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Just booked a rail ticket to the airport en route to spend the new year with my fiancee in the US. For the outward trip (York to Manchester Airport), on a weekday between Christmas and the New Year, the advance purchase single fare was £16. For the return trip, on the same day a week later, the same category of ticket was £18. I make that a 12.5% rise - between two and three times the rate of inflation. I'm willing to pay it because there is only one person travelling, and therefore petrol and airport parking together would have cost a lot more.

A brief look at Transpennine Express's website reveals similar price rises across all categories of their advance purchase (read: unregulated) fares that appear to kick in at the new year. At first I thought that the rise was especially high because the advance fares I bought were first class, and therefore no-one is going to attract bad publicity by imposing inflation-busting price rises on first class seats. Let's face it, Polly Toynbee is going to look a tinsy bit silly if she writes a Guardian editorial whining about that. But I then checked the standard class equivalents ... and they've gone up by DOUBLE that of the first class ones, from £8 to £10 (25%)! It seems that a £2 rise has been imposed on all the advance purchase fares for this journey.

What I find interesting is that they're slipping these price hikes in under the radar. Doubtless the new year headlines will state something like a 5% rise in the regulated fares and it'll pass without much comment. But these full-price tickets are only bought by commuters as season tickets and public sector workers on expenses in any significant quantity: I would guess that the overwhelming majority of medium- and long-distance journeys are now made on advance purchase tickets such as the ones I've just bought. At least one train company has already implemented fare increases of five times the rate of inflation, yet none of the MSM appears to have picked up on this.

Surely fare rises like this are going to cause significant demand destruction before long? If it had been a family of four making this trip in December and let's assume for argument's sake that it's standard class, then this would represent an increase in the bill from £64 to £72, which could make the difference between the train being cheaper and driving being cheaper. After all, unlike food and domestic energy purchases, the majority of long-distance rail travel is for leisure and discretionary.

Edited by The Ayatollah Buggeri

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The only good thing about my impending unemployment is I won't have to pay the rail ticket to leeds anymore (where's the fingers grossed emoticon), I can't remember the exact figure but when I started there 10 years ago it was something like £100 a month and is now £180 (a steady 5% year on year). It had been getting to the point where the long bus journey would have been prefferable. It may just be my mindset but the printing devaluing sterling was close to pushing me off the trains and has already caused me to reduce gas and elect consumption and all general discressionary spends, so basically the BoE is pushing up prices and making companies price themselves out of the market place for me at least. Stagation enters stage right, more printing to try and offset and hyperinflation.

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isn't it justthe case that the cost of petrol makes railways implicitly more competitive, so they raise the fairs because they CAN; if they lose market then they will lower them again

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The Olympics put rail workers in a position to be able to blackmail negotiate.

Someone has to pay for that.

A "groundbreaking" pay deal has been agreed for thousands of Network Rail workers.

It includes a 10% rise over two years, a £500 lump sum for those working on projects linked to next year's Olympics and an agreement which unions said means that no-one can be dismissed during the Games.

The Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union said the package of pay and rewards recognised the important role transport workers will play during the event in London, which opens at the end of July 2012.

Signallers, engineers, customer service staff and other NR employees will receive a 5.2% pay rise this year, backdated to January, and a further rise of RPI inflation plus 0.5% from next January, which the RMT said totalled more than 10%.

In addition, NR employees working on contracts affecting the Olympic Games will receive an additional £500.

The RMT said there had also been an agreement on a disputes procedure for the period of the Olympics which meant no union member can be dismissed, although recognising their right to withdraw their labour.

RMT general secretary Bob Crow said: "This is a groundbreaking offer that gives Network Rail staff more than 10% on the basic between now and next year and which also puts a further £500 in their pockets for working shifts during the Olympics. "

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/groundbreaking-pay-deal-for-rail-workers-2281787.html

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My daughter tells me it's possible to get the coach from M/cr to Leeds (or reverse) for £2 if you're looking to save a few quid. You'll find the train from M/cr to the Airport is of course much more than that though.

Even Maggie didn't want to privatise the trains, which says it all.

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My daughter tells me it's possible to get the coach from M/cr to Leeds (or reverse) for £2 if you're looking to save a few quid. You'll find the train from M/cr to the Airport is of course much more than that though.

