What can we do about First Capital Connect?
Blimey, I don't know. The objective of this site is to point out that the franchise model is flawed and that the flaws are being thoroughly exploited by - in this instance - FirstGroup for the benefit of the company and its shareholders.
It's clear to me that the cost per mile of a journey by train needs to be below the equivalent car journey cost. I would NOT have thought this needs to be pointed out in 2009.
:: Dull personal detail alert ::
For instance, tomorrow, even though my girlfriend and I have spent £257 on monthly tickets (yes, that IS each) the total cost of getting to work for us will be £25.70 (£257*2/20).
Should I have chosen to drive (50 miles return that's 2ish gallons of petrol - call it £10, plus £8 'congestion charge' - free parking where I work) I would be £7.70 up on the deal. Every day.
:: Dull personal detail over ::
This is so wrong. First Capital Connect expects me to pay over £3000 for the privilege of going to work every day.
This is just not good enough. Pay about €3000 in Germany and you get to use every single bloody train in the country. You get to:
Go wherever you want to throughout the German rail network, which is A LOT BIGGER than the one in England
You travel whenever you want to as well with no Elaine Holt-style peak restrictions there
You even get to use the 300km/h (186Mph) Inter City Express (ICE) trains (above), which come complete with:
:: free WiFi Internet access,
:: VIP lounges,
:: free travel for your children (four of them)
:: you even get your baggage collected from home. for free.
The overall difference is clearly embarrassing.
The UK's shabby franchise model prioritises providing income for the Treasury and the likes of FirstGroup and its shareholders. It is not good enough and needs to change. Now.
Here are three things YOU can do about First Capital Connect now:
...to this site below and help build a public record of data re: First Capital Connect
...the I hate First Capital Connect Facebook group
I've also emailed both Lord Adonis email@example.com asking him to treat the current disruption to services as a breach of the franchise and demand that he serves immediate notice to terminate the franchise agreement with FCC.
I've also emailed my local MP (errr... that would be Anne Main: firstname.lastname@example.org - don't see her on the train much). I haven't had any response from either of them
I know you can do better.
First Capital Connect Comments
Right. The first thing we can do is gather data so here's your chance to help.
Any comments you have, any suggestions, ideas, or just memories, dreams and reflections re: First Capital Connect - even if you want to say how great the company is, what an inspiring management team is at the helm and what consistently excellent performance you've seen (ie: if you're a shareholder) just drop them in here:
you do NOT have to login
you do NOT have to leave your real name
you do NOT have to leave any email address
Ah go on, you know you want to...