When we think of Railway we often think of busy train stations in big towns filed with city slickers. The necessity of rail travel is as important as ever as the public relies on the system heavily in their everyday life. Whether it’s commuting to and from work or travelling cross country, rail is a way of life to many. The reliance on rail doesn’t necessarily spread out to everyone, however, as more and more rural communities are beginning to find out. Those located in smaller towns and cottages have been forced to adapt over the years. Finding transportation to the nearest train station 30 minutes away can be inconvenient, to say the least. Having to change line two or three times to reach a big city station, comes at a cost. Closure, unprofitability, dereliction, logistics. These are a few but not all of the reasons as to why rural communities have felt the effect of declining rail options close to home.
Isn’t Money Better Spent on Highly Populated Areas?
An interesting question which sparks lively debate. On one hand, you have those who feel that bigger cities transport links are already on the decline. In terms of the level of service, safety, punctuality and condition of facilities, many feel the public rail industry needs improving. On the other hand, you have rural communities who feel their necessity and reliance on the system is being ignored. They feel that their access to employment, education and leisure is already limited and their concerns continue to fall on deaf ears. Where ever your opinion lies, the underlining issue is that the rail industry is in need of investment and improvement. When compared to countries around the globe, the UK public transport leaves a lot to be desired and people are beginning to speak up about it.
Road and Rail Issues
The railway industry cannot please everyone. That is the reality of the situation. Traditionally, UK Network Rail has never been able to serve every rural community which is understandable. The problem, however, is in that there are some places in the UK that are more than 20 miles away from a train station. Rural inhabitants have been forced to get in their cars which has resulted in the roads of these communities becoming overpopulated. Perhaps the solution lies out with the rail industry. Could more be done to make bus services, park and rides, cycle lanes more accessible to the public? This is a step in the right direction but far from the end goal. As congestion on the roads continues to rise in rural communities, questions are being continually asked of those in charge of rail strategy. As long as the rural communities continue to be ignored, the issue will always be there. Who knows, the little, quiet towns may be forced into making sure their voices are finally heard.