Saturday, 10th September 2016

by Joshua Gaskell

I took this photo of a ticket machine screen at Ealing Broadway station on 28th August. The first off-peak day return that’s displayed costs £16.85. So some people looking for a same-day return, especially if they’re in a rush, will buy that ticket. It’s only when you look in the second column that you see another off-peak day return that costs £11.90. The difference with this ticket is that it’s ‘Not valid for travel via…’ (presumably) central London. But, given that there’s a regular and direct service from Ealing Broadway to Cholsey (which doesn’t go via London), for ninety per cent of passengers, routes and changes are irrelevant. And yet the more expensive ticket is the more prominently displayed, almost as if FirstGroup wants passengers inadvertently to waste their money. Shurely shome mishtake.