Wednesday, 11 April 2007

Charging trains

Hm. I've just been checking out the price of the train fare to go to my sister and the cheapest return fare is £45. That will be more than the cost of the petrol, and in addition my husband will have to drive me 15 miles to and from the station and my sister will have to drive 9 miles each way, and there will be the fare across London too. And it will take at least an hour longer.

There seems to be no incentive at all to use public transport rather than the car, does there? I know there's the wear on the car tyres, but I'm not sure that this is enough to sway me.

And if going by train is not the most economical option for one person, how on earth would a couple or a group of friends justify it?

I think that every MP should resolve, for a year, to use public transport, the Health Service and state education and, in the case of the transport, should pay for it out of their own pockets. And I mean public transport, not taxis, unless there is simply no other way, such as transport to or from a station to somewhere not within a mile of a bus route. Furthermore, they should have a child in a pushchair with them on at least one journey in ten, and be confined to a wheelchair for a similar proportion of trips. They should receive no special treatment or queue-jump, nor go First Class. Those who live in a city should exchange places with country dwellers for half the year.

This is not suggested as a punishment, just so that they understand what it's like for the rest of us. I think things would improve very quickly.

13 comments:

PI said...

I'm sure I've said it before but it really is worth looking into National Express. Not just for the money -it's so much pleasanter,

Z said...

Thanks for the thought, Pat, I'll check it out. It depends how near it goes to my sister - I know I can get a coach from Norwich but she's working in Shaftesbury on Friday morning and I can't make her drive miles.

Z said...

Unfortunately, although the coach would go from my town to Gillingham which is the same town as her railway station, it will take over 10 hours (including a long stop in London, which is fine) and cost £54.50. Which is about the same as the train, including travel between stations and is a very long time to sit in a coach with the prospect of driving from Wiltshire to the tip of Cornwall the next day. I'll bear it in mind another time though, especially to go to London.

Four Dinners said...

Old Two Jags using public transport? Bliar using buses??? You have a magnificently bizarre imagination. I like it. I'll read some more.

Ta f'rt'visit babe

Z said...

"If I ruled the world" tra-la-la ... I'd make a law that the higher you climbed, the more simple your lifestyle had to be.

I'm not destined for high places, am I?

And thanks for visiting, you are very welcome

Z said...

Of course, my way of life would have to be simplest of all

Chairwoman of the bored said...

Katy went to Bristol for the day yesterday. The return fare (2nd class) was around £120.

Today I noticed that the fare from Stanstead to Belfast is £29 single. And you're always guaranteed a seat on a plane.

National Express? I really don't recommend it. Uncomfortable and somewhat smelly.

Z said...

It's a shocking price if you don't book ahead, isn't it. But it isn't always possible to specify trains and, for goodness sake, if public transport can't be convenient it should at least not be more expensive than a car.

Boy on Top travels first class to work (bless him) and he still doesn't get a seat.

Dandelion said...

Wow, z, what an amazing idea! It certainly gets my vote.

Z said...

You're determined to vote for me, aren't you, Dandelion. That makes me feel most cheerful.

I did stand for election once, as a parent governor. I was, indeed, elected.

--Sunrise-- said...

Ma'am... I am with you.. let them see what it is like for us poor sods... :>

Pah.. you are right, there does seem to be very little incentive to go on public transport... so expensive. Jeez!! Drives you crazy... and it keeps increasing slowly, and before you know it - you're paying 20p more than you used to for the same bus fare - and you see no 'better' sevices!! Aaaarghhh!!

So much for trying to cut down on CO2 emissions - pah...

Z said...

Hello, Sunrise, what a lovely name to choose.

Of course, if you asked a government minister why it's so expensive to use public transport, he'd say that petrol is far too cheap and want to put the price up. But I suspect the extra money raised would all go on his and others' increased expense accounts.

badgerdaddy said...

It cost me £95 for a return to Newcastle.

Shocking. Five hours on the train, each way.

£95. This year, I learn to drive.