I had the satisfying feeling of dropping a letter of complaint into the post today. With it regarding the rail services (or lack of them, which was thoughtful given that it was a bank holiday weekend) I'm not anticipating much by way of a decent response. Whether I choose to pursue it beyond that point remains to be seen, depending on what they say and also on how irritable I'm still feeling about it.
Here's the crux of it:
"Eventually, like most other people who were waiting and getting increasingly exasperated, I got on the standard bus service from Matlock Bath to Derby, after which I had the prospect of a further journey by train ahead of me. This cost me an extra £3.30 on top of the rail fare I had already paid, and was an uncomfortable, hot and lengthy journey.
Not only do I resent being in a situation where I had to pay extra money in order to get back home significantly later than I had planned, I very strongly resent having paid out the sum of £11.30 for a day return which clearly wasn’t worth the money for the quality of service provided. I look forward to your comments about the compensation you will provide, since I will not be satisfied without this provision.
Frankly, it beggars belief that yet again, busy lines are closed for engineering work at one of the busiest times of the year. I appreciate that engineering work has to be done, but I am not interested in knowing what justification there is for doing it at such times when it results in maximising the disruption caused to passengers: the point is that if the bus replacement service was not so badly managed and pathetically inadequate then I would not be writing to you in the first place. Additionally, the timetable for the service could at best be described as a triumph of optimism or a work of fiction. At worst, it appears to be another example of the contempt in which passengers appear to be held by those attempting to run the service, being kept in continual uncertainty by low standards and misinformation.
This helped to mar what would have otherwise been a pleasant day out, and it also caused tremendous disruption to my plans for the rest of the day. The sad thing is that this kind of situation is depressingly predictable. "
What I decided not to include in the letter, though I was conjuring with the idea, was that the only good point of this bus journey for me was thanks to a child sat on a nearby seat, who for a good 15 minutes or so was repeatedly telling her mother in a very whiny voice that she was hungry. At this point I remembered I'd got a chocolate bar in my bag: I retrieved it and, in view of said infant, ate it all to myself: it's rare, but sometimes such utterly petty spitefulness is the only thing for it.