Oldjohnw wrote:Last summer I had a nightmare trip. My journey involved three separate trains to reach Pitlochry. I could not book online so made the reservations on the phone.
Unfortunately they omitted booking the bike on the first (LNER) part of the journey. They refused to allow my bike on the train thus rendering all my other tickets useless. I was able to book again at the station but of course paid top price, and I arrived 4 hours later than my original plan which put quite a bit of pressure on me. LNER did refund my costs eventually and even gave me a £25 voucher. Unfortunately, the voucher expired on the day of travel, some two months before I received the voucher.
Clearly I need to book at the station in future. Unfortunately, this means that you cannot get the best fares.
The say they encourage bike travel: their facilities say otherwise.
I've refused compensation vouchers as this is restrictive and is supposed to be a payment to compensate for the hassle and stress of them (Virgin and Northern rail) messing up, also you couldn't use the voucher online in any case. In the end I got a BACS transfer for the comp as well as for the refund of the ticket price for the outward journey.
I now book my bike over the counter at my local station, it's obvious the system is a mess, as it takes them ages to do it, I'm lucky that I can travel off peak so rarely are there bikes on the East coast train but it's still a fag all round as well as being bloody cold waiting at Doncaster station in winter
On top of that since they changed the timetable it's far quicker to drive the 155 miles.
Cycle to Stevenage station - 25 mins + 15 mins in case of puncture/make sure to be on the platform and letting staff know you're getting on with bike.
Stev- Donny - Hull, now 2hrs 55 (was 2:16), then the 20 mins to cycle along the awful roads of the city to the outskirts to maters.
So next year I'm putting the car back on the road (Car free for 14 months to date), it'll cost me more overall but it'll avoid all the stress and rigmarole, having to book trains at very specific times to get the cheapest tickets and the journey is 3 hours (door to door) regular as clockwork without having to gun it. In over 250 trips by car in the last 29 years there's been three times when there were delays/incidents on the A1 or A46.
For me it'll be worth the extra overall cost, I can't see anything that the train companies/government will do to change my mind.