The other excitement in my life recently..

.. was getting issued with a Penalty Fare for the first time ever.

It is quite amazing to see the difference in how passengers are expected to follow rules, even when almost impossible to do so, but the train operating company thinks it can ignore any bits it finds inconvenient.

So, for example, the regulations covering such schemes insist they make sure that the signage at the station is "noticeable, easy to read and easy to distinguish from other notices and from the general surroundings". Was it? No – the sign was inside a locked room, behind a door with no window. (Shades of Douglas Adams!)

They're supposed to reapply when changing things such as the availability of Permit to Travel machines (when you can't buy the ticket you want, you should be able to buy a 'permit' to prove where you started), but I'll bet money that they did not do so when removing the machine at the station concerned last year.

They're also supposed to make available on request the scheme documents, which go into this sort of level of detail, but only supply a leaflet which could be summarised as 'if we say so, you have to pay up'.

Oh well, they've picked on the wrong person…


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