Friday, 9 August 2019

Timetabling a U-Turn

It would be tempting to suggest that there were no entries in July because July was cancelled. In reality, it was because I was away for most of the month. A cancelled month would have been so much better for everyone (rather than just me).

However, here we are in August, whatever the weather, and the usual political silliness on both sides of the Atlantic seems to have extended itself to the people who run the railways.

On August 7th, the news broke that the UK would no longer be part of the Interrail scheme, that allows for extensive railway travel across Europe. Depending on which source you use, we were either pushed out or we withdrew. Either way, the change would have made it unlikely that travellers would have gone beyond London (the pass would still be valid on Eurostar trains) if, indeed, they bothered to visit the UK at all.

People were furious. Especially people running tourist boards of places beyond London.

Astonishingly, the train operators heard the furious people. And on August 8th - a whole day later - the decision was publicly reversed. They *were* going to suggest that a separate BritRail pass would be the best option for visitors to Britain. But not anymore. As per the ITV news website, industry body the Rail Delivery Group said it renewed talks with Eurail Group, the company running the Interrail programme, following "strong reaction to news of our departure." They were, in fact, able to reach an agreement together. Which had been impossible beforehand.

All of which tells me two things.

One, it is entirely reasonable to change your mind about something publicly when you realise that your previously-held view may not be appropriate.

Two, talking to your opponents when under pressure can yield results.

Both of which suggest to me that a No-Deal Brexit on October 31st is completely unnecessary - provided we have reasonable people in charge. Bring on another General Election, I say...

No comments:

Post a Comment