Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Rites of passage

News from the railways:

Last week we were invited to be delighted that train cancellations were slightly improved on the previous year. Of course, what the figures forget to tell us is that when they decide that your train isn't going to stop at your station so that it can make up time and hit punctuality targets that isn't a cancellation. You may be waiting hours for the next one to come along, your train isn't cancelled. Oh no.

And this week Passenger Focus reports on the improvements in passenger satisfaction on the railways. Listening to their spokesman talking on the Today programme this morning it was quickly evident that they only surveyed passengers who actually managed to travel; they didn't talk to the passengers who couldn't complete their rail journey because the train didn't arrive. The only time I've ever received a survey form was mid-morning on the train that does the Cumbrian coast run from Lancaster to Carlisle. Mind you, that was back in British Rail days. It's a mark of the decline of the nation that we look back on British Rail as a golden age of service delivery.

It's probably just me being picky. To their credit, once you get past the headline drivel and look at the guts of the thing (and get over the provincial's natural irritation at "London and the South East," "Long Distance" and "Regional") you soon find just how good a performance you get from the local trains up here: you've a one-in-four chance of being pissed off by your journey.

Chugg, chugg, said Thomas.

1 comment:

scarlet-blue said...

Thomas the Tank. He's usually early..