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To despair at the price of pubic transport?

(34 Posts)
LoverOfTheLight Mon 22-Jul-13 18:17:47

My friend has checked prices from Glasgow - Inverness on the train and for her and her husband it's £150.00 return. If she had a car she could fill her tank for £60.00 and that's for return journey too. I know this because I done the journey recently.

It's bloody shocking. Surely we should be encouraged to use public transport?

MrsKwazii Mon 22-Jul-13 18:52:01

If you travel at peak times they really do have you by the short and curlies grin

GinOnTwoWheels Mon 22-Jul-13 18:54:14

*Yes but to fill the tank for £60 she would also have to buy the car, tax it, insure it, maintain it.

So £60 isn't the true cost.*

Problem is that to put a car on the road, you have already paid about 80% of the cost of having it and running it. So you might as well use the car if you have one. You also have the added advantage of being taken door to door at the time you want to and the ease of carrying luggage.

And if you are unexpectedly delayed, you car won't turn into a useless piece of paper, unlike a booked in advance train ticket.

As well as being extortionatley overpriced, in my experience, public transport is generally slow and unreliable. And I don't think I have ever met a bus driver who is not rude and unpleasant. <waits for hordes of mumsnetters to wade in protesting that they/their DH/cousin's grandson is a bus driver and is lovely to all their passengers>

For public transport to be a realistic alternative to private cars, it needs to be more reliable, more frequent and much cheaper. In particular, fares need to the same whether you buy on the day or 3 months in advance. It's no good having to book weeks/months in advance in order to get a reasonable price. What happens if plans change?

lljkk Mon 22-Jul-13 18:54:30

Okay, taking things seriously:
Glasgow to Inverness is 340 miles by car (roundtrip).
It's easy to think of that as just £60, but the real cost with wear & tear on your car is probably around £150 (2.5x as much as the petrol cost).
That's without counting something like insurance or depreciation, but obviously those are incurred as long as you own the car at all.
Plus it's a more dangerous mode of transport and you can't work while driving.
or trim the lady garden even.

booking ahead is always cheaper. getting singles tend to be cheaper too. also when dh and i visit my dm, dh regularly checks what it costs to get to each station on the way (ie, instead of singles from newcastle to brighton... he will get singles from newcastle-birmingham birmingham-oxford oxford-brighton *please note i have no idea of the route from newcastle-brighton wink )

we can get single tickets (with booked seats) for £10-£12 each... instead of the £60-£80+ each

lljkk Mon 22-Jul-13 18:58:20

Typical running costs on modern small petrol car is close to 25p/mile. So that would suggest £85. The real cost will probably be somewhere between £85 & £150, anyway.

JosiePosiePuddingAndPie Mon 22-Jul-13 18:59:49

The company milage rate is 45p per mile because that's what it costs you on average to run your car for a mile, not because your employer wants to give you free money! So £153 for the round trip... That's the same as the train fare you quoted.

LoverOfTheLight Mon 22-Jul-13 19:03:33

Fair enough, I'm approx 30 miles south of Inverness and drove to Glasgow recently. It was £70 not £60, apologies. I put £40 in to get me there and topped up another £30 to take me to 3/4 of a tank. Still a good difference.

LoverOfTheLight Mon 22-Jul-13 19:12:01

Cheapest I'm getting is £50.50 too. Bit cheaper at least.

JsOtherHalf Mon 22-Jul-13 19:57:49

Moneysavingexpert has an excellent article on how to get cheap train fares:

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