Even Maggie didn't want to privatise the trains, which says it all.

the natrional express route over the pennines competes extremely well with the trains, the M62 being engineered 100 years later and better than the parallel train route, I often get the coach from Leeds to Manc or Liverpool this route, it is arguably more comfy than the rail route as it does nto stop as often and serve intermediate stops

national express themselves do indeed have some excellent advance coach fairs on this route, I can confirm

I don't know about connecting to the airport, I assume there must be a coach connection frm the coach station in piccadily (near) to the airport, have to check the national express website

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Even Maggie didn't want to privatise the trains, which says it all.

According to Private Eye in the 80s, she had a deep seated hatred of the train system, which helped lead to a switch from rail freight to juggernauts.

There's a passing mention of this dislike in this Guardian article.

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Surely fare rises like this are going to cause significant demand destruction before long?

You would have thought so, but rail fares are already beyond the reach a large chunk of the population. A first class, fast-train, peak ticket to an airport I occasionally use costs more than a taxi would over the same distance. The cheapest way of getting there by public transport is in the region of a third of the cost of a taxi (if booked in advance rather than found at the airport).

I find it surprising that a peak-time return ticket to London can cost over £50. This is for a journey taking about two hours in total. So it costs roughly what someone on the minimum wage can earn before tax in a day. You need to be liable to HR tax before you can pay for that train journey in less time than it takes.

I would expect the cost of energy needed to keep the trains going to be small compared to the wage bill. If so, the system must be horrendously inefficient if it still needs to be subsidised when it already charges enough to employ the workforce for longer than the traveling public spend on the trains. Indeed, it seems the train companies would not need the subsidy and could make a profit by subcontracting the transport operation to a fleet of taxis carrying four passengers each (obviously, only if the passengers were willing to accept the longer journey time, but then there is still enough slack to pay for the car and the driver to sit in the traffic jam, and then burning highly taxed fuel).

Despite all that, the trains are crowded . I always feel a lot poorer when I notice just how non-exclusive the sort of earnings that allow you to travel on trains are :-) Or that there are enough people traveling who want a £5 cup of coffee that it makes sense to employ a trolley dolly to sell it :-)

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the natrional express route over the pennines competes extremely well with the trains, the M62 being engineered 100 years later and better than the parallel train route, I often get the coach from Leeds to Manc or Liverpool this route, it is arguably more comfy than the rail route as it does nto stop as often and serve intermediate stops

I must admit that this didn't occur to me, though I'd be very surprised if there is any coach leaving York at 2am (the time of the train I'm booked on, to get to the airport in time to check in for a 5.45am flight). One of the few things that can be said for those transpennine trains is that they do run throughout the night.

I don't like trains either, but for this trip they appear to be the most convenient and cost-effective option. Another part of my thinking is that there may well be bad weather creating road difficulties at that time of year (though of course that may create rail difficulties, too). The rationale behind paying the extra £14 for first class is that the outward trip is at 2am on a Saturday morning, hence the likelihood of a train full of p!ssheads, and the return trip is during an evening rush-hour, hence the liklihood of no seat and difficulty in stowing luggage in standard.

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I must admit that this didn't occur to me, though I'd be very surprised if there is any coach leaving York at 2am (the time of the train I'm booked on, to get to the airport in time to check in for a 5.45am flight). One of the few things that can be said for those transpennine trains is that they do run throughout the night.

I don't like trains either, but for this trip they appear to be the most convenient and cost-effective option. Another part of my thinking is that there may well be bad weather creating road difficulties at that time of year (though of course that may create rail difficulties, too). The rationale behind paying the extra £14 for first class is that the outward trip is at 2am on a Saturday morning, hence the likelihood of a train full of p!ssheads, and the return trip is during an evening rush-hour, hence the liklihood of no seat and difficulty in stowing luggage in standard.

oh goodness yes - at that time of night 1st is great

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The Olympics put rail workers in a position to be able to blackmail negotiate.

Someone has to pay for that.

Rail fares going up , up and up has been going on long before there was even a wisper of the Olympics.

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According to Private Eye in the 80s, she had a deep seated hatred of the train system, which helped lead to a switch from rail freight to juggernauts.

Uh, no. Repeated strikes by the Glorious People's Rail Workers led to a switch from rail freight to juggernauts. If Joe's Trucking goes on strike, you just call Bob's Non-Union Truckers and send your freight with them, whereas if you send freight by train and the Glorious People's Rail Union goes on strike then you're screwed.

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Rail fares going up , up and up has been going on long before there was even a wisper of the Olympics.

Yeah, where I used to work I'd go into London for an evening by train and in the ten years I worked for that company the cost of a ticket tripled while inflation was supposedly around 2% a year. Needless to say, I travelled far less at the end of my time there than I did at the start.

