More people are using railway stations for shopping and eating than to catch trains, independent research for Network Rail has revealed.
Trends consultant, Justin Bright was not surprised: “Their multi-billion pound upgrade programme to major railway stations has meant that many have now become ‘destination stations’. People are flocking to the concourses to meet over a skinny latte and buy Disney memorabilia. Rail tickets are so passé; trend-spotters, rather than train-spotters, now hang around under the clock at Waterloo to check out what teenage girls are wearing.”
With shopping and eating outstripping travel, Network Rail is looking at a permanent move away from the bother of having to run a railway. “It makes strong business sense” said an NR Commercial Manager, “our ‘Destination Station’ Malls have top-class infrastructure in easy-to-access city centres with comprehensive transport links.
“The Government would, of course, have to fund the construction of new stations nearby, but this would be more than offset by the income and sponsorship opportunities. We have already been approached to rebadge the passenger routes as ‘Subway by subway,’ and Innocent are keen to sponsor our ‘Fruit Crush Hour’.
“Our Charter obliges us to maximise benefit from taxpayers’ money. By selling off our rail business, we can maximise the benefit to us by taking more taxpayers’ money through over-priced sandwiches, souvenir shops and gaudy scarves. We are, of course, sorry for any inconvenience this may cause to future journeys”.