Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Parking the car at Chippenham station

So there I was at the station this morning, in good time to catch my train to London. And there were lots of spaces in the car park. And lots of machines where I could pay. Okay? Not okay. I had to go through the following hoops:

Phone special number telling them car reg and enabling me to pay over phone. Special number insists on registering car we sold a year ago. After several attempts, I give up.

Pay by cash? But who has exactly £7.10 on them? Not me. Dash off to taxi rank to get change from friendly driver. Machines take £2 coins, says he. Dash back to machine. Machine clamps jaws on £2 coin and refuses to swallow. Machine does not take £2 coins.

Search for machine that takes credit cards. Find one. Phew! But machine refuses to cooperate and spits out card.

Eventually find machine that graciously agrees to accept card. Pay. Run to catch train.

The good news is I had a great day with my wonderful daughter. The bad news is I HATE the station car park "system" (if GB happens to read this, I apologise. He disapproves of hatred. But he's probably a nicer person than I am).

28 comments:

  1. Now you know why I live as far away from cities in general (and London in particular). I can well understand your hatred of the station car park system. It does sound as though it offers a great many alternatives though. Where I park in Napier or Stornoway there is a machine which takes coins and issues a ticket. Full stop. If it's not working you put a note in your windscreen saying so. The very nice traffic warden (not privatised so a human public servant) will ignore the lack of ticket and have the machine mended. But then in Napier and Stornoway there are no trains to catch. I'm sorry you had a hard time this morning. It's a good job I wasn't writing the piece if it had been my experience. It would not have been publishable. I think you were very restrained.

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    1. There was no-one to be unrestrained with/to, GB!

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    2. I meant very restrained in your post. Systems are now designed so that there is no one to rant at! Unfortunately. Mind you any time I want to let off steam I always feel sorry for the potential recipient, whose fault it rarely is, and end up being over-polite about it when I talk to them. There's no logic to these things.

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    3. Yes - it's tempying to shoot the mssenger, but try not to. I tend to keep saying "I know it's not your fault, but..."

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  2. Hopefully, the great day you had with your daughter made up for the less than happy start.
    Some years ago, I arrived at the station to find that none of the ticket machines worked, and so when the train pulled it, I went right up to where one of the conductors stood, observing how people were getting on and off the train before he would give the signal to the driver to continue. I told the conductor that I did not have a ticket because of all the machines being out of order, and he invited me up into his little compartment, where I had the most interesting (short) train ride home ever. We chatted, and I had a very different perspective from up there than as a normal passenger.

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  3. A start to the day like that would have had me pulling my hair out......why oh why can we not employ someone to work like a sort of bus conductor and issue tickets with a smile by hand?

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    1. I know. A human being would be so nice, sometimes!

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  4. Ooooh these things are so frustrating! I hate travelling and this is another reason why I prefer to use my two feet - shame everything's so far away!

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    1. Wnedy, if I could walk to London, I would!

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  5. Another of the frustrations of modern life!The people who set these up probably don't have to use them.

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  6. That's such a ridiculous state of affairs, Frances. Can you complain to the local authority? Glad you had a great day to compensate for getting there!

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    1. Yes. The great day more than made up for it!

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  7. I'm so glad you had a great day in the end, Frances.

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  8. Hope the day made up for the annoying start.

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    Replies
    1. It did. Colette. We did a lot of talking!

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  9. Glad you had a lovely time in the end, Frances. Maybe the car park system should go into Room 101 :-) x

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  10. Could you get a story out of it? The awful experience would not be in vain.

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    Replies
    1. Now that IS a good idea. Shall I write it, or would you like to?

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  11. Sometimes I wish I had a car. Then I think of things like this, and the wish goes away.

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    Replies
    1. You're much better off without, if you can manage it (we need one where we are)!

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  12. A very interesting post indeed, would love to share it with others.

    Gatwick Valet Parking

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  13. Things can be this worst sometimes, it makes me to scratch my head. Thank you for sharing. You are an interesting blogger too.
    Meet and Greet at Gatwick

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  14. Great that u spent the best time with your daughter and yeah it annoys when sometimes we get stuck into that kind of situation due to worst parking system. Therefore there are other parking systems which facilitate passengers with assure security within affordable rates. then go for meet and greet parking Gatwick

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  15. staff affair was really absurd and it really screws the mind but between all the situation you have one the best time with your daughter which is more pleasurable in such fuss. Sometimes car parking system at different places really gives tough time. that's why my all time choice is cheap gatwick parking

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