The state of our railways and trains
Tuesday, 27 January 2009 15:44

Britain's railways used to be a fantastic national resource. One would often hear something that was a shambles commented on something like "What a way to run a railway!"

Sadly that phrase can be used about the whole network nowadays.

Our whole transport system is a mess. We have several companies running the railways which means buying two or more tickets to complete a journey. We have stations that are overcrowded, poor staff with little or no knowledge or inclination to assist passengers.

Travellling on the railways with baggage is discouraged, there is virtually no baggage space on the trains and the stations are arranged for maximum inconvenience if you have a bag. Preston is a good example of a bad station, where there are stairs to all platforms and narrow subways that have stair access only.

Manchester airport station has just been enlarged with the addition and another platform at a cost of £15 million, but no-one thought to put in a lift that goes from the platforms to the sky walkway that links to two of the terminals. Instead passengers have to take one lift up one floor, then negotiate a series of doors and passages before taking another lift to the walkway to the terminals.

Pedestrian access to the third terminal at Manchester Airport has been blocked and replaced by an infrequent bus service or a tortuous, badly-signposted route that is extremely difficult to follow.

There is no doubt that the UK puts public transport passengers at the bottom of the pile as far as comfort and service is concerned.

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