Anorak News | Wait In Vain

Wait In Vain

by | 14th, June 2004

‘“GOT the price of a cup of tea?” pleads the decrepit old crone at Birmingham’s New Street station.

‘Thirty years of hurt, never stop the dreaming…’

But before you dismiss her, remember that 30 years ago she was like you. She too arrived on the concourse with a ticket in her hand and a plan for a train journey to work.

But things happen in life. Not everything runs on time. There are delays. The wrong type of snow. Striking station staff. Leaves!

So give her a quid, because if the Government is to be believed, in 30 years’ time, she could be you.

The Independent brings news to anyone reading (or wearing) its pages at one of the country’s train stations that the ten-year plan to cure the nation’s transport problems will now arrive some time in 2034.

And that’s not just before twenty to eight this evening, but the year 2034, some 30 orbits of the sun into the dim and distant future.

Those who have not gone crazy waiting for the next service to arrive may recall that at the time of their coming to office in 1997, Tony Blair’s Labour party held aloft a ten-year plan for transport.

It was bright. It was bold. And, boy, was it ever integrated.

That is now just three years away, a mere blinking of an eye in commuting terms. But it will not happen. Know that it was too ambitious and will take another thirty 30 to be made real.

Of course, as the Indy reminds us all, that’s at least six general elections away, and even with Tony’s Blair’s Teflon coating, he surely cannot still be around then.

Although the commuters at New Street station will be. And when a mass of newsprint and hair asks you for the price of a cup of tea in 2034, unfurl your 50 euro note and give until it hurts.

It might just be your dad coming home from a very long day at the office…’

Posted: 14th, June 2004 | In: Broadsheets Comment | TrackBack | Permalink