On the day many train fares are going up, it seemed appropriate to have a rant. I made it up north and back by train at the end of January, but even booking twelve weeks in advance, and even before these price rises, it felt expensive. Or to put it in more concrete terms, it cost me more than it would have to drive.

I don’t want to drive, given the choice - it’s much better to be able to read a book, nap or get some stuff done on my laptop on the train. But when you add the cost of the train to the problems with strikes, staff shortages, etc. it starts to feel like the more expensive and higher stress option.

Full disclosure - my last journey was first class. I believe my point about it being cheaper to drive would stand even if I’d gone standard. And what did I get for the extra? Well, on a Thursday night for the outbound journey, I did get a few cups of tea and some snacks.

However, as per flippin’ usual, the journey back on a Sunday night had no service in first, meaning all I got was a few inches of extra space. Oh, and shortages meant I had to change trains in Birmingham and spend half an hour hanging around. There’s nothing quite like New Street Station on a Sunday night.

Several friends are visiting me in the next month, and sadly, they’re all planning to come by car for exactly the reasons given above. Let’s hope whoever wins the next election has a plan, eh?