That time of year, dreaded rail works. Been ongoing for at least ten years.
Nightmare journey down to Brighton.
No amended timetable at local station. Female guard on train, fails to walk the train to collect fares. I search her out. She refuses to sell a ticket. Barely sufficient time to leave Guildford Station and catch replacement bus service. No time to buy a ticket, and certainly no time with long queue. Luckily able to get on bus without ticket.
I had no luggage. Worse for those that did. Especially as no clear direction where to go when train terminated at Guildford.
Bus leaves ten minutes late. No explanation or apology. But at least rail personal announce on bus, where bus is going and that mandatory to wear seat belt.
Major traffic jams en route.
Traffic jam on A3, tail back from RHS Wisley Gardens, jam waiting to join M25, massive jam existing M25 onto M20, police road block on slip road into Gatwick.
Bus arrives Gatwick 15 minutes late. Two trains to Brighton missed.
Chaos at station concourse, queuing back into airport. Luckily, I am allowed through the barrier. Twenty minutes wait for Brighton train, which is then five minutes late.
Poster on platform stating free wifi. No wifi.
At Brighton cannot exit, no ticket. 10-15 minute wait to buy a ticket. Asked why no ticket? I explain station closed, train guard refused to sell a ticket, replacement bus service.
Train companies only last week were complaining of fare dodging, that it costs them millions. Maybe man their stations, get their guards to do their jobs properly.
Forced to leaving Brighton earlier than I wished. My reason for doing so, rail works. A bus journey of over an hour. Had I waited, next bus journey was showing around two hours for bus and train, for a journey that would normally take an hour. .
Train Brighton to London Bridge packed. At Gatwick, platform heaving, passengers trying to get on a packed train.
A sign in the airport, wait here to be taken to the bus. No one there. Luckily I knew where to go.
I asked, was directed to a bus. No driver. Bus in semi-darkness. When driver appeared and bus set off, he did not announce where the bus was going, nor state it was mandatory to wear seat belts.
Luckily journey only 45 minutes, but twenty minutes wait in the cold at Guildford Station for a train. Had the train ran all the way, but for rail works, no wait in the cold.
Less time in Brighton. Arrive later, forced to leave earlier. Pay for a train, get a bus. Longer journey time. No compensation. Thus the train companies screw their passengers.
Gatwick is one of the busiest airports in the world, second busiest in UK, and yet chaos at station concourse, totally inadequate train service to and from Gatwick. They cannot cope now, with existing infrastructure and yet they are wishing to expand, demanding a second runway.