Friday, 20 February 2009

Train in vain an ongoing series.

The Eeyore of public transport returns:
I'll get back to the fluff of competitive cooking and hot tunes later honest.

The paper today has an editorial about train fares it's rather odd in tone as it sort of denigrates railways as a "middle class luxury" like the Opera and then praises them. I am in support of most of what they have to say, shame they don't put some of the blame on to the present government for not sorting out the mess of privatisation or to invest in public transport in a meaningful way. I'm half with them when they say commuter care more about seats and reliability but train aren't luxury whatever they may think.

I was talking (sorry ranting) about all this the other day after having to pay an extra 70 quid when the Midland(may they rot in atheist hell) Mainline's ticket machine refused my debit card (it's boring annoying story*) and after a weekend of closed overland services, closed tube networks and stations, my regular over crowded morning commute the situation is clear.

Public transport in Britain is never going to get better.

I've been using public transport (I had a mini for 10 mins in 1990!) all my adult life and all we've done is swap one set of problems for another. I rarely do a long distance journey that doesn't have some problem, delayed trains, overcrowding, maintenance work, overpriced tickets, no buffet, late running, horrible stations, cancelled trains.

On my way to work today my train was delayed by 9 mins, not a life time but time I won't get back and which I could of used to do more work, eat my muesli more slowly, shout at thought for the day etc.

Tonight on the way home the bus I get will have a takeaway box full of gnawed chicken bones smeared in ketchup dumped over the back seat, the constantly being done up Cannon street station will have buckets collecting drips on it's slippy cracked floor, on the delayed train the seat next to mine will have it's cushion missing and we will wait in a crowded carriage outside London bridge station for five random minutes (a problem of congestion that's been going on at London bridge since oh 1840!).

I'll get off at New Cross next to the hoardings for the East London line extension which we'll be told in a few months isn't going to be finished on time and head out down the dank little side exit passed the regular ticket tout. None of this may happen but something else similar will. I should get a car and join the rest of Britain queuing outside Tescos or on the M62 to get into Ikea I suppose.

* oh and I got kicked in the head by a pair of walking boots on the same journey too!

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