Rail companies have been fined pounds 4m over late trains or trains with too few carriages. John Prescott, who is in charge of transport, said it was "unacceptable" that the performance of many UK train operators still continued to be worse than last year

Why Trains Are Crap

Invertebrate with tiny feet

An alien designed your seat

Who never had an earthling's back

Or travelled on a railway track

But probably commutes to work

By bearing down like Captain Kirk

The things controlling rush-hour trains

Were fitted out with faulty brains

Quite adequate for twin-tub driers

Or children's toys with rubber tyres

But not for anything which needs

To get to London, Bath or Leeds

The beings in charge of railway grub

Must meet on Saturn in a pub

And then decide at final bell

That passengers can go to hell

So price at one pound eighty-three

A pack of nuts and cup of tea

Comedians from Betelgeuse

May well have hoped to be of use

By dressing Connex staff like prats

In blue and yellow gendarme hats

Then brightening up the weekday rush

By making sure the loos don't flush

A creature known as Thargon Vektt

Is probably the architect

Of what they do on train breakdowns

For transport in Venusian towns

But what he mostly does for us is

Rustles up a fleet of buses

A gaseous mass which orbits Mars

And hates all trains but mates with cars

Is currently controller for

Our transport police and law

He's not the most enlightened chap

And that is why our trains are crap.

Martin Newell