YP Letters: Ideas to create a more positive attitude on Northern rail

How can rail operator Northern improve its image?
How can rail operator Northern improve its image?
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From: Paul Brown, Bents Green Road, Sheffield.

THINKING about presenting a more positive attitude to local rail travel, I would like to suggest that come the school holidays there could be a joint promotion between The Yorkshire Post and Northern.

My suggestion is to offer coupons to collect in the newspaper offering free off-peak travel for accompanied children on local stopping train services during the holidays.

Perhaps Northern could offer a small gift, like a cuddly toy, to very young children who travel?

You could also give a few students a holiday job acting as rail ambassadors on the trains. None of this would cost very much and it could create a much more positive public attitude to the rail companies.

One obstacle to this sort of promotion is the rail franchising system.

At present any rail operator who improves the efficiency of their service runs the risk of having to pay a larger fee when the franchise is due for renewal. In effect any improvement in efficiency carries the risk that the government will tax it at 100 per cent through increased charges.

This is not my idea of private enterprise.

Perhaps your regular correspondents may like to comment on this issue.