These days I drive most places. I like driving. I like being in control of what I’m doing. Yes I hate traffic jams but I can put the radio on and be in control of my environment. However, sometimes public transport is the way forward. For instance today I have been in Manchester City Centre. It’s only 2 hours away but like most cities driving and parking is a nightmare so jumping on a train is definately the way forward. Now, I have drawn up a few dos and don’ts when travelling by public transport for the benefit of you and fellow passenger
Do: Give yourself plenty of time to get to the station, collect your ticket and find the platform.
Don’t: Rely on the ridiculously inefficient self-service machine to recognise your reference number and provide you with your ticket which has already been paid for. After several attempts I visited the very helpful ticket desk (I won’t mention the 15 minute wait) who kindly indicated ‘you obviously haven’t booked a ticket’. Actually yes I have. Look here’s the print out from my email. After trying to convince me that I had put the code in wrong, used the wrong credit card and various other reasons why it must be my fault it was eventually decided that the machine was faulty. Awesome!! Lucky for me I was early and just about made it into my train.
Do: Respect those around you when on public transport.
Don’t: Shout so loudly, every single person on the 4 carriage train can hear you. Not everyone wants to know your husband snores, your daughter is recovering from ‘sickness from every orifice’ and we don’t know what the best medicine is for bunions in your foot! I don’t want to know about that from my family let alone some strangers who I’m pretty sure have a number of medical issues that need addressing.
Do: Dispose of your rubbish in a responsible and appropriate manner.
Don’t: Rely on Network Rail to provide bins to assist you with this. Manchester Oxford Road for example, not one bin NOT ONE! I spent 20 minutes wandering around aimlessly with a sandwich wrapper fighting the urge not to shove it in the ticket machine in protest. A kind employee identified my confusion and when I explained my predicament he exclaimed ‘yeah it’s a nightmare isn’t it’ and carried on with his work (sitting and scratching his arse it seems). Thanks. Well I finally found a bin 300 yards outside of the station by Sainsburys Supermarket. Job done.
And finally. Whatever you do, do not question whether a person is sat in the wrong seat. My carriage was all reserved. We all had numbered seats and the seats themselves have the journey that has been booked in them. Pretty simple system you’d think? Well after a long day I jump on the train looking forward to reading my paper and having Coffee in peace. It wasn’t busy so no problem. I reach my seat, 44a to be precise, and a middle aged man is sat there happily reading his book. As you do I checked my ticket to make sure I was looking at the right seat (although I knew I was) and then politely said ‘excuse me. I think you’re in my seat’.
‘I don’t think so young man, I’ve sat here from Liverpool ‘.
Yes ok but I have just got on and that’s my seat. It’s on my ticket. To cut a long story short this went on for a long time with him questioning me, questioning the ticket and even at one point accused the train company of labeling the seats wrong. Anyway, I think I managed to get my seat by the time I reached Sheffield at which point he got off……
Don’t get me wrong I love public transport. It definately has a purpose. However, I have never had an issue finding a seat in my car and it has never refused to move until I complete a stringent test to prove I’m ok to drive.
Harry the Honda – don’t worry I will never leave you behind again!!!