Monday, June 28, 2010

My Current Rail Station Issues

I just wrote this quickly, so I will be still tidying and grammar checking on and off whenever I get time.

This entry is also posted on Reddit for views

I am a seasonal monthly train ticket buyer and I also buy a plus bus ticket to help with my travels costing roughly £200 a month. This is my experience of travel to work and when I loose a bag on a train.

Ash Station cannot afford a public bridge yet somehow why hasn't anyone bothered to start a requested donations from the public for a bridge? Start early would be best yet I am wondering how much does a bridge cost....

Penalized for Loosing Bag on Train

From Reading to Ash, I left my fave green ruck sack on the train. Turns out First Great Western has their lost property HQ at the corner of the UK country called, "Bristol Temple Meads".
I was given 3 options to getting my lost property back:
  1. Get a member of family to drive there and pick it up.
  2. Get a courier to pick it up
  3. Or pick it up myself
Luckily I lived in Reading so my ticket cost me £45, I cannot imagine what it the ticket would of cost if I lived in Scotland.
Oh and there is a charge depending on the size of the baggage. Mine was class C or something like that at £5 yet I was bill at Bristol for £3, which I guess is ok considering they were holding the bag. Thankfully and they topped up my bottle of water which was nice of the staff. So in total, Great First Western got £47 quid out of me, for loosing my bag.

I got to the Bristol Temple Meads, they then tell me if I booked a week in advance... I would saved £20 :/ Bit late to tell me now and they not tell me on the phone when I was reporting it lost?.

Salvaging the Lost Property
The day I lost my property, I walked close to my work area in Aldershot, I realized I forgot my bag. I called up "First Great Western" and they said they would not call the train unless it was an emergency... We live in a digital the age where communication is plentiful can't they atleast signal something or mark for train to be check at the end of the day?.

They will not transport the property incase of further liability, a long time ago, they used to deliver mail and transported lost property on the train on the "Ticket Conductors Carriage". I guess this is their cut backs for the service to save money :/

Saw this Handy Computer at Bristol Temple Meads Station's Lost Property office. It shows the stations everywhere around the UK. I have a feeling they didn't even bother using such a computer when I reported my lost bag.

My Journey to Bristol to pick up lost property
My journay to Work is Roughly this long

On the way back, home to Reading I fell on the sleep on the train and ended up in London. The ticket officer wondered why I fell a sleep on the train as I showed him the ticket I used to to get to Bristol Temple Meads.

He shook his head thinking I was some idiot :/

Oh and here is my return ticket and charge from Bristol Temple Meads Lost Property Office
My thoughts for Improvement
Get scanner installed and fax, so people can send in identification digitally showing their address and then post it for them with the charge for posting and service for packing? Or even transport the baggage to the traveller's home town station?

Could the Lost Property offices of all train services be centralized in the centre of the UK and or other countries?

Ash to Aldershot [Insert Walkway here] [My regular journey]

National Rail advertises the journey from Reading to Aldershot, that I change at Ash.
My journey to work, seems roughly ok in the morning, yet I notice the service lacks during the day and after 5:30pm. And quite often, the staff on First Train, always signals to Hurry up every time due to this....

View Larger Map

Train Signal Road Crossing blocks us from even getting to the other side of the platform. Each day I use the service, my frustration grows slowly as I keep seeing trains that I am on time for, rush off due to the Train Signal Road Crossing. Every once in a while I hear the ticket officer shouting out, "CA'MON HURRY UP!!".

Probably 20% of my time is lost due to the poor quality of service that Ash Station gives. Sometimes I have to wait an hour, even though I am on time for the trains and then get blocked by the Train Signal Road Crossing... I some times wave goodbye from the train from the other side of the barrier just to make myself feel better.

Bridge or Walkway between platforms.
Have Ash actually made any effort in all their time? Please I like to hear of any stories. Think they have some space for something to help the travellers for Ash can they afford it, could us the travelers help fund it?

