well they do say things come in threes…

The failure of ticketing machines hopefully will be sorted in the weeks to come.

Yesterday I had to make several different journeys using Translink services. I travelled from the Mater Hospital into Belfast city centre, then up to near Queen’s University and back, back home, and finally by train to Ballymena.

Fortunately, I could telephone the Translink callcentre to get the information that I would normally have obtained from the website – as it was the first of the failures.

The second was that the ticket machine at Yorkgate railway station was not working. This seems to be a regular occurence, as the last few times that I have travelled from there, the machine has not been in operation. So I was told to

Get your ticket on the train, mate.

Unfortunately, this was not possible as we got to failure number three. Somewhat unbelievably the ticket machine held by the conductor on the 1644 train north did not work either. We had to revert to the age old paper farebook. Another passenger and I thought that perhaps we should change back to having proper tickets, sold in proper ticket offices, by proper ticket clerks, and which are pre-printed. Of course, it would be even better if such things were made to look attractive as well. But I suspect that the only slightly more attractive thing to come out of Translink yesterday is the relaunched website.

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