Rail Fares up & the Merry-go-Round goes on

By | Category: Travel rumblings

For a lot of people today is the first day back at work and here in the south east, the snow may not help despite the fact that we have no more than a couple of centimetres of the stuff.
What will annoy people is the annual party every year when rail prices increase. I thought Anthony Smith of Passenger Focus made a good point when he said that supermarkets are cutting prices, airlines are cutting prices yet rail companies are raising them.
This year, lots of forecasters are saying that Britons will holiday at home. Not everyone wants to take the car and the train is the obvious alternative, even more so for days out. Even with family passes, youth passes, day returns and all the other available discount schemes, it still is expensive and out of kilter with other forms of transport. Let’s say I fancied going from London to Canterbury to see the cathedral for the day. A cheap day return has gone up by 6.3%. But if I wanted to go to Bristol the day return fare hasn’t gone up at all.
Soon I have to go to Glasgow. Does the train company really believe I am going to pay £271 for an open ticket or even £108.80 for a day return? Not on your life. I’ll fly because it will be cheaper.
The regulator approved these prices. The government set the price rise formula for the regulator to use. Passenger Focus objects as it does every year and ATOC (Association of Train Operating Companies)justifies it as it does every year saying that the government has said that the subsidy should drop by 40% by 2014.
But this year we have a bonus. We will have an extra 265,000 trains to go on. Shame we won’t be able to afford them for our holidays. Looks like the car again!

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