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Translink's customer service well below par

Travelling from London Euston to Birmingham, I pick up my prepaid (online) open return ticket from a dispenser, pass through automatic gates, board the train, buy a glass of wine and settle down. At Birmingham, I exit the station through the automatic barrier. Same on the way back the next day.

Travelling from Belfast to Coleraine, I stand in a queue (no online booking with Translink) to buy a single (no open returns are sold) ticket at the office; three Translink employees in there.

I walk 10 yards to the platform, show my ticket at the inspection point; four employees there. No wine is allowed on the train, but I must produce my ticket to the onboard inspector.

Getting off at Coleraine, I must show my ticket at the exit; two employees there.

Including purchase, the ticket has been checked four times. Same routine on the return journey, when I have to buy another single ticket.

Translink is a state monopoly. It seems to be more concerned with providing low-productivity employment than service to the traveller.

IAN CRAIG

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