Reasons why I won’t be taking the train

Northern Rail.

Northern Rail.

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When did you last have a 4.1% pay rise? I bet it was so long ago, you cannot actually remember.

The times we currently live in mean those days have well and truly gone.

But, despite having endured no pay rise at all, or pay rises measured in fractions of per cents, rail users are being told fares will increase by an average of 4.1%.

I don’t use trains as much as I should as I find the journey on the East Lancashire Line to Preston to be a singularly unpleasant experience.

Asking me to pay more for the privilege will now make the likelihood of my boarding under-invested, worn out, old and smelly rolling stock even less likely.

Not long ago, I ventured to London on the train.

I had reserved seats, access to free WiFi and the promise of something to eat somewhere along the line. All were available on the outbound journey.

Imagine my disdain, therefore, to find my seat taken by someone heading back to Glasgow and not one single member of staff willing to shift them.

There was not another seat to be had and so I stood all the way from Euston to Preston on a train with no buffet car.

For that privilege I paid about twice what it would have cost me in petrol, believing the train would take the strain!

In a couple of weeks I am off to Newcastle for a celebration as another of my friends clocks up his personal half-century.

I thought I’d try a quick look at the rail timetables and fares.

Imagine my surprise to find it would actually take longer by train than the estimated journey time according to my favourite routefinder.

But that surprise was nothing compared with the fact the rail fare for two people was going to be well over £150 and my estimated fuel costs would be under half that.

We are all supposed to love public transport and use it whenever possible to help save the planet.

Someone, somewhere needs to have a long hard look at things before I am going to be too tempted.