Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Rising UK Train fares

Train fares for some tickets and networks across the UK are to rise by 7% next year!! Will trains be 7% more punctual, will there be 7% more seats for commuter trains. Will trains run 7% more frequently? I somehow doubt it!

How will a 7% rise encourage more people onto the trains easing traffic congestion? Particularly when services appear to be as shoddy and unreliable as ever. Especially galling for the non regular train user such as myself (weekend trips to London being about the extent of my train use), is the huge subsidy from the Government>Taxpayer>Me of approximately 50% of the total train running costs.

In defence of these rises, the spokesman said that the West Coast main line is now completed and Hastings train station has been revamped. Great!! Great news then if you live in Hastings and wish to travel up to Glasgow!! What about all the other poor commuters suffering from greater stress that Fighter Pilots and Police, in and around London who have to put up with seatless travel into and out of London twice each weekday to earn their crust?

MPs, David Blunkett and their private lives

David Blunkett (UK Home Secretary) seems to be in a spot of bother over his married lover's nanny and a fast track Visa application. So be it. It seems like he is going to fall on his sword here if the press continue with more "exciting" revelations.

You cannot ever justify a Home secretary getting involved, no matter how innocently, with individual Visa applications, particularly when he talks about limiting immigration. The Buck does stop with him and he should go.

As for Tony Blair saying that what an MP does in their private lives should remain private so long as it does not interfere with their jobs. This sounds reasonable, however, I don't recall him ever saying this when bashing the "weaknesses and foibles" of Conservative MPs prior to the 1997 General Election. Even a couple of weeks ago, he didn't say this when Boris Johnson was being sacked from the Shadow Cabinet!!