Friday, April 17, 2009

Andrew Adonis's extraordinary odyssey

I've been quite critical of Andrew Adonis of late and, I feel, not unreasonably so. However, there are times when you have to acknowledge something worthwhile.

Lord Adonis is on a train journey, having purchased a 7-day UK Rail Rover, to see what our railways are really like, from Cornwall to the Highlands and via most points in between. On the way, he's meeting with MP's to discuss their concerns, Dan Rogerson on the Par branch line, Matthew Taylor in Truro and Danny Alexander in Inverness, amongst others. Indeed, in Ipswich, Ros ran across him, getting off of a train to meet the local Labour MP, Chris Mole.

Most impressive of all, he hasn't opted for the soft option of a first class view, something which at least means that you normally get a comfier seat, an occasional cup of tea or coffee and a snack, and a generally more sanguine view of delays. Instead, he has a standard class ticket, so he'll get to see the rail network how the rest of us mostly see it.

So hats off to Andrew Adonis, and here's hoping that he'll learn enough to keep Network Rail and the train operating companies on their toes...


A Very Public Sociologist said...

I doubt it very much! But hope springs eternal ...

Mendez said...

Unfortunately, he did buy a weekly ticket that applied to all the trains he was travelling on.
This meant he avoided dealing with ticket booths, machines and the varied and confusing ticket pricing systems.
He effectively avoided half the problems that come with rail travel.
Also, one week travelling 'standard' might seem 'noble' but it hardly gives him more than a slight insight of the overall situation.