Comment The Short Rant

The Short Rant: Travel is a nightmare

Increased flight security and awareness of the impact of plane travel have sparked a renaissance towards ideas of travelling by train, but has the UK entirely failed in making rail alternatives the easier option?

Classic fresher, by week 2 I wanted to go home for the weekend. Don’t be mistaken, I love it here, it’s just that the novelty of washing clothes and planning meals has worn off very quickly. As I looked through train tickets, it was clear that, on a university budget, it was simply not going to happen. I don’t live close by, granted, but when the cost of a trip home is equivalent to about 30 pints (20 pints at Three Sisters), it just isn’t possible.

I started to look deeper into the extortionate prices, hoping to find a reason why, and found that British railways remain in the hands of private investors. At a time when the UK government’s goal is to reduce carbon emissions by 68% by 2030, this seems like a rookie mistake; more expensive train travel is likely to put people off rather than encourage them on board. Meanwhile, other European countries with nationalised public transit systems have already made moves to reduce their carbon footprint. Recently, Germany announced a £7 monthly travel ticket, allowing unrestricted travel.

This is another classic example of where capitalist gain is at the forefront of the government’s mind, not the thought of how carbon emissions from flights will impact future generations.

Edinburgh Waverley station from Edinburgh Castle, Scotland” by David McKelvey is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.