I do not always feel in tune with Mr Taylor’s views, but in this instance, he got it exactly correct and I doubt even the greatly missed Tom Richmond could have done better.
Trains permitting, we try and visit family in Aberdeen at least once a year and the train should be the best way to travel, unfortunately our rail cards have been largely unused recently, with 2020/21 Covid problems and this year’s strike action.
At our age, unreliable services are incompatible with long train journeys, so I get the car out, but there is no doubt that a reliable train service is the best travel option.
Even the staff in the ticket office, who also provide helpful advice, can take upwards of five minutes to produce the necessary return tickets for Aberdeen, while I cannot guarantee I could do it correctly on my home PC and I know I couldn’t complete the transaction on the difficult platform ticket machine before my legs gave out.
Mr Taylor’s other points are also relevant.
We try avoid cashless car parks whenever possible and also feel sorry for the many ‘phone zombies’ we see walking about. Just because the mobile phone is a wonderful invention with a great many uses and can be used for most transactions, does not mean it must be used.
Contact with real people is important and, in a democracy, alternative routes and procedures should always be available.
The proposal to close all rail ticket offices sounds very much like Beeching Part Two, is potentially just as damaging to this country and we must hope common sense prevails.