Standing room only

28 November 2013

He said: ‘When I read this report I had to check the date; because for a moment I thought it was 1 April – April Fool’s Day – and someone was having a laugh. Because it’s laughable; not just a bad idea, but a spectacularly foolish idea.

‘But it seems it’s not a joke. They really think it would be a great wheeze to squeeze in even more passengers, and that people will cheerfully cough up to stand up on long journeys, twice a day, every day of the year. They must be stark raving mad! Or living on Fantasy Island, because we know people want a proper seat on a proper train on a properly-run railway.

‘This idea comes from people who never stand, and always travel first class. But they think the rest of us should be grateful to buy a third class ticket and travel cattle class.’

The report, called Transport Infrastructure: Adding Value, from the Institute of Economic Affairs, a right-wing free market think tank, argues that 'commuters should be given more choice regarding the quality of service and the cost of fares. An additional, high-density, standing only, economy class section should be introduced on peak time commuter trains.'

Standing only economy class rail carriages, at a price 20% lower than standard class rail fares, would, said the IEA, 'reduce the need for investment' on Britain's rail network.

Mick added: ‘They want three cattle class carriages on every train. Think of the safety implications. Instead of these sort of crazy ideas, we need proper investment in the network to create a railway fit for the 21st century.’

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