Sunday, 16 August 2009
The Train now standing.............
I am quite a fan of Grand Central trains. The Hartlepool to London Service is a little Gem which we should all support when we can. If Grand Central were able to get approval for a fourth daily train, leaving London about 7.00pm, then the service would be just about perfect. One thing I have noticed however is the increasing frequency with which the train tannoy crackles into life with a barrage of announcements to advise passengers that for their "comfort and safety" they must not smoke or use mobiles in the "quiet carriages" and should take "a minute or two to read the safety information provided".
I actually like to travel in the "quiet coach" when I can. No beeping of mobile phones, no loud conversations from the next seat about who is doing what to who or who is sleeping with who, or even about who is next for eviction from the Big Brother House, the Celebrity Love Island or the Jungle, etc. The provision of WiFi meaning the little Netbook comes out, log on and off I go. Alternatively I read some papers, twitter or even blog. However, the peace of the "quiet Coach" is regularly disturbed by the Train Guard's announcements. If I'd thought about I suppose I'd have assumed it was like the Air Stewardess doing the "put the life jacket over your head and tie the tapes at the side in a double bow. Do not inflate your life jacket until you are outside the aircraft" speech, it has to be done but no-one listens after the first few dozen repetitions.
What I have learned today however is that the train companies are assaulting our ear drums because of European Union Regulation. Yes, the EU is even regulating how often and on what subjects our Train Guards should be communicating with us. Train companies are compelled to bombard us with this useless information by EC Regulation 1371/2007 on "rail passengers' rights and obligations", under the European Commission's "third package" on "further integration of the European rail system".
One of the subjects the Lib/Lab/Con politicians keep quiet about is just how much of what goes on in Britain these days is due to the orders of our real government in Brussels. Unfortunately keeping quiet is not something Train Guards are now allowed to do. So next time you are on a Train and the Tannoy is telling you that "Smoking is not permitted anywhere on this train" and "For your safety and convenience smoke detectors are fitted in the toilets" just remember, its nothing to do with your safety and convenience, its about the EU regulating just one more detail of your life!
Actually I suppose we should be grateful the announcements are only in English! i would think it's only a matter of time before Train Guards need to speak 27 Languages!