LayStar Home > LayStar Magazine > Article: British Trains are a Joke


We welcome article submissions from writers - Guide to Article Submissions



<<< Front Cover

You could be missing out. Use the search form on the left to find your location and list any local articles for your area.


British Trains Are A Joke

By Paul Michael
21st July, 2010

 

We are supposed to be living in the ‘green’ age. We are encouraged to abandon our cars and walk, ride bikes or use public transport.
 
So, given my place of work is over 10 miles away and there is a train station in my village, the train seems the obvious ‘green’ solution, doesn’t it?
 
I’m supposed to be at work for 8.0am. The earliest train that I can get departs at 7.55am. It will get me to the station at 8.10am and there is a 10 minute walk from the station to where I work. I arrive at 8:20am.
 
Over 8,000 people are employed at the site where I work, a large employer in the South West. The site’s standard start time is between 7.30am and 8.0am. Yet, the train companies do not provide a train to accommodate potentially many hundreds of commuters who, just like me, might like to use the train instead of their cars. 
 
Forget work, what about other occasions to use the train?
 
My wife and son have started to use the train a great deal more to commute for work and, for my son, school and social journeys. When the train is there, it is truly a fantastic service. The issue is that all too often the train is not there when it should be. Cancellations are a real issue – to the point that many commuters cannot use the train without sufficient back-up – like their trusty cars. My wife has been caught out on numerous occasions and has had to walk back home to use her car. She cannot afford to wait for the late train that might turn up or for the next train which tends to be every hour at the busiest times of the day. For my son, I have lost count of the times that I have had to go and pick him up where he has been left stranded in a dark, desolate train station.
 
What I find amazing is that the train companies can simply cancel trains, and provide no alternative means of transport for those that they have let down. This should be the minimum requirement where a train is delayed beyond 10 minutes or is cancelled. There should also be heavy fines imposed on train operators where they fail to deliver to their time-table.
 
It doesn’t end there: the fairs are completely out of touch with reality. Last week (July 2010) I was planning a short break in the Lake District for the three of us. The cheapest fair on offer was £440 for three adult returns. However this required that we didn’t use the train at peak times, which is not possible for a 7.5 hour day time journey. The next tariff for travel at any time is over £800. I looked at the coaches and could spend 12 hours on a coach for £220. Alternatively I could hire a car for 5 days at £120 and spend somewhere between £80 and £100 on fuel – same price as the coach but I have the convenience of a car at my disposal. I ended up booking a 3-night holiday to Prague with breakfast in a four star hotel and airport connections – it cost less than the whole deal at the Lake District.  
 
So Great Britain, how exactly are your green policies helping people like me to make appropriate and affordable travel decisions?

 

Articles in the Same Category

South West Water
Planning Comments Outrage

Social Bookmarking





Facebook Twitter Google Technorati.com del.icio.us Yahoo! Fark Furl


<<< Front Cover

You could be missing out. Use the search form on the left to find your location and list any local articles for your area.


Reader Comments

comments powered by Disqus


We welcome article submissions from writers - Guide to Article Submissions

Find us on Facebook