28 Feb 2011

Ticket troubles - 1

For the best part of 150 years, train tickets all over the world looked like this. Known as Edmondson card tickets, all the information was clear, and passengers and staff could take it in at a glance.

In Britain, these were superseded by the present credit-card style of ticket about thirty years ago, when new computerised ticket-issuing machines were introduced.

At first, they were printed with dot-matrix printers which were blurred and indistinct, and this often led to disputes as passengers ended up with the wrong tickets. Nowadays, the printing on the tickets is better but the information is still not presented in a user-friendly way. This makes unnecessary difficulties for both passengers and staff. There is no excuse because there is plenty of room on the tickets to put on the information in a way that makes it possible to take in at a glance.

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