I had a great night in Manchester last night performing at the Laughing Cows Comedy night. So hello to everyone from there.
Trying to arrange travel and accommodation was a little less fun. I may well post later on the horrors of National Express and Hotels.com, I'll wait until they reply (if they do) to my complaints. In the meantime I discovered yet another reason why privatising the rail service was an unforgivable error.
The two most popular flight destinations from London are Manchester and Paris. It should be easy to cut CO2 emissions by converting those flights into train journeys. With airports being out of town and the time required to check in, it is easier to do either of those journeys city centre to city centre by rail in 2hrs (Manchester) and 3hrs (Paris).
Except on a Sunday when the Virgin-run trains to Manchester don't take two hours - they take 4 hours. That's because they send all the trains via Birmingham, not direct, to pick up extra passengers and make them more profitable. Really. So people who want to save the planet have to waste an extra two hours of their lives. And of course the tickets aren't any cheaper for the extra two hours of inconvenience. Isn't it obvious we should tax airline fuel and make it a condition of the rail contract that full-speed trains run every day?