I've not been back
PUBLISHED: 07:00 20 April 2013
I want to tell you of my experience with First Great Western on July 6, 2012.
I boarded the train at 4.10pm St Thomas Station [Exeter].
This is a ticket-less/man-less station and you have no choice but to buy your ticket once on the train.
The train had two coaches and they were almost full.
I managed to find a seat but did not see a ticket conductor throughout my journey to Exmouth due to the large volume of people that had continued to board at other stations and were now having to stand in the aisle.
As I left the train I moved forward with the crowd feeling disorientated, when I was shouted at in a brusque manner by a ticket inspector to come back.
I explained that I did not have a ticket but was willing to buy one; however, he refused to accept the money I still had in my hand.
He continued to talk in a brusque manner and took my details.
I became flustered and was shaking. I was fined a total of £69.20.
Explanations to First Great Western fell on deaf ears and I would have had to argue my case in court.
There are man-less/ticket-less stations still used today and overcrowding of carriages makes it a hard job for any ticket conductor to move around, let alone the passengers to try and find one.
Also, what I did not realise was that Exmouth Station is closed by late afternoon and you have to leave and enter by the side entrance close to where you depart from the train.
Hence, I have not been back since on the Avocet Line!!