Excessive

PUBLISHED: 12:02 26 June 2008 | UPDATED: 13:22 06 May 2010

SIR, — I must express empathy with the young man who was subjected to excessive harassment by First Capital Connect (FCC) over a £3.50 excess fee which, according to your report (Herts Advertiser, June 19) was due only because his journey from St Pancras

SIR, - I must express empathy with the young man who was subjected to excessive harassment by First Capital Connect (FCC) over a £3.50 excess fee which, according to your report (Herts Advertiser, June 19) was due only because his journey from St Pancras International was a few minutes the wrong side of 7pm.

This surcharge for all of us is an outrageous abuse of FCC's monopoly on the route: they do not levy it south of the Thames where there is competition.

I travel to London at least once a week, usually well after the morning Travelcard restriction but find it difficult to finish meetings in time for the last qualifying faster train to Harpenden which is not long after 4pm: a three-hour wait at St Pancras is unacceptable

Recently, travelling to London in the late afternoon. I witnessed a posse of 12 FCC ticket inspectors and four PCSOs (Police Community Support Officers) at Harpenden Station waiting to pounce on any offending Travelcard returner who had broken the rules. How many £3.50s did that cost?

I note that the FCC spokesperson claimed that the need for the excess charge is to limit capacity problems. On the front page of the same Herts Advertiser you report the forthcoming introduction of a new fleet of trains to increase capacity on the route. Presumably the charge will then cease?

DEREK FRENCH,

Roundwood Park, Harpenden.

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