Our councillors occasionally pretend to have an influence over bus and train operators but in practice I suspect they are virtually impotent so I wont dwell on the new train timetable which came into force yesterday. Commuters will have grappled with it for the first time today. My 1988 timetable was never thrown away and comparison is interesting. More than 22 years ago the fast weekday off-peak service from Charing Cross to Abbey Wood took 27 minutes and today a modern train with the benefit of faster acceleration and devoid of the hindrance of slam doors, running over the same route with the same stops takes 34 minutes. Thats a 26% increased time. The fastest train home from London Bridge took 19 minutes and the exact equivalent (almost the same departure time, same route, same single stop) takes 23. 21% longer. The new timetable offers intermediate stations an advantage in terms of service intervals but if you have the impression you might be quicker on a bike, then you are not far wrong.