It alleged that I couldn’t go by train from Aberystwyth to Oxford.
I’ve encountered this ‘quirk’ of the system before. It seems to have great difficulty with the concept of travelling from Aber to Birmingham and then changing onto the service that goes to Reading. So, as usual, I’ll have to ask the stupid search engine to search for two separate journeys. (Well, I end up doing that sort of thing a lot anyway, largely because it is such an unbelievably stupid search engine.)
For chrissakes, it’s not as though I’m asking for something complicated. I want to go from Aberystwyth to Oxford. It’s simple. There are railway stations in both places. A train leaves Aberystwyth at 7.30. I can do it with a single change of train. It takes less than 5 hours. But the ‘system’ said this journey does not exist.
OK, 15 minutes ago, it told me that the 7.30 journey didn’t exist, and I was so annoyed I wrote a longer version of the rant above. And now, on trying again, it is, in fact, there.
But it’s completely arbitrary. I do this search: Aberystwyth-Oxford (no restriction on changes or connections), weekday, departing at 7am.
First time, it gives me a single choice, departing at 17.35. (Note: there are trains out of Aber every 2 hours from 5am onwards on weekdays. And the trains from Brum to Oxford run twice an hour.)
Run it again, identical search: two choices, 7.30 (hurrah! at last!) or 9.25
Try it a third time? Back to the 17.35 option again.
(If I try a couple more times, I can probably get the ‘non-existent journey’ option at some point too. But I do have better things to do. I swear that I did get that screen first time out, though.)
And they wonder why people don’t want to use public transport…
PS: do you think the trains are likely to be any better by 2012? (Groan. And I really wanted to see that insufferable smug git Seb Coe choking back the tears, too.)