Another article of faith which today’s Britons are told they should live by is – according to my friend & fellow blogger from Scotland – “Privatised transport is the best in the world.” Is it really so? Can everything be so simplistically reduced to ‘privatisation = good, while state ownership = bad’, as the ideologues of ‘free market no matter what’ claim?
First and foremost, I must say that, undeniably, British public transport is incomparably better than it’s Romanian counterpart. There’s absolutely no term of comparison between the two, in spite of having encountered some common ‘bad examples’.
If I were to use a gold standard for public railway transport, I’d name the rail system of France. The TGV is a masterpiece of contemporary transport technology, trains are safe, comfortable, punctual, and not excessively expensive.
In the UK, travelling by train seem to me undoubtedly comfortable, but relatively safe, sometimes only relatively punctual (see what a little snow can do!), and dreadfully expensive. An Easy Jet flight from Gatwick to Edinburgh is cheaper (currently from £ 40.99 to £ 78.99) than the cost of the Caledonian Sleeper (£ 54 to £ 185.5) on the same route.
Therefore, due to budgetary constrains, I opted for what is many times cheaper than the two mentioned option – a Megabus night bus for only £ 24 (half this sum if you pay with weeks in advance!). I survived three times the experience, and – with the Lord’s help – I’d do it again.
But I wouldn’t recommend night bus travel to those who have a sensitive stomach. If you’re not some kind of tough traveller like I become, and if you don’t like chatting with strangers (one even posted a comment on the current series – here), bus travel could really wear you out.
Train travel in the UK could have been the most pleasant, if privatisation had driven the costs down for the passenger. This has not happened yet, and it probably never will :-(
As it can be read here, among the effects of rail privatisation in the UK one could find more set-backs and disappointments than straightforward successes. I wish I had any readers (British or not, but using British trains) left to comment on this topic…
[For all the episodes of this series, and all the posts on this blog go to/Pentru toate episoadele din această serie şi toate postările de pe acest blog mergi la: Contents/Cuprins]