Posted by: Paul | November 30, 2010

Proper Snow

The snow is trying its best to ruin my day.

Normally I love the snow – because normally I don’t go very far and it presents no obstacle to the activity of staying indoors, keeping warm and looking out the window at the pretty snowflakes. But today is not only a nursery day – who have been known to shut their doors at the sign of the first snowflake – but I also have to get the train to a meeting in London.

The nursery, bless them, are actually open, though threatening to close early. With it still snowing pretty heavily outside now, despite the fact that on the ground it’s also melting at the same time, it’s a good job Ali is on a half day’s holiday this afternoon, in case they do call and turf all the kids out. We’ll see.

The trains, true to form, are causing problems though. Nothing to do with the snow, you understand, not a word about it on their website, but signalling and level crossing problems. Typical. I’m utterly furious with NXEA at the moment, with a completely unnecessary timetable change on the way in a week or so which is going to mess everyone around, and scandalous fare rises in the new year. And not content with a 6% increase in the fares this year, the government have given them permission to raise formerly protected season ticket prices by inflation plus 3% for 3 years from 2012, which could mean 8% rises or even more. And are they going to reduce it after that? You can bet your bottom dollar they won’t – they will think everyone’s forgotten what the rules used to be by then. Prices only go in one direction.

I believe this is a deliberate attempt to solve overcrowding problems by pricing people out of taking the train to work. This year the annual season ticket price to London from our station will be almost £4000. If you’re, say, 22, with aspirations to do well in life and are taking your first job in London for £15000 per year, how on earth are you supposed to afford the fares? On that wage you can’t afford to live in London and pay off your massive student debt, and you now can’t afford to live OUTSIDE London either because the fares are too expensive. What are they expecting people to do?


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