Train prices in UK set to rise – AGAIN

Once again the train operators in the UK intend to raise their ticket prices yet again, and that well above the rate of inflation, in some cases in the South East of England and some groups of tickets well above ten percent.

Already now train travel in the UK – on long distances and short – is more expensive than is flying. While it is possible to fly from London to, say, Manchester for around £60 return, by train the cheapest rate is over £100 return. Does this make sense? Certainly not if this country’s government is serious about wanting to get people out of their cars and to have more people use public transport. If you make it more expensive than driving or flying this is NOT going to happen. Apparently this is not something the powers that be understand.

Or, and now I know that this would fall under the tag of “conspiracy theory”, is there something else behind this all? Are the powers that be trying to make it as difficult as possible for people to commute and force us all to live, once again, close to where the jobs are? If you cannot travel to work by car, the use of which is being made more and more difficult and it may, indeed, be a factor to environmental pollution, cannot, financially, afford to travel by train – or other “public” means – to work and it is too far to walk or cycle then, by simple force of mathematics the workers, white and blue color alike, will have to, once again, move back to closer where the work is. This means a return to the towns and cities where people can be monitored better. Just some food for thought.

If the government of this country is really interested in reducing car use and still being able for people to commute then there is only one way; cheaper train travel, on a nationwide scale.

In addition to that, in order to green the travel to work, we must have a proper cycle lane network. Not the gimmicky so-called “cycle lanes” that extend for a few yards to a few hundred yards and then, often, very abruptly end.

Furthermore we need to have a rail travel where we can take along, even on our journeys to work, the bicycle along, so that we can get from the railroad station to our place of work without the need of taking, say, a taxicab. Let's green our countries in the way of travel and transportation.

To sum up; the fact that the train companies are (allowed to be) putting their fares up, yet again, well above inflation, is not going to make for less car use, of that we can be sure. We must have cheap – not just cheaper – public transport, in towns and cities, but also across the nation. It does not make sense that I can fly cheaper from London to Manchester than using the train. This does not compute.

© Michael Smith (Veshengro), November 2007