Go by rail

By | Category: Travel rumblings

In less than a week we will have the annual increases which, this year, are set at 2.8%. Not everyone will face these as some will be higher but will any be lower?

There is no point in me labouring the value of rail, why fares are too high, why the system needs altering because everyone has an opinion and the mass media will trumpet stories about the increases far and wide.
So let me take a different approach.

The lack of rail promotions to encourage us to travel more or – at least – get out of cars and use the railways. But I hear you say, there are 2-for-1 offers for those going into London if they travel by rail, there are Club 55 for those reaching that age and £5 each way fares for Greater Anglia and £10 ones for East Coast but only for limited periods. There are senior railcards, young people cards and family tickets but couldn’t the railway companies be a bit more ingenious?

How about discounts on underused services to get us to travel on them? How about discounted fares on particular services that are underused? What about copying the frae that is available to some Pembrokeshire residents and having a fare applicable to travel anywhere in just that county? Why couldn’t a destination link up with a train company and offer a reduced fare and entry to some attractions if you travelled on, say, a Wednesday?

What both trains and destinations want is more visitors and customers. Or do they? I was told years ago that Cambridge didn’t really want any more day-trippers- there were too many; they wanted overnight stayers. Some railway companies always seem to have standing-only services like Virgin’s west coast line. In the south of England, platforms have been lengthened ready to take ten coach trains instead of the eight that currently exist. But that is for commuter trains in the rush hour.

For those who can be flexible, how about both destinations and train companies being more ambitious? Even after the fare increases it might encourage us to travel more

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