Sunday, 1 January 2012


       The new year for most here in the UK will mean more of the same as last year, “austerity cuts” price increases and rising unemployment. Those who still have a job and have to travel will be hit again on the 2nd January as rail fares are set to rise by an “average” of 6%, no doubt making some think, “is the job really worth it”. If they take a look at what we in the UK have to pay to travel on the rail network and compare it with what those in the rest of Europe pay, then it might be easier to answer that question.
    The following eye-popping information is taken from an article in the Evening Times 30 December 2011.

TEN times bigger!!!

    SOME UK rail commuters facing 6% average fare rises next week are already paying almost 10 times more for season tickets than their European counterparts.
     Figures released today show the price of a 2011 season ticket from Glasgow to Falkirk, which is around 22 miles, would be £1956. A ticket from Woking in Surrey to London, which is the same distance, including Tube travel in the capital, is £3268.
     Yet a similar 22-mile journey from Velletri to Rome costs Italian season ticket holders just £336.17, say the Campaign for Better Transport (CBT). Similar journeys of around 21-24 miles in other European countries reveal that rail travellers on the continent are paying far less for their trains.
     According to the CBT figures, which include the equivalent of multi-modal travel tickets on each city’s underground systems, an annual season ticket for the 24-mile journey from Ballancourt-sur-Essonne to Paris costs £924.66. The cost of a season ticket on the 21-mile Strausberg to Berlin route is £705.85, while the 22-mile Collado-Villalba to Madrid trip costs Spanish season ticket holders £653.74. 
     From January 2, UK regulated fares, which include season tickets, are rising by an average of 6%. The average for all tickets is 5.9%. And the Government still plans annual rises of RPI inflation plus 3% for January 2013 and January 2014.
      CBT’s public transport campaigner Sophie Allain said: “Even we were shocked by how much more the UK ticket was in comparison to our European counterparts. “If the Government is serious about promoting economic growth it must look at reducing planned fare rises.”

     With these figures it is obvious that rail travel in this country is fast becoming the prerogative of the wealthy, you know the type, friends of the Camerons etc.

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