Friday, November 17, 2006

Trains, Planes and Automobiles

'Use Trains more, it'll help the environment'

'We need to get people out of their cars'


All things spouted by various people over recent years. And they are absolutely right. That's the thing though, they say the right thing and blame all the world's ills on these evil, selfish motorists that pootle about the place. It isn't an incorrect thing to say but unfortunately it's all just words.

To get people out of their cars and into trains you need to make the trains as economic and reliable as a car. Now I know there is traffic etc., but when encountered it can be either mitigated against or it's planned into the journey. No one goes on the M25 expecting it to be clear, that would be insanity. Now obviously you will never gett he flexibility of a car but I think all people need is a vague approximation.

Thing is, to go visit friends in Hull it's an £80 return journey that takes the best part of 6 hours each way. In a car it costs around 50 and takes 4 and a half. But that's beside the point, that journey I can cope with, it's Sundays that make my blood boil. I've lived here well over a year and have encountered a direct train to Leatherhead on a Sunday about twice. I think they replace a sleeper a week. I won't go into horrendous detail here as I know this is dull, I am leading somewhere I promise!

Now this weekend I am going to visit Hannah, I paid £16 for a pre-booked ticket to Leamington Spa (that is what you would pay for a one day travel card in London by the way). Next week is Peter's birthday which i attempted to book. They wanted over £60 for a journey I would normally pay about half that for and also over a 6 1/2 hour trip back on the Sunday and only if I leave at about midday. In total this would make my journey a little over 7 hours. This makes the journey unviable because I have things to prepare for the following Monday and a 7 hour journey journey the day before will not be condusive to a good presentation.

It appears that I am being charged an 'incompetent moron' tax for my return journey. 'We apologise for the delay to your journey and additional 3 transfers, inlcuding the 30 minute walk across the Swamp of Eternal despair. After defeating the multi-headed blood beast please bend over, so we can extract the extra charge for the additional 6 days you have spent on our service, in the only way we know how. You don't have a car do you? hahahaha! We can do what we like! You're our bitch!'

Basically people, we need some consistency. You could tell people the world will end in a fiery conflagration tomorrow unless they stop driving, if the trains are crappy they will get back in their cars and carry on about their business. And as much as I support the environmental stand point I can't blame them. Except for people who drive 4x4 cars in the city, they deserve to pay double what everyone else does and receive a sound beating after every pointless journey they make in their pointless, dangerous, badly driven Wanker-Wagons.

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