Why Are We Standing For This?


The railways in Britain are rubbish. Half a million people have taken to Twitter in the last 12 months to shame the train companies responsible.

This has led to people calling for the railways to be re-nationalised. That is not the answer. The problem is, they’re not private enough.

Capitalism works because free-market competition forces prices down and service up. That’s not what happens on our trains. Each train operator has a monopoly on the region it has a franchise for. If you don’t like the price or service on that line you have no choice.

The system combines all of the worst bits of state ownership with the worst aspects of corporate greed. How can it be right that we allow rail companies to make huge profits when we are still subsidising them?

And the situation is out of control. Southern Railway are regularly fining people who STAND in first class because there isn’t enough room for them to STAND in the rest of the train. There is no incentive for Southern to run more trains or add more carriages because customers can’t take a different, cheaper, better train run by someone else.

The people who are worse off are the commuters. They use the trains more than anyone else and pay more to travel because they use the trains at “peak” times. After shelling out thousands of pounds for a season ticket, they don’t even get something as basic as a seat! What kind of business treats its best, most loyal customers WORSE than people who only occasionally use their service?

Airlines look after their “frequent flyers” with all sorts of perks. If you regularly collect enough air miles with American Airlines you automatically get bumped up to business class, even if you’ve only paid for an economy class ticket. That wouldn’t happen if American was the only airline allowed to fly across the atlantic. If it was, you could end up getting on a plane at Heathrow and have to stand all the way to New York.

Craic on!

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If you enjoyed this Craic, please click “like” and tweet a link. If you’d like to talk to me about it, call me on +44 1438 422106 between 6 and 9 weekday mornings (UK time) on BOB fm.

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