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Help needed over Olympic travelling
11:00am Tuesday 22nd May 2012 in Your letters
We keep being told to use buses and trains during the Olympics – but it helps to be able to find timetables first.
I have just attempted to seek on-line travel information for visiting friends needing to travel from Weymouth at the end of a weekend’s one-way walk.
The bus timetable was quite easy to locate and use. So was that for First Great Western’s trains, although I was surprised to see a scan of the printed leaflet instead of a direct document or spreadsheet.
Anything on the line to London is unobtainable, so I will have to visit the station. Every timetable but one failed with obscure messages useful only to an IT specialist, which I am not.
All these websites assume booking, so perhaps crash if you want only information, but they do not advise this and incomprehensible captions merely add insult to injury.
Even the National Rail Enquiry website, which I expected to be properly-written, failed.
It has also become recently harder, hence less efficient, to use; but such a charge is not confined to the railways and their agents.
The telephone and IT industry is perhaps the worst for facilitating sales while wilfully obstructing technical enquiries.
Perhaps professional website writers should be forced to use their creations fully, from home, without specialist help – along, analogously, with car designers who make headlight bulbs inaccessible, money traders who deliberately obfuscate their services, and HMRC which refuses to cope with the demand it has created for its call centre.
Nigel Graham, Kestrel View, Weymouth