As is my way, I tend to trawl the newspapers every morning over a cup of tea. This morning, I found myself reading an article courtesy of The Guardian which really left me thanking my lucky stars that I’m one of those people that earns a living from home. My heart goes out to all the commuters that choose not to live in London, but work there.
If you’re someone that doesn’t have to go through this twice a day, five times a week let me give you a few statistics that have been brought to light about the state of travel for people on trains and the tubes:
- At the busiest times of the day (including the traditional rush hour), more than one fifth of passengers do not have the benefit of a comfortable seat.
- The Department of Transport has revealed that at morning and evening peak times, there are almost 60% more passengers than the train was originally intended for.
London is not alone with this problem. Outside of the capital, the next busiest train commutes are based in Manchester, Leeds and Sheffield so people in the South are not alone. Perhaps it’s the recent heat-wave which has swept the UK that brings these statistics to light?
Passengers have complained about uncomfortably hot conditions, as well as over-crowding making their trip practically intolerable. My question is this? Would you over-fill a football stadium or concert hall? The answer (especially from health and safety experts) would be an emphatic no!
So, why do commuters have to suffer in this way whilst, incidentally, paying ever rising prices for their tickets? As usual, I have done my best to find the answers but none are forthcoming. Of course, there are noises from both sides of the fence.
There have been comments made that rail travel is essential to the UK’s economy because it helps millions of people get to work every-day (when there aren’t any leaves on the tracks)! There have also been calls for the reduction in price for tickets and, of course a reduction in overcrowding.
In response to this, we get the usual “we’re working on it”. What worries me is that a serious accident will happen one day and more people will be injured than should be. Apart from that, who wants to arrive to the office hot and bothered before the boss has even had the chance to shout “where’s my tea”!
Author: Julie Coburn