I’m not fine about the fine

We could use the £2 million Railtrack have been fined in so many more imaginative ways to improve our daily commute…

So, Railtrack have been fined £2 million quid for screwing up the works at London Bridge station, which resulted in ‘chaos for commuters’, who were delayed, frustrated, squashed, a bit frightened, and forced to tut loudly and shake their heads in despair.

I was there. It was a shambles. But fining them feels so pointless. It’s also, frankly, a double insult: Railtrack screw up. Me and thousands of other passengers were the ones who had our evenings buggered up. Yet it’s the treasury that pockets £2 million.

I suggest the following: Yes, make them pay the money. But not to the treasury. To us, the passengers. With the brief of ‘make travelling from London Bridge just a bit nicer, to make up for the misery you put everyone through’.

Imagine what you could do with £2 million quid. Just imagine.

Based on the fact that about 75,000 people a night commute from London Bridge, you could do the following:

  1. Hand out £20 notes to every single person, and still have change left over to take everyone who catches the last train home out for a kebab.
  2. Pay for everyone who normally travels to London Bridge to get a taxi home for one night.
  3. Give everyone a free glass of champagne every night for a week.
  4. Make Boris Bikes free to use, for everyone, for six months.
  5. Have an army of massage therapists on standby with those fold-up back-rub chairs to give free back rubs until the money runs out (I reckon you’d get about a decade of back rubs for your money).
  6. Hire artists and poets to just hang around and cheer the place up by painting the buildings, reading poetry etc.
  7. Run a competition, only open to London Bridge commuters, to come up with other imaginative ways of spending the money to cheer us all up…

I reckon it’d be incredible. You know that sudden sense of community you get in a tube carriage when the driver actually says something human or funny over the tanoy? That suddenly-I-can-make-eye-contact-with-my-fellow-passengers-and-actually-life-isn’t-quite-so-shit-as-it-sometimes-feels? It’d be that. On a massive scale.

The Government would get to rap the knuckles of the screwer-uppers. Yet we’d all feel the benefit.

I can’t see why we’re not already doing it…