Happy New Year! Today being our first working day of 2009, DJ and I were shocked to find snow covering our part of glorious Essex. In fact, DJ was just about to go to work before we realised! It was dark and we were half asleep so we hadn’t bothered to look outside.
It looks pretty – I took some snaps of our garden in the blizzard as the cat raced past me covered in snow – but I’m not keen on the stuff myself. I hate travelling in it – everything grinds to a halt – and I’m too chicken to drive in it. Incidentally our hens Molly and Lexi aren’t sold on it either. As you can see from my photo, they didn’t bother to come out this morning. Their drinking water was frozen too and I had to give it a good smash, although most of the cold water ended up on my bare hands which wasn’t fun.
I didn’t envy DJ travelling to work in the snow. He texted me to say his usual train arrived late with just a handful of carriages, despite the fact that he is travelling at a peak time into London, so he couldn’t get on. What fun. And yet the train companies have had the cheek to hike fares by up to 15 per cent this year around the UK.
Now I don’t like starting 2009 on a sour note, but this really makes me angry. Lots of people have no choice but to take the train to work and many face tough times financially. But the train companies make plenty of money. The major operators are enjoying strong profit growth right now and paying healthy dividends to shareholders. Not surprising considering DJ pays nearly £3,000 a year for his season ticket. So why could they not for once hold fares steady when their customers are struggling? I don’t know about you, but while our service is generally ok, I haven’t seen the cleanliness of the trains, the number of seats available, the journey times or punctuality improve by 15 per cent so why should we pay more? Somebody on a forum I browsed suggested we boycott the trains for a day to show our collective consumer power. While I love the idea, many people just wouldn’t have the choice.
Are you paying more for your train tickets? Do you think it’s justified? Leave a comment and let me know.
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