Each day I use the service and bump into the Train Signal Crossing barrier, my motivation to moaning about these issues grows. Hence this big blog post with Google Maps and street view shots.

In fact if I start getting donations into my Paypal account as of now for help to funding a possible walkway between...It would probably motivate me to start a site to keep track of the progress and search for anyone willing to help it officially happen. None of the money will be for me but for the people of Ash Station travelers.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

WARNING: May Contain Nuts

I will be at the South Street Arts Centre this Tuesday(11 May) at 7:30pm to speak about my experience with mental health. The show is called:

Please don't be shy and come visit the show.

Tickets :£6, Concessions £3

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Walk: Abingdon to Oxford - Sept09

It was meant to be a short walk due to one of my rambler friends having a hip problem. It got better some how.

The plan was to take a bus to "Abingdon" and then walk yet we kept missing the bus and ended up from a little further. :/

Here is a few pictures that I managed to take.Don't believe them personally

Lovely view of the Moment (Gimped)

NOW THAT! Is an interesting Building

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Walk : Richmond to Central London 09

Roughly 14.75 miles (Give or take a couple of miles)
Apologises for the Delay

I pondered whether to publish them in Facebook first or in my blog.... I decided the lata then changed my mind, so I thought I do both.

Facebook friends can now comment on any photo, label, draw...whatever on the photos.

Hi res available here.

Enjoy :)

NHS Berkshire Community Meeting

I recently attended an NHS Berkshire community meeting at "Reading Resource". At first I didn't want to go as I wasn't used to them. Yet I got persuaded by key people(Who I help freely) to really attend, so I did and didn't expect myself coming feeling happy. Guess you could I was, 'Crawling out of my hole'.

I knew the NHS was in trouble with finance due to recession etc, yet I didn't expect them to show this desperate feel for help. This meeting got me caring for the NHS Service almost pretty darn quick, I knew some how my complex brain should be able to bring up some questions to help show my care. After a good 30 minutes in betweens I managed to fire out some questions :)

Like myself currently a 'service user' due to my history of depression on and off, I can see the through all the questions of the other users wondering where is all the money going and will they have enough money to pay for such therapy services. That 2nd person said, "Tell us what we shouldn't be doing and what we SHOULD do", which I then knew it was my time to fire some questions.

After hearing the NHS Berkshire paid for 18 talk therapies, made my brain click about, "Have they utilized Instant Messaging yet?". I saw in the news that it has been a proven therapy to help "depression" sufferers (I can vouch for that myself). I can tell they knew little knowledge of "Open source" technology as they responded to my questions most interestingly about, "They still pay for software licenses regularly".

The 2nd person then said, "We have to grab your contact details and I am sure the computer team would be interested to hear your views", which kind of shocked me, oh by the way and not to sound so boasting, that person is 'The Chief Executive of Care Trust for Berkshire' her name is 'Phillipa Slinger'. At least that's how I thought it sounded as I frantically asked around about that person.

They admit it will take a few years to make the changes, yet some how they are VERY willing to "Change" :) "Where there is a will there is a way" :) Oh by the way I have managed to change 3 people into "Open Source". Makes me wonder if I can convenience a whole service.

I will share some of my experiences of how "Change" can create some bizarre scary emotions in us, which I have slowly learnt to understand. It's like a major jolt..."no no no no no no way!" after hearing some news that they have do change their ways which they have so been used to for years and years. It's like, 'Why do I need the Internet when I can perfectly well know, I can buy a news paper in the corner shop that I can hold physically in my hands'. ....I shall stop here before this post gets any bigger :P

On a side note, check out Amy's Ghost events they have quite a chilling yet emotionally relaxing sounds with a chello included?!! I got to see them when a friend invited me over to see him play in Reading at RISC Cafe, sadly I missed him as he was presenting yet enjoyed Amy's Ghost :)