Looking back at the vintage posters in the height of rail travel, the slogan was ‘It’s Quicker by Rail’. Whether you were planning a day trip to the seaside at resorts such as Felixstowe, Whitby or Bournemouth, or a city trip to Cambridge, Edinburgh or London, the hand painted images sold the idea of fast efficient travel.
These days many people rely on the trains for their daily commute to work, as well as leisure trips, but the reliability and punctuality of trains can cause problems for passengers. Whilst certain operators have a reputation for getting people to their destination on time, others fall short of expectations. At times it certainly isn’t quicker by rail.
Network Rail is one of the operators who were penalised by the rail regulator for their poor service on Southern and Thames Link routes in 2014/15. They were fined £2m for failing to provide a reliable service for passengers. It has now been agreed that rather than pay the fine, the company can invest it, along with a further £2million on improving the customer experience.
Since the damming performance report, Network Rail has already invested £11million on improvements, primarily in the redevelopment of London Bridge Station and performance has improved as a result. The additional investment is planned for upgrading passenger information boards and systems, increasing staff at key terminals and providing fast response teams that can deal with issues on the line.
Travelling by Car
Whilst the rail improvements are welcomed, the cost of train travel can mean that it is not only more convenient, but also cheaper to travel by car. Government investment is also being ploughed into improving the road infrastructure, so it is better able to manage the volume of traffic that is heading up and down the country. Particular attention is being paid to problem areas, such as on the outskirts of Cambridge and passing Stonehenge.
If you do opt for car travel, you still want a reliable, incident free journey and this requires investment on your part. Whilst peak journey travel can mean an early start in order to reach your destination on time, car maintenance can make all the difference to the long term reliability of your vehicle. Regular checks of your lights, tyre pressure and liquid levels, as well as keeping your car topped up with fuel can all help you to have a smooth journey.
In addition, it is vital that as drivers we invest in an annual MOT; we need to take responsibility for ensuring our vehicle is compliant with regulations and safe to drive on the roads. If all is well with your vehicle, this annual check is a straight forward procedure that takes place at a local VOSA approved garage.
If problems are detected, the garage should clearly explain the issue and what is required to fix it. A professional garage should also be willing to undertake the work for you, although you can opt to take it to another garage. With either option, the car will need another MOT to get its certificate and the aim should be to get your car back on the road as soon as possible. This work will incur a cost, but if you want a reliable means of transport, it is an essential expense. If you are looking for a professional, local VOSA approved centre for your MOT, Holmer Green Service Station can assist. Combining years of experience and state of the art technology, we pride ourselves on delivering great customer service.