“I had a headache for five days in that week.” During the parliamentary recess in February this year, MP Helen Goodman set herself the challenge of spending just £18 a week on food. She had received lots of messages from constituents worried about the bedroom tax (which hadn’t yet come in) and decided to see for herself what it would be like to survive on the resulting lower income.
Don’t tell me not to run in the station.
Announce my platform well in advance so that if I reach the station in good time, there’s no need to hurry at any point.
Signpost my platform properly so I don’t have to run around as I struggle to find it.
Hire more staff. A 20-minute queue to buy my ticket turns “plenty of time” into “maybe I can make it if I sprint”.
For the same reason, get some ticket machines that work properly and don’t cause problems which take time to sort out.
Typical: of course the ticket machine chooses a busy time to go wrong. In Oxford station, queues were forming at a machine that refused to display Network Railcard as a valid railcard. The woman at the front of the queue tried for quite some time to make it work, then gave up and sought assistance. I was eavesdropping on her conversation with James, a busy member of station staff, when I got to the front of my own queue and encountered an identical problem. Soon it became clear that all the ticket machines had the same issue: refusing to display Network Railcard as an option.
I wrote earlier this week about boycotts and the pervasive idea that they “don’t work”. I hope I’ve explained why that’s the wrong way to think about your choices; you can’t punish Nestle or Vodafone by withholding your custom, but where you spend your money should still matter to you.