Describe the condition of Britain's railways and suggest how they might be improved
Darren Burn (C) 01/05/2007
Describe the condition of Britain’s railways
and suggest how they might be improved
They have been likened to the third world. Millions have ridiculed them. Yet the government still fails to recognise a way in which it can improve them. They are Britain’s railways.
In the 21st century one would expect that such a simple and mature system should be operating almost perfectly without delays and cancellations. But Britain surprisingly has one of the worst rail networks in the world beaten even by Croatia and third world countries. The current Labour government can no longer lay the blame on the Tories and yet continue to do so ensuring that they try to take as little responsibility as possible.
This is a preview of the whole essay
Commuters are increasingly late for work and some do not make it there at all and at the moment there does not seem to be a long-term plan to resolve the crisis. The rail network is facing staff problems with employees going on strike because they are not paid enough. The journey from my home in Milton Keynes to London (which takes as little as 35 minutes on the train at times) would cost an adult around twenty pounds off peak. With the trains often busy, it is therefore impossible to comprehend why the staff is not paid well. Rail companies need to understand that should they increase an employee’s wage, they would not face as many strikes and driver delays.
There is no simple solution to this escalating problem, but something has to be done very soon to ensure that the whole rail infrastructure does not collapse right before us. The government has now reclaimed the railways so that it can attempt to improve them.
To start with, a huge injection of cash has to be made giving each station and train company extra money to improve their individual services. The only possible way I can see of radically changing the structure is by taking the drastic measure of closing the entire network for one week. Buses would need to be laid on for all commuters so that work could continue with minimum disruption and compensation would admittedly have to be given to certain individuals.
During this time new tracks can be laid and a week of intense staff training could occur. New trains could be implemented on all the main routes to London so that it would cut down journey time and better safety systems would be installed. It would also hail the end to slow trains and herald the beginning of an era of high-speed trains – much like the ones in France and Japan.
Although this would cause chaos, the government would insist and promise the country that they would notice the significant improvement after the closure. The whole operation would have to be planned thoroughly beforehand to ensure that the closure was kept to the designated week and a large number of workers would need to be employed so that the work was carried our efficiently and accurately.
I believe that once the new tracks have been laid and the system returns to normal, the government need to continually upgrade them and invest in new technologies to make British railways the best in the Western world.
It may be necessary, if the idea does not work, to close the network again for further upgrades or perhaps focus on each line individually. Although the government would, without a doubt, face criticism over this, they would also receive praise after the whole operation is over.