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Train Fair?

I normally get a weekly or monthly train ticket so I don’t really pay much attention to the daily cost of my journey.

However I have a week off work starting Sunday so it was not worth my while to renew my weekly ticket so I made the purchase of a day return and was flabbergasted at the £8 asking price.

To put this in context, my train journey is a total of 10 mins (14 on the stopping train) and a distance of only 14 miles when driving, much less on the straight train line.

Now whilst this is about a ¼ of the price I would pay for a taxi for the same distance, if i was to share it with 4 other like minded travellers I would actually be 60p a day better off., and I’d have a seat!

What is even more frustrating is that I can travel in the opposite direction, to Basingstoke on the same train line, with the same train company, at the same time for £3.60 less despite it being 3.5 miles further in distance, worse still if I was to get the train via Guildford a journey that would take me 4 times as long, mainly due to connections rather than travel time, and 4 miles further in distance I would again be £2.20 better off.

To top it all off if I was to travel a meagre 1 hour later then the last possible train that I could get and still just about make it to work on time, my ticket would be all but halved, on the same train and this time with ability to sit down!

The entire “peak time” charge for trains is outrageous, it’s nothing but money grabbing opportunism, it doesn’t cost any more to run the train before 9:30, in fact in a lot of cases there are less carriages, therefore my journey in itself is less enjoyable and is a lower standard of service.

Add to this the fact that almost without fail you can bet on the fact that either your outgoing or returning train will be delayed or cancelled on a daily basis what are we paying these people for?

But unfortunately we have no choice, there isn’t another mode of public transport to compete,  and give us the opportunity to vote with our feet, whilst the petrol cost of driving is without doubt going to be less the insane parking charges make the journey at very least comparable, and in a majority of cases undesirable. Busses are dependent on a route being available (in my case there isn’t one that I’m aware of) and in terms of time due to the constant stopping take insane amounts of time to cover such a short distance.

Transport Unions are often striking, generally at the most disruptive times possible to ensure that their cause effects the most people and therefore generates the most media coverage, I say perhaps it is time that us the commuters do the same.

Perhaps it’s time we call a national strike against the ridiculous prices that we are expected to pay for the worst service in Europe.

People of every walk of life, in every profession use the trains to commute to work every day, I am pretty confident that the effect of every single commuter failing to attend work on a set day would have a far bigger effect on the economy than any transport worker strike.

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  1. Cathie
    May 18, 2012 at 9:44 pm

    Tomorrow I’m going to London on a course, I’m claiming the travel expenses, but they’ll be saving around £20, the fare has almost halved, ridiculous! I’ll still be travelling at 7.30am as well.

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