Thursday, 25 January 2007

Why I set up this blog

The reason I have set up this blog is simple: it’s to examine the truth behind the train operating company First Great Western.

Over the past month or so, First Great Western has come in for an enormous volume of criticism. This has been directed from all sides and has been about multiple issues including overcrowding, timetable changes and fare hikes.

As a regular traveller on First Great Western and as someone interested in the railways, I have become increasingly frustrated with three aspects of the debate. First, with the sloppy and poor standard of journalism whereby people who know seemingly little about railways spread misinformation and inaccuracies. Second, with politicians in general, whose weak grasp of the intricacies of the rail network makes them completely incapable of holding an intelligent debate on the matter without resorting to attacking First Great Western. And third, and perhaps most importantly, with the lack of responsibility of the Department for Transport which, despite having created most of the problems on the First Great Western network, consistently denies any responsibility.

So why should members of the travelling public be interested? After all, they just want a reliable, clean and effective service – they’re not interested in whys and wherefores of how the rail network is run. Such a position is understandable but having a good grasp of what the problems are and how they are caused is an essential first step in coming up with effective and lasting solutions. If, in the future, you want a better rail network then it’s time to take an interest in the truth behind the issues we face today…

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