Thursday, 26 July 2007
If it looks like a coach and sounds like a coach and drives on the road, it's probably a train.
The above equation is from a paper by Freibel, Vivaldi and Vibes titled : De-Regulation, a European Efficiency Comparison. The image below is view from the de-regulated 7.33 en-route to Leeds this morning.
The paper by Friebel et al notes that "The regression shows that, excluding United Kingdom, deregulation increases
the productivity trend of a country at the 7% level of statistical significance.7".
A closer view of the, wait for it, hastily photocopied sign at the front of the bus reveals the following image:
For those of you who may be able to read backwards, but have more difficulty reading between the lines, today was the day that the 7.33 simply did not show up at Hull's Paragon Station. For that matter, the 7.05 also did not show up, so a coach was provided instead.
Yes, I'm back in Blighty and back at work, trying to resolve the problem of a job I enjoy being located in a city an apparently unsurmountable 60 miles away. Transpennine Express seem determined to separate us. At Paragon station, an aggressively defensive Transpennine representative explains to a "customer" "I'm just telling you like it is, the trains not here, so there's a coach instead in about half an hour". His tone and manner suggest "Take it or leave it", but he resorts instead to quoting the Passenger Charter at us, which allows rail companies to substitute trains for coaches, at their discretion, and also explains how Transpennine are not responsible for anything. The Charter's intracy's go something like this:
1. "Late" is techically defined as anything from ten minutes to half an hour after the scheduled departure time. Therefore, like GASTLI(see the Adventures of Mazzer and Little Bunny Foo-Foo"), train companies operate a system of "Late-weak" and "late-strong".
2. If a train is "late-weak", the train companies do nothing and count the service as "on-time" in their statistics.
3. If a train is "late-strong", then as long as the company gets a coach, within half an hour of the departure time, then the train is counted as "on-time" in their statistics.
4. If the coach gets a flat tire and is delayed, then the "customer" has an issue, but only with the coach company, because no-one forced the "customer to get the coach in the first place. |The train comapny is excused responsibility.
5. If the train company does not get a coach, but the delay is caused by factors outside the company's control, like floods, earthquakes in Indonesia, or the sudden appearance of Atlanteans reclaiming their rightful heritage among Earth's elite, then the train company is also not at fault.
6. If the delay is caused by another of the 24 company's operating in the UK, then the delay is also not the company's fault.
7. No employee of Transpennine Express has any management responsibility whatsoever, and therefore cannot answer any customer complaints in resp[ect of service.
8. In the unlikely event that Transpennine Express bear any responsibility at all for any of it's services, you may e-mail Customer Services, or telephone a call-box on the plains outside Ulan Bator (next to Jobcentre Plus's phone box), where you can be put on indefinite hold for free, as the number is toll-free.
9. If you are still dissatisfied, you may call your Member Of Parliament, (who's plans for his/her post-Parliamentary career involve a seat on the BOard of Transpennine Express), who will give you free access to Government statistics proving that his/her party have invested more in railways, and had them running more efficiently than anyone since Mussolini.
The net result is that there is a serious competition (in terms of levels of complexity) between understanding advanced Economics (unpenetrable bollocks) and getting a refund from the pirates of Transpennine Express.
Tonight's journey back to Hull was also delayed, and the circular sliding doors on the refurbished toilets were stuck in the open position.
This meant that the sturdy Fuji Crosstowner, my trusty 21 speed workhorse, who's alloted space on these voyages is next to the toilet had to endure the aroma of open sewers for the return journey. Some of the passengers on the overcrowded train were also disturbed, but I assured the Crosstowner that I'd take it out to the country for some fresh air at the weekend.
Posted by MJN at 19:28