No coffee at the station?

What is it about our train service providers? I have been told that the railway industry are going to remove the newspaper and coffee shop at the station in Wokingham this November, with no replacement until the new station is complete.

Many travellers like the service the shop provides. They want a coffee and a paper in the morning as they leave for work. I will write to these monopolists and ask them to think again. Not content with putting so many people in a traffic jam thanks to their chosen way of operating level crossings and putting ticket prices up so high for train travellers, now they wish to worsen the service further by removing a friendly service at Wokingham station. I presume it is because they do not provide it themselves.


  1. Paul Danon
    September 25, 2012

    Aren’t they more likely to remove it if they provide it themselves? Monopolies (state or private) care little for the public. It’s businesses working a real market that want to serve.

  2. Paul
    September 25, 2012

    Made me laugh. It sounds like a comment left by a mailonline reader.

  3. Simon
    September 25, 2012

    Odds on their justification will include the phrase “health and safety”.

  4. David Jarman
    September 25, 2012

    If I only lived around the corner I wouldn’t mind making one for you but i wouldn’t do the same for my own MP, Oliver Heald. You’re one of the very few politicians who seem to remember you represent the public and are happy to communicate with those who aren’t even in your constituency and that is appreciated.

  5. Sue Doughty
    September 25, 2012

    Maybe someone with a mobile shop will turn up in a neighbouring bit of pub car park for the duration?

  6. TrevorC
    September 25, 2012

    Aren’t stations and station facilities under the control of Network Rail, that somewhat unaccountable to no one, publicly-funded organisation that runs the railway infrastructure, lines, signalling, crossings etc to great effect.

  7. Barry
    September 25, 2012

    You can always rely on the consistent behaviour of the train service provider.

  8. Dan Course
    September 25, 2012

    Proper startup or campaign opportunity right there, open up a coffee wheelbarrow outside the station get money for a few months while WHSmiths and Costa move in.

  9. Mike Stallard
    September 26, 2012

    This is actually a fairly serious remark by our host. Yesterday in London, while waiting 45 minutes for a train in King’s Cross, I was delighted to find a friendly and helpful pub where the manager was there supervising in a most positive way and making sure everyone was happy.
    Travelling is a lonely occupation for most people and a touch of human kindness really makes a huge difference.

  10. frank salmon
    September 26, 2012

    The monopolists are of course the government and network rail. The price paid for a ticket is almost half of the real cost of the journey. Surely the coffee shop is profitable? If it is not, it ought not to be there under any circumstances. Why should non coffee drinkers subsidese those who won’t pay the required amount?

  11. Bob
    September 26, 2012

    Rail passengers are treated like cattle in this country.
    If the government have £32bn to splash on HS2, perhaps they could consider investing something on making out stations a little more humane.

    At my local station the passengers have to stand like emperor penguins on an unsheltered platform in mid winter with the snow and the rain blowing into their faces. In the station building there is an old Lyons Tea Room with (the sticker sign still in the window) being used as a storage shed by a second hand furniture dealer. How much imagination would it take to arrange that the tea room were leased as a facility to serve the passengers rather than a storage unit for something unrelated to the movement of passengers.

    Also, for anyone wanting to cycle to the station, there is nowhere to leave a bike with the knowledge that it will be there upon your return.
    Which is why most people try to use the bus, which usually departs prematurely as the train from Liverpool St pulls up to the buffers, and the passengers come out of the station exit just in time to see the bus pulling away leaving them to wait another 30 minutes for the next bus, by which time another two train-loads of cattle will have arrived.

    I feel sure that the government could sort these issues out if they wanted to, but they don’t appear to care two hoots.

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