Sunday, September 27, 2009

Jobsworth bureaucracy

Why do the good things all come at once? I have the chance next month to go to Brussels and see the European Parliament, a chance to really understand some of the differences between it and our national parliament as well as an opportunity to see something of how it works. All fine and dandy - arrangements made to join a party from the North East travelling by train. But it finishes on a Thursday night and I want to be in London the night after. Can I leave the party early and stay in London? No! That would invalidate the group rail ticket. Now I can understand if someone wanted to join the train part way, but someone not taking up a seat? How can that possibly cause a problem? So rather than run the risk of having the party organiser fined I must go home to Eaglescliffe on Thursday evening and then travel back to London on Friday afternoon.
And to add insult to injury the North East isn't going to get a high speed rail link! Though I must confess that when the train is as crowded as it was going to Bournemouth last week I'd rather have some extra luggage space and extra seats than a few minutes shaved off the journey. Having to balance a suitcase on my knee to let the refreshment trolley get down the aisle was no joke.

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