Monday, 25 February 2008

Seven Days On A Train

My current work situation means that I travel on a daily basis between Newcastle and Darlington using a combination of bus and train . Amazingly a 40 odd mile journey generally takes around 70 minutes door to door . I doubt I could do that by car.

The first time I made the journey it was by car , and in the first 45 minutes I'd managed to progress aropund three miles . Once I'd passed the Metro Centre bottle neck it was plain sailing down the A1 until the Darlington turn off whereupon I became hindered by an RAC tow truck for about 5 miles . Not really a great recommendation for travel by car.

However despite the general excellence of the public transport in this part of the country there are strill those who contrive to make the journey as awkward as possible. For instance:

  • As you run for the bus at the stop, the driver who shuts the doors and refuses to acknowledge you as you hammer on the side of his bus as he pulls away, despite the fact that he's two or three minutes early. And you know the next bus will be cancelled or at the least very late.
  • When you run into the train station , the train is standing there (doors shut) and you're told by the smarmy uniformed rail employee that "You've missed it"!! Five minutes later the train pulls out . It makes you want to visit physical violence on these people.
  • On the Arriva busses in Darlington the ticket printers havent been re inked for years resulting in very faint weekly tickets being printed. Certain myopic drivers cant read these and take ages before grudgingly letting you on the bus. In Newcastle the tickets are generally very legible.
  • Why is it on trains , when your trying to find a seat , certain people insist on standing in the gangway to rummage through their luggage , ensuring that no one can get past them!!
  • Similarly is the drinks / sarnie trolley that pins you in your seat just as you need to leave the train.

Despite the number on annoyances on the trains and busses , they're still far preferable to and hour in a traffic jam , followed by an age trying to park your motor!!

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