Rail, coach and ferry operators cashing in

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

Rail, coach and ferry operators have raised their prices in the wake of the volcanic ash disruption to air traffic; up to double the ordinary ticket price.

AS soon as something like that happens, it would seem, the worse comes out in the money grabbers in those industries, and they will fleece the traveling public as much as possible.

Having so many sitting ducks as they have now with people stranded in European holiday destination where they have been for the Easter vacation unable to get back home those mercenaries have found a way of really cashing in.

In a radio interview on Sunday morning on BBC Radio 4 an executive of Sea France was quite proud of the fact that prices are now double of what they were before the ash crisis and his excuse was “but we have had to put on more crew and more vessels”. Yes, and? Would not the fact that all those people need to travel be enough if they'd just pay the ordinary rate?

It is the same as when the fuel companies put up prices as soon as the wholesale price increases but, when the prices fall they take ages to pass the savings back on to the customers, if ever.

Alternatively the oil companies simply keep vessels anchored at sea fully laden, thus creating a shortage and being able to maintain the price at the pumps.

Honesty and integrity seems to be something sorely lacking in most branches of business.

The Prime Minister Gordon Brown warned rail, coach or ferry operators against trying to exploit passengers desperate to find alternative methods of travel. But, as can be seen, they care nothing about what the Prime Minister says nor what anyone else says. To them this is a god-sent opportunity to make extra money.

Airlines are presently pushing to be able to conduct test flights as to whether the ash would affect them. KLM and Air France, by the afternoon of Sunday, April 17, 2010, claim to have conducted successful tests and want to start flying again immediately.

In my view this is going to put lives at risk for all the companies are thinking about is the money that they are losing while the planes are grounded.

True that we are having problems with imports when the heavies, the freighters cannot fly, and also some fruit and veg come in the holds of passenger planes, and that both airlines and processors are getting in financial straights and the supermarkets have empty shelves – proving yet again that we need to seriously look at food security – but the ash from the volcano could end up bringing a plane or two down despite the successful tests. What then?

It is all being done in the name of profit. We must consider serious change in the way we live.

© 2010