• Travellers’ tales 24 October 2018 | View comments

  • 24th October 2018 | By David Jolley

    Somehow we are all so much more visible, and vulnerable, when moving from place to place. Police programs show us how rogues and worse can be identified by a combination of their bad driving and information linked to registration numbers. Those who offend in this one aspect of life are often up to mischief elsewhere too.

    This week both of us travelled by rail on different days to East Anglia – It is an awkward journey which requires travel from West to East and back, and North to South and back. The trains go a long way – too and from the South Coast through London, from West to East coast via Manchester. On both days there were delays because: ‘A person has been hit by a train’ – many miles away, but fusing the system from one end to the other for hours.

    This gives time to reflect on the sadness and desperation which individuals must have felt to end their lives in this way. Suicide rates in the UK, having fallen for some years, have latterly been rising https://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/feb/19/number-of-suicides-uk-increases-2013-male-rate-highest-2001 Such deaths may be related to personal illness and circumstances, but the general increase might well be linked to other measures of chaos within our community in the grip of cuts to basic services and the publication of stories which make these widely known https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/apr/09/rise-in-violent-not-due-to-police-cuts-alone-figures-show.

    Other deaths on the go related to an elderly driver and his wife, driving a caravan the wrong way down a motorway only days after being involved in another accident: https://www.birminghammail.co.uk/news/uk-news/elderly-caravan-driver-who-drove-15296155.

    These are dreadful, dreadful events. It is not possible to dismiss them as random and unrelated. We surely should expect changes to our services to return to a safer more civilised state.

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