Political Promise

National Rail: Third World Service

In Uncategorized on November 2, 2010 at 3:39 pm


Jonathan Edwards isn’t happy about National Rail. Albeit, the only public service NOT on strike for once…

Monday to Friday I commute.

No big deal, I do it, you might do and certainly thousands of other people across the country do it. My commute involves a bus to St. Pancras train station and an approximately twenty minute train journey from there.

Now my bus trip, that is approximately ten minutes long, costs me £1.80 each way and most days I am fortunate for a seat. The buses do not have a set time, which is understandable with London ’s traffic, but I rarely wait longer than ten minutes for one to arrive.

My train journey on the other hand costs £16 per day and for the past two weeks is yet to arrive on time. See where I’m going with this?

The train arrives late, with no excuse or at least one that is the equivalent of “the dog ate my homework”. On board the carriage is littered with rubbish, and although I’m able to get a seat most days that is so long as I am willing to move spilt coffee mugs and wet newspapers, don’t mind sitting on chewing gum and the occasional 10 minute delay on route to my destination is no big deal then I can get to work just fine.

Now I don’t know about you but for me that is just not good enough. To be completely honest with you British Rail is a downright disgrace.

The thing is it’s not a public industry anymore is it? It’s privately owned and privately operated with a proportion of subsidies coming from our back pockets. Where else would you accept such an absolute rip off in the private sector?

Which other industry would survive with such a poor record for service, rude, unhelpful and uneducated staff, lack of infrastructure and investment and a performance chart that reads like shares for Enron? It just wouldn’t happen and we the customer would not pay through the nose for such a service. Yet that is what I and thousands of others do every day across the  UK . 

Stories appear periodically about foul toilets, 5 hour delays, cancelled trains and individuals being penalised for getting off one stop before their destination and having to remortgage their home or drop out of university to pay the fine.

However, the thing that bothers me most is there is absolutely nothing I or you can really do about it.

I either get the train or get a new job.

You either pay the fare and accept the service or you commute, travel home or visit a friend some other way.

No if’s, but’s or maybes that’s the way it is and with that stranglehold they can charge what on earth they like for it.

The British Rail needs an overhaul and it would be one of the first things I’d change if I had the chance.

It is not just the fact I received a fine last night on my commute home and want revenge.

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