Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Tickets Please!

If there is something that we Brits are good at, then it’s  ‘design and innovation’.  Over the past few months I have had call to use the Dartford Crossing on several occasions.  The Crossing was built and opened in stages, the west tunnel in 1963, the east tunnel in 1980 and the QE II bridge in 1991.  The 2 tunnels are 1,430m long and the bridge has a span of 450m and is 137m high and you have to admit this all comes together to form an impressive shortcut, all put in place to help traffic avoid the Blackwall Tunnel, the Woolwich Ferry and, of course, London.
The trouble is that whilst the design and construction is something to marvel at, the actual toll-paying system is not up to par.  In fact whilst queuing to pay for the privilege of using the Crossing you have plenty of time to marvel........and also to wonder how it could be got so wrong.  At times the queue can be so long that, whilst heading south on the M25, you can join the end of the queue before even getting onto the bridge.  Surely there is a better system that could be put in place to prevent any delays.

With almost 150,000 vehicles using the crossing every day, Connect Plus Ltd (the company who manage the bridge for the Highway Agency) must have considerable income to spend on a new, efficient, toll-paying system to ensure an uninterrupted flow of traffic?

Further building has been taking place all over the country, where new stadium and sports facilities are being built in preparation for next year’s Olympics.  From what I have seen in the media we, as a country, will have of some of the best sports facilities in the World once the games start.  But is also appears that the ticketing system for the Olympics has also gone badly wrong.  So many people wanted to go to the ‘People’s Olympics’ and be part of such an amazing event in their own country, but so many people are disappointed as they are not ‘winners’ in the ticket lottery.  Ticket prices range from around £20 to over £2000, although nobody seems to know where you will be sitting for either of those price tags or how many of each seat price is available..............and it promises it get more confusing in the next round of ticket purchasing.

The Dartford crossing has been open for nearly 5 decades and still the people have to queue to use the shortcut because of poor organization of the ticketing (toll) system - will the Olympic ticketing prove to be any better organized?

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