Tuesday, January 12, 2010

I HATE Boris

I used to hate Boris on an intellectual level - I thought his policies were dreadful but they didn't affect me so much personally. Today that changed.

I made the mistake of leaving home without my Oyster Card. Do you know you can no longer get a one-day bus pass without an Oyster Card? So I paid £2 out and £2 back AND if I go out again later I'll still have to pay again. It also means the at-stop ticket sales machines now only offer one of the four options they used to sell (since you can also no longer get a young person's rate without an Oyster card) which is a real waste of technology. It means people from out of town, people who forget their card and people who don't understand the system could end up spending £10 or £12 just getting around town on the buses for the day.

Recently there has been criticism of low-cost airlines who then charge a huge fee for "booking with a credit or debit card" - their argument being that if there is a way of not paying the fee - however arduous or obscure - then can claim the fare without the fee as the quoted fare. Then of course they charge you for having luggage, choosing a seat, etc. It's a scam. What Boris is doing on the buses is the same thing - unless you apply for and allow time to receive an Oyster card and don't lose it, have it stolen or forget it - travelling around London by bus becomes ridiculously expensive. The fares with an Oyster card have also gone up.

And I'm totally cornered. I won't drive for obvious reasons. I'm not to be trusted on a bike (and it exacerbates my Raynaud's to ride everywhere). So my only other choice is to walk. Realistically I won't do that every day, I'll not have time. I may well end up getting more cabs though since the price differential is less and less these days.

I see this as a warning of what will happen under a tory government. Really - he has fixed the full underground and all systems passes - the most expensive ones - and he's trying to screw more money out of those who try to save and use the buses.



I only discovered by chance the other day that the one-day bus pass had been withdrawn and without an oyster card individuals have to pay full price.

What about visitors to London? Oh I forget Boris and his cronies clearly think they are another easy target to 'milk them of their hard-earned money!'

Wait until the tories become the new government - then everything will have a price tag.

Anna Black said...

Nice one K.

Someone in their clever wisdomism has decided that "to help avoid queues at this station" you can no longer go to the ticket office and top up less than £5 - you have to use the machine. That means that there are now huge queues at the machines. (which our way are always broken or only take correct change...)

If you go to the ticket office (which has no queue) they refuse to serve you (or will give you change for the machine which doesn't work)

As well as trying to confuse people as per your blog - this seems a pretty underhand way of getting rid of station staff by making everyone use the machines which they don't always want to - but saying it's for our benefit!

The chap I spoke in the ticket office was very depressed as he says he is being watched constantly (to ensure he is unhelpful to customers I suppose?!) and thinks he will be sacked by April.

Would love Boris to explain how the reduction in station staff helps the travelling public (as well as the increase in fares). One day in the future it seems that all underground stations will be unstaffed. I wouldn't like to be on my own late at night Bakerloo way despite all the CCTV cameras (which I expect are being monitored by other cameras being monitored by other cameras... ad infinitum...)

(funny really that one day there was that weird thing called human to human contact... I'll just keep walking everywhere ;) )

A x