Rail travel ‘too expensive’

THE vast majority of people surveyed recently believe rail fares in the UK and the especially the South East are too expensive. What a surprise – NOT.

Ninety-five per cent said we pay too much for rail travel, compared to just five per cent who said tickets are reasonably priced. The latter ones must be, I am afraid, living in a dream world or even cloud cuckoo land.

As previously mentioned in another article, when one can fly cheaper from London to Birmingham return – and cheaper by over £100 – then something is not adding up.

Southeastern rail company announced that regulated fares, such as season tickets, would go up by an average of 6.8 per cent while unregulated fares, such as cheap day returns, have been increased by 4.8 per cent.

They claim that they have to increase the fares in order to improve service. This, yet again, does not add up.

There is a bus company from Devon that can offer a non-stop bus service twice-daily for less than £20 return to Exeter while by train the same journey off-peak would cost about £80 or such. No one can tell me the coach operator is making a loss on this run so why do the train operators claim they have to have such high fares.

They think of their shareholders and the high dividends and the fat salaries of their directors. Time this was changed and maybe even time to denationalize the railroad system, entirely, once again.

© Michael Smith (Veshengro), December 2007