Attracting Visitors Gets too Successful;- but not in the South East.

By | Category: Travel rumblings

Last December the state government of NSW in Australia decided to launch Family Funday Sunday. The idea was to bring more people onto ferries and into the city. To do this it cut the price a family ticket to just $2.50 (about £1.20). The Sydney Morning Herald reported that Sunday was already the most crowded day of the week for ferry rides so guess what happened. The ferries, already busy, couldn’t cope whilst trains and buses had loads of capacity but no discounted offers.
It got so bad that the last RiverCat to Parramatta (about an hour’s journey) couldn’t carry the last 100 passengers so they were left to their own devices.
The obvious change seems to give discounts on trains and buses and forget discounting the ferries. (although getting on the best harbour in the world on a gorgeous day is very enticing)
Now in London, we have a pretty expensive underground at £4 the minimum fare, a pretty expensive bus service (compared to Cardiff, Edinburgh, Birmingham, New York, Boston, Paris and almost another hundred or so places you could name). Last week Passenger Focus pointed out that train fares in Britain could be up to three times more expensive than places in Europe. In Los Angeles, last weekend I paid the equivalent of about 90p to travel on their underground service and the Metro in Paris is only €1.30
In the south east, we have almost the opposite of Sydney. We need to stem a falling tide of traffic on our trains and make it easier for tourists to get around but do we entice visitors with discounts at slack times. No we just have the equivalent of a cheap day return. And if you commute into London for a visit that gets expensive. From Guildford it is £15.90. Last week I got a single to Leeds from Kings Cross for £11.50
No chance of getting too successful in the south east with our prices is there?

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