|Maidenhead Bridge - Opened, 1 July 1839|
Lyrics:- 'I'm Easy like Sunday morning' - Richie
Song Choice:- Being more into Genesis back in 1977, I couldn't bring myself to choose the original Commodores version, so I've chosen the more street-cred Faith No More, 1993 revamp... Nice.
Anyway, it was more like 'Not so easy on a Wednesday morning', on my day's MdS Training in London. Don't get me wrong, I love a day out and it should be a really simple process. Get up at 0400hrs, drive into town, park the car at Cardiff Central Station. Catch the 0512hrs London train, get the Tube to venue, deliver session and return home.
And it was as all of the travel infrastructure worked a treat... Only all of the technology used for the journey was a bit of a nightmare if I'm being honest. The simple job of buying a train ticket online, has been made infinitely more difficult by the restrictions placed on travelling at peak times to and from the smoke. Thirty minutes between trains times, is the difference between a £220, and a whoppingly cheaper £93 fare... Getting the cheapest option and not getting ripped off it so difficult and a really negative experience. No wonder folk in the UK don't think of using the train.
Don't even get me started on the NCP Car Park ticket machine at Cardiff Central Station either, as you'll need a cool head and great vision if you are going to follow the very small print in the dark and the five different steps you'll need to follow, plus 10 x £1 coins (no cards allowed) to avoid a hefty parking fine. Do you really need to enter the last three numbers on your registration plate on a Nokia style keypad? What happens if you get that wrong? It's far too complicated and my parents who are very capable drivers and travellers but aren't so technically savvy couldn't use these machines. A simple ticket machine that takes cash would be just fine I would say...
Luckily, I didn't have to buy a ticket to get the Underground (opened 1863) as my train ticket doubled up with a few more clicks and I enjoyed the simplicity of getting around the capital in remarkable ease on a system that like the Cardiff-Paddington line (completed 1841) has been enjoying for the past 150 years+.
No doubt both are now governed highly by technology BUT is any of this any better than it ever was before the internet revolution?
The price differential on tickets, the amount of car-parking fines delivered are surely just there to make the cash needed to implement the tech that we didn't really need in the first place. It does make me sound like a grumpy old man here but I'm very much for a KISS lifestyle. Yep, Keep It Simple Stupid.
The laughable thing was that my train ticket wasn't checked as I left either station or on the train coming back...How daft is that? Just how much more 'Human Factor' can be removed from our modern day lives? And just how helpful will it actually be?
I feel glad that I could deliver my own 'Human Factor' yesterday and I have no plans to get myself automated right now!
979 Marathons - 241 Ultras - 13 Marathon des Sables - 9 Guinness World Records