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Your article on Thameslink’s stealth fare rise emphasises the total lack of communication from the company.
My recent experience amplifies that. On Tuesday May 30 when I bought a ticket at 9.45am I became aware that the price was 17.5 per cent higher than a similar ticket bought two weeks earlier.
The next day I enquired at the booking office and was told of the new Super Saver ticket after 10.30am.
On Friday June 2, forewarned by your article, I planned to go to London around 10.45am so went in search of the SuperSaver ticket.
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No automatic machine at Harpenden Station sold them so I walked over the footbridge to the booking office, where, after waiting 10 minutes in a queue was sold this new ticket and told that none of the automatic machines had yet been programmed for this new ticket.
On returning home at 4pm the automatic gates did not recognise my ticket so I had to hunt the attendant to let me out of the station.
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I also would like to know if this fare increase is legal but also Thameslink are guilty of sharp practice as I suspect there have been quite a number of tickets sold from machines since the change in the fare structure at the new 17.5 per cent increased fare when the lower fare would have been applicable.
This is yet a further example to prove that the train operating company are not fit to run this franchise.
PETER TIMMS By email
I wonder if, when Thameslink introduce ever-more complex ticket pricing, they give a thought to their long-suffering ticket counter staff at St Albans, Harpenden and other local stations?
They are the ones who have to repeatedly and (in my experience) patiently, explain the changes to their increasingly puzzled passengers.
Kingshill Avenue, St Albans
We might feel more sympathy for landowners, farmers and local authorites who have to pick up the tab for clearing and de-contaminating their land (sometimes ours too) after unauthorised industrial flytipping if they were to stop omni-everywhere flyposting local events and commercial activities for some of which, for example. St Albans district and Harpenden Town councils they are the promoters.
ROBERT HILL East Common, Harpenden
The embarrassing Chiswell Green clock has failed yet again - at 10.20pm tonight one side shows 3:40pm and the other side shows 10:13pm.
Isn’t it time to admit defeat? It has been a failure from the start.
It has never been lit as promised and has spent more time not working than showing the correct time.
Take it down and replace it with a nice ornate sign for Chiswell Green which is lit.
We don’t need a clock, we never have, everyone has a watch or a mobile. It can’t be seen at night as it’s not lit.
It was and still is an embarrassing waste of local public money.
Balance in any society is key to sustainable growth and development. This is true as much for the physical aspects as it is for the emotional well-being of society.
Housing is known to be an issue throughout the country. In this regard, the considerable number of new developments that have been previously approved, especially along London Road and around the City station are helping to address this issue but I see no investment or improvement in the associated amenities necessary for sustainable growth and development.
The shortage of school places is known to be a major issue. Road congestion, train congestion, utility provision, emergency services and local amenities (not least GPs) are all at considerable strain in and around the St Albans area.
What helps keep the city and the surrounding area in balance is the mix of local businesses, residents and appropriately proportioned supporting amenities. Converting existing business premises to housing would simply upset that balance. If we are not careful, St Albans will simply become just another, character less commuter town. Therefore, I support the district council in their attempt to protect the area from office to residential conversions.
STEVE BALDOCK St Albans
At a Harpenden Town Council meeting recently, Members voted to axe its Youth Town Council, claiming that the youth of Harpenden just weren’t interested in politics.
In view of the 72 per cent turnout by young people at last week’s General Election, why am I not surprised by the result. This only goes to illustrate how out of touch the Conservatives have become that they no longer wish to invest in the youth of today and give them a voice. Shame!
I urge Harpenden Town Council to re-instate the Youth Town Council.
Independent Town Councillor for Harpenden East
What’s the point of Lib Dems anyway?Another election goes by and once again I am left wondering what is the point of the Lib Dems?
As a minor party one could almost say their raison d’etre is to form alliances and coalitions in the even of a hung parliament - it’s basically the only means they have to get into government and get their policies into law.
Given the finely balanced nature of the current parliament, their 12 MPs (two more than the DUP have) means they could be the king-makers. And yet what is their stated policy? No deals, no coalitions. What a monumental waste of space.
Just to recap. Never ones to miss an opportunity, the Lib Dems parachuted Daisy Cooper into St Albans in the hope of carpet-bagging a few extra votes by stoking up a sense of grievance around the EU Referendum
She got herself an address here, not because she likes us, or thinks that St Albans is a nice place to live (she’s 37 after all, she could have moved here before if she’d wanted to) but because this would then allow her to claim to be a “local” candidate.
She then proceeded to love bomb us with leaflets containing exciting policies about marijuana cafés on St Peter’s Street. Most of all she was going to stop a “hard” Brexit by demanding a second referendum.
After whipping up quite a decent level of support it now turns out that she wasn’t serious about actually making any of this happen because her party have ruled out any form of deal.
Seems they are just waiting for the day they can form their own majority government(!) They could, right now, be demanding something that would be really valued by the people of St Albans - that second referendum for example - in exchange for supporting the government’s legislative programme.
Instead, they have walked off the pitch and left the DUP (with their strange views about climate change amongst other things) as the tail which can wag the dog.
So back to my question, what point the Lib Dems? Did Ms Cooper think becoming our MP was just a way to gain some prime central London office space from which to campaign on her own pet projects?
All she has done is steal votes from candidates who were members of parties who were actually interested in wielding power.
I vote Conservative so was happy to see Anne Main returned to office, but it’s worth considering that without Ms Cooper stealing left-wing votes Kerry Pollard would have had a chance of being returned, and what a difference that could have made to the national picture.
It has been said by commentators far cleverer than me that the Lib Dems are nothing but political bed blockers. I think I would agree.
Jerome Drive, St Albans
I wold like to comment on your article that appeared in the Herts Advertiser on June 8.
I have been a resident in West Way for 25 years and during the last seven years the parking has got continually worse.
On a normal weekday on average 10 to 16 cars park in our road that are either using the station, sixth formers from the local schools, or trade people that are working in Cross Way or the surrounding area were currently you have parking restrictions .
On many occasions I have returned from work to find cars parked in such a way that I cannot get my car onto my driveway or cars parked partly on the grass verge .
Many of the West Way residence are fed up with this and the majority are looking forward to parking restrictions being implemented in our road as soon as possible.
West Way, Harpenden
In these times of increased focus on public sector cost management, there is a fantastic opportunity to save money by removing all marked parking spaces and allowing a motorists’ free-for-all.
St Albans is already blessed with a number of inspiring individuals who are above the law in terms of needing to “park” like everyone else.
This small band of narcissistic sociopaths disregard all signage and instruction regarding sensible parking, and avoid any consideration for other less important car park users, by leaving their vehicles wherever they wish.
Their evident self-importance entitles them to park:
* at fuel pumps when not purchasing fuel
* on chevrons when there are spaces available (but not close enough to the shops)
* in disabled parking spaces (which is fine as long as they are not staying too long).
If only all motorists would follow in the slipstream of these pioneers; then maybe we could eventually target the complete collapse of community spirit and social responsibility.
Runcie Close, St Albans