This is the strain of our age

One of the worst things about having a busted arm is not being able to drive, so you’re reliant on public transport to get to work.

By Father to two daughters
Thursday, 19th September 2019, 6:48 am
Updated Thursday, 19th September 2019, 7:48 am

Yeah, First World Problems and all that, but after spending the past month on trains and buses it’s not hard to see why we’re so in love with our cars.

If you like standing around on cold, deserted platforms while your ride home gets cancelled with monotonous, teeth-grinding regularity, then British train travel could be the mode of transport for you.

My ticket money’s never late, so why are their trains? In the past week, one got cancelled and another was so late it tried to make up time by zooming through the station it was scheduled to stop at.

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It would be stupid and childish to blame the staff on the ground. Some train companies rely on their goodwill and their overtime to keep services running – which is why catching a train on Sundays is a lottery.

The staff are the ones who have their evenings and weekends cancelled by bosses who operate their franchise on a shoestring and they are the ones left to deal with irate passengers, stranded miles from home as their delayed clicketty-bonk bone rattler means they’ve missed a connection.

To be honest, I’ve seen toddlers run a Fisher-Price My First Train Set with more forward planning and organisation than some of these half-baked companies.

Basically, they don’t respect their customers. They say they do, but if they did they wouldn’t waste our time by being late so often and sometimes, unforgivably, cancelling altogether. Can you be ghosted by a rail franchise?

Judging by the mental torture they’ve put me through I’d say it’s more gaslighting than ghosting.

Many’s the time they’ve made me doubt my own sanity and I’m relieved, that even though it’s 20 minutes late and there’s nowhere to sit, at least it’s turned up. Which is basically how abusive relationships work.

Next Thursday, I’m seeing the consultant who operated on my arm. If he tells me I’m fit to drive he can have the keys to my house.