Rail fare rises have put about £100 a year on to the price of some annual season tickets. However, passengers do not believe they are getting the service they are paying for.
“I often have to sleep in my office toilet because all the trains home have been cancelled,” said one passenger. “When they do run they’re severely delayed – I’m actually about ten years behind in my career because I can never get to work on time.
“The one occasion my train turned up when it was supposed to the doors broke and none of us could get on. It left the station empty and Merseyrail still recorded it as ‘on time’.”
Rail bosses have said that the exorbitant increase in fares is due to a huge surge in compensation claims over the last 12 months. A press statement said, “If people stopped complaining we wouldn’t have to charge them more and more to offset all the bloody compensation payments. You don’t think we’re actually going to take a hit for being incompetent do you?”
Total delays on the rail network in Britain added up to over 32 years in 2018.
Over half of this is actually the Southern 1514 Victoria to Brighton service which departed on 7th July 2001 and which has been stuck on a siding ever since. The problem is believed to be a loose carriage window that refuses to remain closed. Passengers’ relatives have been assured that the engineers have been called and the issue is expected to be resolved shortly.
Many delays are caused by the poor performance of antiquated stock – the average train carriage is now almost 20 years old.
Furthermore, the horses that pull First Great Western Carriages are all at least 25 years old and many of them have broken legs. Plans to electrify the line between London and Cardiff were abandoned after several stallions got electrocuted and the RSPCA intervened.
Paul Plummer, chief executive of the Rail Delivery Group said that 98p in every £1 of rail fares was invested back into running the railway.
Unfortunately the remaining 2p had been placed on train tracks by bored revenue protection officers. “We wanted to see them get squashed all flat,” said one. “But they ended up derailing the 1052 to Leeds. It’ll be okay if we Tweet ‘sorry’ though, right?”