Showing posts from February, 2009

No way to run a railroad

Posted on Bevan Foundation blog on 22 February 2009 We need to cut car journeys, right? So why aren't we making the alternatives more attractive? Not only are our rail fares 50% higher than the rest of Europe, but train companies aren't investing in improving the experience of travelling by rail. In this week's Ponty Observer former UK Transport Minister Kim Howells reveals a plan to close town the ticket office in Pontyrpidd train station and replace it with a machine. As the local MP puts it: "Pontypridd and Treforest are two of Wales’s busiest railway stations and the rise in passenger numbers has been huge over the past five years or so, yet the condition of the stations has improved very little". A leaky roof, drafty platform and unreliable lift are all features of the town's busy main station. On the front page of his local paper Kim Howells tells of filing past the brightly lit waiting room on Platform One in icy weather: "we look with incredulit