Thursday, 21 May 2009

First for really peeing passengers off

What bit of the current climate don't train operators get?

There is a recession on.

Everyone is feeling the squeeze.

So what in God's name made Worst Group think they could get away with this increase to First Class weekend upgrades, revealed in The Times...

On Sunday the cost of a one-way upgrade increased from £10 to £25 for journeys between stations in Cornwall and South Wales to London. On many other routes the price doubled to £20.

The public furore over troughing MPs with their tax payer funded clean moats, third homes and duck islands should have given them a clue.

The fact that Iain Coucher had the wit and gumption to sense the public mood and abandon a sizeable part of his annual bonus, should have shown them the way.

But no - in bus bandit land the mantra is 'screw the passenger for all we can get'.

Be of no doubt there is mounting fury over the avaraciousness of the 'service' sector.

The passengers (think voters, possibly as soon as October) will not put up with this cynical milking of their hard earned cash for long.

They will kick back and the railway will suffer, not that our short term TOC owner groups could care. After all they are merely "thinly capitalised equity profiteers of the worst kind".

No matter.

So what did Worst Group have to say for itself?

We’ve changed the way Weekend First works to reflect the distance travelled rather than one, catch-all fare, which saw customers travelling from, for example, London to Reading paying the same price as someone going from London to Penzance."

So based on the fact that First have milked local passengers at the same rate as long-distance travellers over many years, does this mean that Weekend First prices between Reading and London have actually decreased.

Errr... no.

They of course remain the same.

Meanwhile those travelling to London from two of the most economically disadvantaged parts of our nation - Cornwall and South Wales - will be hit by the full 150% increase.

This complete disconnection between our industry and the world it is there to serve makes you weep.