Wednesday, 30 January 2008

The Sorry State of Public Transport in Britain

The More Train Less Strain campaign group that's been in the news this week has made me consider the state of public transport.

For years I've defended the service; proudly telling my friends how I use the trains every week to go north, south, east and west. It was worth it because it's better for the environment, it's safer and you can read on the journey. But now I've turned and can officially say I am fed up with the train service in Britain. In fact I'll take it one step further and say fed up with public transport in Britain.

Thanks to the recent price hikes, I now have to pay £50 return (now more expensive buying 2 singles) with a railcard from Cardiff to Sheffield.

How can a Labour government (let's have a historical perspective on this and remember what a Labour Party stood for) have done so very little to improve public transport? Having used public transport in Finland, Spain, Holland, Germany etc I don't understand why ours is so much worse. While the privatisation of public transport in the 1980s and 90's is partly responsible, the Labour government seem to have done nothing to sort public transport out.

I've pledged not to get a car until I really need one but the state of public transport edges me closer and closer to joining the rest of you on the roads. The fact is, it would often be cheaper for me to drive than to take the train - it definitely would from Cardiff to Sheffield and back, for example. How can this be the case under a Labour government with the current state of climate change?

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