There are a number of good reasons why our railways should never have been privatised. One reason is highlighted in the Evening Standard report of a man who got a £1,000 bill for boarding the wrong train!
This appears to have been a genuine mistake where the man, with his family and friends, had inadvertently boarded a Virgin Train with a Midlands Train ticket.
According to the Evening Standard report, Virgin’s less than compassionate response was: “If passengers have booked to travel with another operator their tickets are not valid on [our] services.”
Passengers do, of course, have a responsibility to buy the appropriate ticket for their journey. However, this kind of story is all too common, where a passenger ends up paying over the odds due a genuine mistake or because they got caught out by the confusing over-complex plethora of rail companies and tickets.
If we had a single rail network that was designed to benefit rail travellers rather than shareholders, then passengers would not find themselves in this unenviable position.