Now we’re in April, this year really is flying by!
Anyway, I know this is supposed to be a positive space, and that is it’s main aim, but I hope you won’t mind me having a rant every now and again. Tonight, I need to rant.
I went to London on Wednesday for my new job induction. The other Time To Change regional co-ordinators are awesome and I can’t wait to start working with them (there’s a positive :)) I also got to see my cousin who is in London from New Zealand. We had a lovely dinner together (and a cocktail or three) and the sun was out. It was a great day.
Anyway, for those of you who don’t know, those of us with wheels have to book train travel assistance (just a ramp to help us alight the train) at least 24hrs in advance. I’d booked a certain train, but chatting and cocktails took over so I knew I was going to be late. I got to Euston 10 minutes before my next train home, went to the mobility assistance office and asked if I could have a ramp to said train, but I was told it was “too short notice”. I get that Euston is a busy station, but surely that means they have more people who can aid those of us who need assistance? It would appear not. So, I huffed and puffed and was helped on the next train they decided wasn’t too short notice (half an hour later). I had time to go and buy a coffee while I was waiting so I guess it wasn’t all bad! – See, still trying to keep positive.
It’s just annoying seeing all of those commuters who can run, sprinting across the station two minutes before train is due to depart, making it to the platform and diving onto the train with 30 seconds to spare. They get to be spontaneous, I don’t. Ever. Not where travel is concerned. Usually, I just suck it up. It’s one of those things that you just learn to live with when you use a chair. Train station assistance crew aren’t too fussed about helping those of us with wheels (or any other assistance needs) to be spontaneous. Would you be able to book a train at least 24hrs in advance if you wanted to travel? There’s no such thing as just getting up in the morning and deciding you want to go on the train. It just doesn’t work. Life can get pretty boring and predictable living by this rule, to be honest.
Now, another positive. I have nothing but praise for the travel assistance staff at Birmingham New Street station. Granted, I guess they know me now, but they are always happy to help, even if I turn up early (or late) for my scheduled train. They always endeavour to help me on the next available train. For instance, I got back to Birmingham on Wednesday and needed to get my connecting train to my local station. “It’s OK, we’ve got 4 minutes until the next train, you head up the lift and across to the other platform and I’ll meet you over there” the National Rail worker said to me. This meant I was getting the train 15 minutes earlier than my scheduled train. I would get into bed 15 minutes earlier, and after being out of the house for over 12 hours already and having to get up for work the next morning, I was more than grateful!
That’s it really, just wanted to share my frustration about certain aspects of train travel. I’m sure some of you can relate. Feel free to get in touch or comment to share your stories.
Hope you’ve been enjoying the sunshine if you are able to.