No reason for the picture, except that it's a lovely day and pictures of strikes are a bit dull, so this is a statue called "The Meeting Place" on St Pancras Station. Nice...
On to business.
Here are the details of the upcoming fare strike. The point is not necessarily to try and dodge your fare, but to bring the company's attention to the number of us who are unhappy with the service, so please take part even if, like me, you're already a season ticket holder. Details follow from More Train Less Strain, who are the organisers:
"The stations known to be partcipating are Yate, Yatton, Bath, Oldfield Park, Frome, Oxford and Bristol. Other stations may also partcipate so be prepared to pick up a strike ticket wherever you are.
At each of those stations you can expect to be given a fare strike ticket and explanatory leaflet between around 7:15 and 8:30 am.The leaflet says as follows:
FARE STRIKE DAY 28 01 2008.
Our aim is to demonstrate to First Great Western that their passengers will not tolerate their expensive and unreliable service any more, and that the government must take back the franchise from FGW. To do this you can
1. Show your FARE STRIKE ticket to staff on the train and at the barriers instead of your proper ticket. (It is your decision whether or not you have a proper ticket and you could be breaking the law if you travel without one!)
2. Avoid confrontations with staff, they are on our side!
3. TV and press will be at many stations on the FGW network. Tell them what you think.
4. Send a FARE STRIKE ticket to your local MP and local paper and tell them that the time has come for FGW to go. Email the CEO of FGW and tell him what you think: firstname.lastname@example.org
HOW DO THE TICKETS WORK?
They look similar in design to a standard ticket. If the barriers to the patform are open we suggest you show this ticket rather than a valid ticket to gain entry to the platform. Once on the platform, we suggest that you show your strike ticket when requested to show a ticket by staff on the train or at the exit barriers.It is up to you whether you travel with a valid ticket in your back pocket. The law states that you should have a valid ticket. It is not our intention to defraud FGW even though some might consider they are generating unreasonable profits from us. Our aim is to generate publicty to highlight at a local and national level the failure of FGW to provide an affordable and dependable service. We anticipate that this in turn will make it harder for the Department of Transport to continue to turn a blind eye to the collapse of FGW's franchise.
WHAT DO WE WANT?
There is no party line. That depends on your politics. Some would say take the franchise back into public ownership, others would say hand it to a company who really can run a train service. Whatever you believe it is important that you make your views known to the media who will be out in force on the 28th and to your local MP.Whatever you do, please be polite and respectful of FGW 's long suffering staff.
Regards,The More Train Less Strain Team."