Selfish train drivers need to get back on track

PUBLISHED: 11:20 13 August 2009 | UPDATED: 16:06 11 May 2010

WHEN I was a little lad I wanted to be a train driver when I grew up. In later years I went off the idea, but now I m beginning to see the appeal again, not least because you seem to get a lot of time off. Drivers working for National Express East Anglia

WHEN I was a little lad I wanted to be a train driver when I grew up.

In later years I went off the idea, but now I'm beginning to see the appeal again, not least because you seem to get a lot of time off.

Drivers working for National Express East Anglia have staged two 48-hour strikes in the last couple of weeks, with a third due to start today. Who wouldn't want a nice long weekend at this time of year?

"Members are not prepared to be the victims of the National Express franchise chaos and they are determined to fight for a decent pay rise and for decent working conditions," said RMT union leader Bob Crow by way of explanation.

I've expressed my displeasure at the privatisation of the railways on this page before, and would always defend anyone's right to strike. But on this occasion I think the train drivers are being totally unreasonable.

I'm sure we would all like a pay rise and better working conditions, but it must have escaped the train drivers' attention that we are in the middle of a recession. People are losing their jobs in all sectors of industry, and pay rises are few and far between.

Their selfish actions are disrupting the lives of rail passengers in the eastern region, and anyone who relies on the trains to get to and from work, or perhaps to attend job interviews, must feel very let down by their actions.

If they continue to strike, I do not think they will get much sympathy from the public.

The issue of Royston's pigeon population has flapped its mangy wings again this week.

Just as Royston First and North Herts District Council seemed to have come up with a sensible solution to rid the town of the problem birds, they run into more opposition.

This time it is from the pigeon control advisory service (PiCAS), who object to the use of hawks, which was approved at a council meeting two weeks ago.

I think it's a shame that as soon as progress is being made on this issue, someone has to come up with an objection which is bound to slow the process down further.

We've also had renewed sightings of the Crow Country big cat this week, so maybe there is an alternative solution.

If the big cat could be persuaded to venture into Royston and dine exclusively on a diet of pigeon pie, perhaps everybody would be happy!

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