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one other thing - if weather is looking dodgy then they seem to turn a blind eye to getting an earlier train than your advanced purchase infers, hour or so, but they are pragmatic since yoyu have a flight checkin to make

also good idea to make sure travel insurance considers this possibility of missing flight owing to land connection, and under what circumstances

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Speaking to some friends who live in St Albans last weekend - they pay £8k a year in train fares as a couple and £18k in childcare for their baby.

£26k a year just to get to work and pay someone else to raise your child!

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the natrional express route over the pennines competes extremely well with the trains, the M62 being engineered 100 years later and better than the parallel train route, I often get the coach from Leeds to Manc or Liverpool this route, it is arguably more comfy than the rail route as it does nto stop as often and serve intermediate stops

national express themselves do indeed have some excellent advance coach fairs on this route, I can confirm

I don't know about connecting to the airport, I assume there must be a coach connection frm the coach station in piccadily (near) to the airport, have to check the national express website

Does it? Maybe city to city. Just checked on National Express website from Huddersfield to Manchester. The price is fair enough, just over £4 return, but takes a horrendous four hours and goes via Sheffield! :rolleyes:

On the other hand a coach leaves Huddersfield bus station every night at just after 11 and arrives at Victoria around 6.20am. Costs a very reasonable £16 for a return.

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one other thing - if weather is looking dodgy then they seem to turn a blind eye to getting an earlier train than your advanced purchase infers, hour or so, but they are pragmatic since yoyu have a flight checkin to make

also good idea to make sure travel insurance considers this possibility of missing flight owing to land connection, and under what circumstances

In the case of bad weather, road traffic colliding with rail bridges (known officially as a "bridge strike" or colloquially as a "bridge bash") and other delays to services, train companies issue notices of "easements", i.e. the official policy on whether passengers holding tickets for specific services can use their tickets on trains at other times or on other routes, including those of other train companies, and which ones.

I'm not a train anorak, I just know quite a few and, you know, you tend to pick things up;

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Does it? Maybe city to city. Just checked on National Express website from Huddersfield to Manchester. The price is fair enough, just over £4 return, but takes a horrendous four hours and goes via Sheffield! :rolleyes:

On the other hand a coach leaves Huddersfield bus station every night at just after 11 and arrives at Victoria around 6.20am. Costs a very reasonable £16 for a return.

National Express or Megabus from major cities to London is usually far cheaper than the train. It takes longer, but the difference in price can be massive.

Travelling by coach on other routes often involves very long journeys, zigzagging around the country, if it's possible at all.

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According to Private Eye in the 80s, she had a deep seated hatred of the train system, which helped lead to a switch from rail freight to juggernauts.

I suspect that is yet another one of these stories about Mrs Thatcher that isn't true but gets repeated until everyone thinks it is true.

rail goods traffic.

Spot a dramatic "Thatcher effect" in the above graph? No me neither.

There's a passing mention of this dislike in this Guardian article.

Guardian writer blames Thatcher for all the world's problems shocker.

Edited by the shaping machine

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National Express or Megabus from major cities to London is usually far cheaper than the train. It takes longer, but the difference in price can be massive.

Travelling by coach on other routes often involves very long journeys, zigzagging around the country, if it's possible at all.

I think I could tolerate 7 hours on a coach to London, especially as its overnight and little over £16 return!

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Yeah, where I used to work I'd go into London for an evening by train and in the ten years I worked for that company the cost of a ticket tripled while inflation was supposedly around 2% a year. Needless to say, I travelled far less at the end of my time there than I did at the start.

Well the statistics say you are in the minority:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/travel/article-607572/Rail-passenger-miles-reach-peace-time-high.html

Why can prices rise? Because the trains are bascially full. We need to invest in more capacity. High Speed 2 is a good start but apparently the world will end if we do that and all the green land in england will turn into a swamp filled with vampires.....

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Why can prices rise? Because the trains are bascially full. We need to invest in more capacity. High Speed 2 is a good start but apparently the world will end if we do that and all the green land in england will turn into a swamp filled with vampires.....

It already has except they are usually called home owning NIMBY's.

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Speaking to some friends who live in St Albans last weekend - they pay £8k a year in train fares as a couple and £18k in childcare for their baby.

£26k a year just to get to work and pay someone else to raise your child!

that's net, and you only get tax relief by way of childcare vouchers on the first £500 a month of childcare. So it's costing them £40K of earnings or so.... I suppose what you have to look at is a) what they are earning to be doing this and B) the balance between being there for their baby and the extra 20 plus years of retirement that working like this brings....

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  • 284 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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