Sophie Heawood: Who needs a seat on a train anyway?

The thing is...
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The Independent Online

The thing is, I do not need an in-flight magazine, luxury wi-fi coursing through my veins and two-for-one Wensleydale and Cava wraps with every smoky bacon-flavoured latte when I get the train from London to York. I mean, don't get me wrong, in another scenario, these little smackerels could make a person's world go round.

But when your world has already been whirled around by the ticket price (somewhere between 80 and 300 quid unless you're clever enough to go online for the 10 quid ticket deal and actually find the 10 quid ticket – you know, the one that's available for one specific early-morning slot up the East Coast in three months' time) – and said ticket is for a journey that lasts only two hours – and you're not even guaranteed one of the nice stripy seats – well you probably won't be pleased to hear it's just been announced that inflation will push these prices up by eight per cent next year. This is intolerable. It's time to get back to basics, and introduce austerity measures to rail travel. Make all the tickets 10 quid, no matter when you book. This is how.

First of all, I plan to strip out all the luxury stripy seats. Not to replace them with anything – we can all just sit on the floor and get to know each other a little better. Such enforced socialisation will, inevitably, lead to the passing round of home-made sandwiches, anecdotes about hospital waiting lists, and a shared wonder at how David Cameron still has the face of a smug butler waiting for a slap. This new-found sense of community among strangers will in turn will lead to fewer riots, leaving more room in our overcrowded prisons for phone hackers. (Already, I have solved half of the country's problem with the simple removal of chairs.)

Then, once seated on the floor, we will reduce the train's fuel needs by helping it with the business of locomotion. It is not for nothing that I failed all three of my science GCSEs, so bear with me while I iron out the fiddlier aspects of this, but it's fairly clear that if we all lean to one side while going round a nasty bend, hold our breath while going uphill, and clench our buttocks while jolting into a station, the train's fuel consumption will be slashed dramatically.

Third, most of our phones come with built in sat-nav nowadays, so we can all take it in turns to drive the thing, cutting down on staffing. For 10 quid a ticket, you really can't go wrong.