I’m going to start doing a regular (well when i can be bothered) series about public transport and especially the “wonders” of first great western and getting to work in the mornings. I have hinted before on this blog although it was for a satirical piece, about my hatred of the thieves that run our train companies, believe me it has few limits. One day they will be run under workers’ control but until then we have to make do with bitching about it on the internet and complaining on those little flyers that they sometimes hand out after a particularly egregious offence.
One wizard wheeze they’ve recently started doing (and which some group of people sitting in a room was doubtless paid millions to come up with) is to start giving every train a wanky name like “Celestial express” or something of the sort. I don’t care what it is called, I only want it to be on time, and not be charged an arm and a leg for it. Unfortunately for First Great Western this is too much to ask.
Don’t be fooled by media lies about the RMT and other transport unions either, when they go on strike it is for good reasons like safety and the fact that they are trying to defend their terms and conditions from the growing casualisation that affects all industries. Strike days make up a tiny proportion of travel disruption compared to the countless delays and wastes of everyone’s time because the railway companies try to run everything to maximise profit rather than the safety of workers and customers. How often are trains delayed because there aren’t enough staff members, or because there are signalling problems – since they are trying to skimp on safety and reduce the numbers of staff on the railway lines and stations these problems will only get worse.