A subject which has angered me to such a degree, I include it in this sentence with Donald Trump, ISIS and Piers Morgan.
Being in my second year at university I feel I now have two years of experience when it comes to the UK’s train system. Two years of highs and lows, seats and standing, long delays and short delays, false hope and hopeless bank statements. Forget ‘Girl on the Train’, ‘student on the replacement bus service’ might be more apt.
The point of this blog is not to promote my upcoming feature film, it is instead loco-motivatated to comment on the recent train fair reform and the not so recent issues within the system. The Telegraph highlights the current problem detailing with the ticket machine prices and routes offered. Today one can visit London St Pancras station to buy an off-peak return ticket to Sheffield, at the end of the East Midlands line, from a machine. The ticket machine is programmed to offer a bewildering selection of options: for East Midlands Trains only (which is first-class only, at £190); Any Permitted Route (£150); a bizarre combination of Hull Trains and Trans-Pennine Express (£125); and the correct answer for the next available fast, direct train “Via Chesterfield” (£115).
The RDG (Rail Delivery Group) calculates that between Britain’s 2,500 stations, there are more than 16 million different train fares — “many of which nobody buys,” according to Jacqueline Starr, the organisation’s Managing Director of Customer Experience. She also says that “Working with government, we’re determined to overhaul the system to cut out red-tape, jargon and complication to make it easier for customers to buy fares they can trust, including from ticket machines.”
This for me is the point. There have been no firm commitments by either the government or train service providers to reduce and standardise prices as well as improving the service. I see the two as being connected in the wider principles of customer satisfaction and quality of service. This is why I do support the renationalising of the rail system. Although I encourage competition in some services, I believe that if the competition between service providers results in a worse experience for the British public in reference to price and quality, the regulation and accountability that a state run train system would provide, is needed.
I understand this isn’t everybody’s position but I genuinely believe that if we have a situation where Jordan Cox, a fellow student, who went on a 1,017 mile round trip to Germany as it was £7.72 cheaper than a direct train home, there is a definite problem.
Anyway point made.
I want to make clear that although this blog has been a container for really bad train jokes, it is also an important subject. Puns about monorails always make for decent one-liners and as this blog has given me some levels of esteem, it has also provide me the platform for these jokes. I feel my conclusion has gone off track (sorry had to get those off my chest).