I’ll make no bones about it that I find myself tuning in more and more to radio four. This isn’t because I’ve had a magical Perlethorpe bestows me with any more intellect than perhaps I should have but I genuinely do you find some of the content interesting.
Of course for the most of this is just going beyond middle-age pomposity radio but there is something to be said for listening to a station that still has all the hairs, graces and social classes which used to make up the mainstay of radio stations.
However like most radio stations journalistic credibility has just come into doubt. Last week they had a an interview with the general director of the rail services asking him if he would take his yearly bonus giving all the delays for passengers over the Christmas period.
He argued that it’s okay to accept the hundred and £36,000 bonus because that’s less than 20% of his annual salary, which his previous bonus system would’ve given him a higher bonus.
Almost one week to the day the rail companies have announced they are increasing their feathers by 2% to enable the much-needed repairs to make our railway safer continue.
Throwing another spoon into the mix was the government backing of the proposal for the price fare increase but what I want to know it is true is this increased possible given the all time low, Well in recent years, of the cost of fuel?
Being slightly OCD about fuel efficiency in my latest motor I’ve been keeping a log of the cost of fuel over the last four months. It currently going from £1.29 per litre to 1 plane 15 L.
Of course that’s a rather weak arguments as they locked themselves into long-term contracts which is basically like saying mortgage payments making up as well is as down, terms and conditions apply.
The last experience I had going on the train was during the autumn international rugby season. May hours before the rugby game started I boarded a two carriage train for the 2 1/2 hour journey to Cardiff. The first 45 minutes were quite enjoyable with the trolley making its way through the aisles.
After that it became a Guinness world record type attempt to see how many people they could smash into two carriages at any one point. Again I know my point here would be Holleigh idealistic to think they could put another carriage on if given enough notice but let’s face it. Major sporting events are advertised months and months in advance and yet we, the public, are always in the same situation.
Getting back home was more than a complete fiasco as well. At Cardiff railway station they have a queueing system to make things safe. No problem with that. Apart from there are no announcements as to what training is going well. Yes, they make you cute to keep you safe but don’t actually tell you what training is going well.
At least my train waited for its allotted slot in the queue and we were on our merry way. Well for 20 minutes until everybody had to get off the train in Swansea leaving me still with two hours of travelling time in front of me.
When the station manager tells you this happens all the time and yet it still keeps happening you have to wonder where that 2% of money is going.
Thankfully a bass that was laid on to take people back home and the route is very, very simple it is pretty much one long road from Swansea to Haverfordwest. Unfortunately this was beyond the grasp of our bus driver who, despite using satnav, still managed to get lost.
So perhaps I did see are very small share of the magical 2% figure in action by providing a safe environment in which to queue. It just wasn’t very helpful with regards to actually getting home.
Coming back briefly to the radio four interview FairPlay to the director-general of Railtrack for not saying he wasn’t going to take his bonus but managed to skilfully weasel his way out of answering the question and pretty much said, between the lines, be grateful I’m not taking more money.
I was going to conclude this post by hoping for some sort of uprising, but what can we actually do? We are trapped in a vicious circle of reliance.
Our rail fares are amongst the highest in Europe and given the quality of service we get amongst the poorest.
Anyways what good would pro testing do? It didn’t stop us going to war So have we already lost in the grand scheme of things and the government and corporate businesses just letters have a little tantrum to get out of our system?