in a bit of redundancy might help, its about how you deal with them.
Its about having staff that realise that getting stranded is a Big Deal – that it means having to get someone to look after your children (how dare you commute and both work!), that it means more cost, inconvenience and that you need to know what is going on. It means if you are on Twitter its probably not a good idea to tweet that you are going home in the middle of an incident…. although there were tweets later on that account from Pizza Express…
It also means that you need to understand that you can’t just keep putting up prices and reducing the quality of the service – I seem to encounter problems with increasing frequency. I pay more and more and getting a seat is a luxury.
Yes I know I chose to live here but I chose Thameslink not First Capital Connect and I am once again looking at alternative routes. Could someone else please look at whether they should be allowed to run a train service anymore?
If you were caught up in this mess, to save you time, here’s the link to the compensation claim website – I reckon I should get about £8.
The Friday Rant Club is a chance to get those niggles, those irritants, those things that make you want to throw a toddler-stylee tantrum off your chest before the weekend.
Go on, let it all out and if you feel like it there’s a rather nice little button over there on the right to show you too rant