Ten ways to fix our trains
Introduce a carrot-and-stick regime on peak pricing: if an operator wants to charge more than off-peak fares for a train, they have to hand over the extra to the Government unless independent monitoring shows the train to be at least 75 per cent full. Result: "peak" fares applied only when capacity really is the limiting constraint.
The last time I visited Germany, upon being quoted for a single journey, I then (stupidly) asked how much the return would be. The station clerk said: "It's double the price." The day "discounted" fares are eliminated and walk-up fares are reduced to a reasonable cost will be the day I start considering trains as a viable way of travelling around Britain again.
The root of the problem is multiple layers of management, all trying to profit from every activity.
"Grumpy Old Ben"
Animal attraction in Costa Rica
I am taking my nine-year-old son to Costa Rica next month, and we're even staying at Arenal Springs Resort. Thank you for the story.
Land of many colours
Rajasthan (pictured) is one of the most amazing places I have visited.
I would add that you need to allow enough time to travel slowly through the area to experience the place and the incredible people. Jaisalmer is the top destination for me, for its uniqueness and for the beautiful outlying deserts.
"Solo Female Nomad"
Return to La Gomera
I was on La Gomera four weeks ago. Local hearsay is that some German tour operators are dropping the island from their winter destinations as a result of the August and September fires. If this is accurate, it will be devastating for the island. People should still go. It is as beautiful as ever.