Fare hikes send the wrong message

WE are constantly being told that we are using cars too much and damaging the planet - but the latest round of rail fare increases will hardly encourage many people to leave their vehicles in the garage and let the train take the strain.

WE are constantly being told that we are using cars too much and damaging the planet - but the latest round of rail fare increases will hardly encourage many people to leave their vehicles in the garage and let the train take the strain.

Passengers from Suffolk heading to London have every right to feel aggrieved today as it emerges they are facing some of the steepest rises on the rail network.

Regular commuters will be fuming as they face season ticket price rises well over the current rate of inflation.

But where bosses at 'one' Railway may really feel a backlash is from the casual leisure traveller - the kind of person who may fancy a day out in London on a whim and finds that the cost of their ticket has rocketed by £2.50 - or 8.6 per cent.

It will take more than sugary adverts extolling the virtues of London that we already know to persuade people to spend a small fortune on a day out.

Travellers might well find it is more convenient - and cheaper - to drive down the A12 and catch a commuter train at Shenfield than spend a small fortune on rail tickets from Ipswich.

Most Read

Or they might decide to give London a miss altogether - and give the rail network the cold shoulder.

Of course the industry needs to earn money to invest in new trains and stations, but that should not all come from hard-pressed passengers.

Over the last decade the number of rail passengers has increased substantially, so presumably the marketing experts in the industry now feel that we are prepared to pay more for our tickets.

With price rises as steep as this, they may be in for a nasty surprise in the New Year.

A GENERATION ago almost all children were dragged - often kicking and screaming - to the dentist for six-monthly check-ups.

That had a dramatic effect on the state of the nation's teeth and general oral hygiene. The amount of tooth decay fell dramatically and those children who go to the dentists now generally don't need treatment and have no fear of the person in the white gown and mask.

So it is very sad to hear today that more than a quarter of children do not see a dentist regularly - and could be storing up tooth problems later in life.

Much of the problem could be the result of difficulties in recruiting NHS dentists, or it could be a lingering fear of dentists among their parents.

Whatever the reasons, they need to be addressed and we have to ensure that as many young people as possible get into the habit of the six-monthly check-up.

AMID all the gloom about the England football team, it is good to be able to bring the good news that the national failure should bring a revival in the fortunes of the Tractor Boys.

England fans may no longer be preparing for an alpine odyssey next summer - but Town fans can look forward to reaching the football summits of the Premiership!

Because as we reveal tonight, Town always thrives when England stumbles. So now when the fans chant: “The Town are going up” from the Portman Road stands, they can really mean it!

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter