Monday, February 28, 2011

Victoria Coren on the legal 'extortion' of Britain's privatised railways

Everybody knows what's happened to the trains since they were licensed to private companies: impenetrable rules, incomprehensible fares, crazy fees if you have to make a short-notice decision. It has nothing to do with any "true price" for the journey, only the vast amounts they can get away with if you have no choice.

Let's be honest, it's extortion. A medieval landlord could name his own tithes if people had nowhere else to go and East Midlands Trains is clearly inspired by those happy days.

We've all been stung by this sort of thing. We all know what we want as a nation: safe, fair, affordable national transport. Nobody sees any justice in these punitive onboard fares, yet we have no recourse; our national feeling is irrelevant because the railways aren't "ours" any more. Oh, how we look forward to the selling off of the Post Office.

You can read the whole of Victoria Coren's Observer article here.

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