Ways to improve and Promote Public Transport pt 2
If we want to encourage people to use public transport particularly casual users we have to make tickets simple. The oyster card is a good idea but if booking office staff are poorly trained what’s the point? On Sat I wanted to go to Putney, after lots of faffing around the ticket seller at New Cross told me I needed to buy an extension. I duly forked out my £3 quid extra only to find out on arriving at Putney that it’s in zone 2 and I didn’t need to buy an extra ticket. Your casual user would see this as deeply annoying (I will try to claim my money back) which is why they continue to drive. So if we want to promote off peak use of trains etc why not train station staff to read maps, use ticketing software and perhaps know where Putney is.
Ps for all station staff here’s a link to help you find Putney it’s down there bottom left!
Make Stations nicer
While returning from Putney I noticed that for some reason Putney is “the home of London’s most innovative estate agent Hammond and Gordon” (or some such, I won’t flatter them by looking them up) I now this as attached to the top of the “Putney” sign on the station is another similar sign telling me the same.
Firstly being an estate agent in Putney isn’t innovative at all, as apart from chain pubs, over priced springbok off licences and a Waitrose that’s all there is in Putney. Hundreds of this ill-gotten slimy breed and their grim (Q: Is it a cappuccino bar or is it an estate agent A: No it’s the lowest pit of hell with some minis parked outside) offices. The sign should read “Putney home of more soul eating deadeyed property scum than any other London borough”.
This rather low selling point wasn’t my main issues, which was sparked by seeing this and all the other advertising on Putney station. The place is full of the stuff all I could see from where I was stood were adverts. No maps, no time tables just ad hoardings. This shows the station operating company’s priorities, because on a shabby, creaky 1940’s (?) station with no disabled access their main concern is raising revenue from advertisers. None of this revenue is however spent on training staff sees above, decent covered seating, toilets or lifts. The same has happened on the tube, with TFL staff wasting time sorting out flat screen ad displays rather than updating the platforms, tracks etc. I am not suggesting we do as they have done in San Paulo and banning all street adverts but can we have the money spent of decent clean safe stations not used to buoy up shareholder profits.
Ps. On the subject of street clutter, one of the notable things about Venice is the lack of street sign junk. It can at times look a bit too tidy but better that than mounds of tat promoting west end shows everyone knows about, dodgy evangelists and plastic surgeons.
Ban Car adverts
In this world of global warming and terrible traffic congestion can we ban car adverts that lie. How many car adverts sell the false idea of the freedom of the open road. The new Astra ones are classic examples peddling the myth of empty roads you can drive like Collin McRae on. How come most ads for other products can’t get away with this sort of untruth and are laden with caveats. But car makers can push the falsehood that we all drive over twisty Scottish mountain roads on the way to Tesco.
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