From a secret vantage point high above the Pennine Hills the First Trans-Pennine observation border guards have justified their important position with the company.
Reporting to Mr Bossman at HQ one staff member has reported that a number of fare-paying passengers have, by choice, used the much under-patronised service from Calderdale via Brighouse to Huddersfield to gain access to the service to Manchester Piccadilly and Manchester Airport.
This journey route saved Mr & Mrs Average, their kids, granny and luggage from having to cross busy Manchester, having arrived at Manchester Victoria Station and necessitating a transfer to Piccadilly.
Wringing his hands Mr Bossman was heard to cry, “Whatever next, this cannot continue unchecked. They’ll be wanting a guaranteed seat next on our overcrowded trains”.
Discussing the issue at a management meeting with Mr Hierarchy and regional heads of departments at Trans-Pennine, Mr Bossman was given the task of “getting it sorted”.
Meanwhile a keen and promotion-seeking guard came up with clever solution and met with Mr Bossman to explain his plan.
“Let them continue to use their preferred route via Brighouse etc, but make them now buy an extra ticket and pay more for the journey.”
Mr Bossman was overjoyed at this idea and hastily requested a further meeting with Mr Hierarchy to explain in detail HIS solution to the problem. Congratulations were expressed on a job well done by First’s senior management team. The guard, whose idea it had been, returned to his observation duties and contemplated how next he might earn some brownie points.
This, of course, is pure fantasy but parts of it could be close to the truth. Full marks to Trans-Pennine for making this journey choice more costly and implemented just in time to catch the travelling public planning a summer break.
Those who can remember times past will no doubt bring to mind Sir Jimmy Saville’s advertisement, ‘Let the train take strain’.
Thanks to First, who are never slow at grasping opportunities to establish a reason to increase fares, the strain is once again put on commuters wallets at a time when all are attempting to tighten their belts.
It would appear that First Trans-Pennine are determined to extract every last penny then can from those who travel by train.
H W D Maude