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To think that public transport should be the cheaper option?

(67 Posts)
KirjavaTheCat Thu 26-Jun-14 09:22:35

Train and bus fares are mindblowingly expensive, in most cases it's cheaper to drive now. When did that happen? Wasn't there a time, not so long ago, that if you wanted to save on petrol you'd take the bus?

We don't drive, we get around by walking. Bus fares are shockingly expensive, we don't even entertain the idea of using them. It costs us £11 to travel 15 minutes into the next town by train. DP does this every day for work. It is crippling.

With the train operating companies posting hundreds of millions of pounds in profits it's hard to see why fares are constantly on the rise, for such a basic and essential, not to mention environmentally friendlier, public service.

AIBU to think that it should be the cheaper option, and not something families and commuters should have to spend up to a quarter of their salary on every year?

500smiles Thu 26-Jun-14 09:24:45

YANBU, I don't use public transport much but when I do I'm always shocked at how costly it is - £3.20 to get the 4 miles into town IIRC

TheBloodManCometh Thu 26-Jun-14 09:27:26

YANBU. It's £30 return to London from my local station which is in the midlands and about an 1 he journey.
If they lowered it the they'd quadruple their sales as people would commute - house prices are so much cheaper here.

StarSwirl92 Thu 26-Jun-14 09:29:37

YANBU but this is what happens when you privatise a necessity.

LaurieFairyCake Thu 26-Jun-14 09:30:25

I think it's completely ridiculous

My famous anecdote is thinking about booking 2 returns to Blackpool by train £1100 - yes, 11 hundred quid!

So 40 quid petrol or 1100 on a train - just for the audacity of travelling on a Friday and booking within the week

goats Thu 26-Jun-14 09:31:40

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

DoJo Thu 26-Jun-14 09:31:58

YANBU - We recently worked out that it would be cheaper to drive into London, pay the congestion charge park illegally and be fined than it would to both go down on the train. Not to mention we would be able to come back when we wanted to rather than having to rush back for the last train home.

Any government that is serious about encouraging use of public transport over cars will need to make it a genuinely attractive option rather than allowing it to be a costly inconvenience.

fourforksache Thu 26-Jun-14 09:32:51

Yannu, we end up getting cabs because the combined fare is less than half the bus fare.

Daisby Thu 26-Jun-14 09:33:28

YANBU at all. Totally agree. My 17 yr old DD has to pay £3 to get to school, 2 miles away. When I add the cost of my son's bus fare into it as well (£1.20 as he's under 16), it's cheaper to drive every day rather than let the kids get the bus there and back. So we do, and clog up the roads. Madness.

I would rather they got the bus tbh, easier on us in the morning, and they have a better time with their friends to and from school!

hellsbellsmelons Thu 26-Jun-14 09:33:29

It is crazy.
Bus journey for me 4 miles into town is �2.50 or more maybe.
If there are 4 of us going there it's much cheaper to get a taxi.
If 2 of us want to go into london (25 mins away) and have an all zone ticket in Londong it's �20 each. So �40 before you even start to spend money up town.
It is nuts!

Stinkle Thu 26-Jun-14 09:34:04


Our bus fares are eyewateringly expensive - £4.25 each way to the nearest town. We can't buy return tickets, only 1 day rover tickets which are £8.50 - fine if you're travelling a fair distance or have to catch more than one bus, not fine if you're just nipping to town and back.

I can drive in and park for 2 hours for less than the bus fare, when there's more than 1 of us travelling it makes even more sense to drive.

Plus the fact that I don't have to walk to bus stops or lug around shopping bags, there is absolutely no incentive for me to get the bus.

Our buses are extremely infrequent and completely unreliable to boot

notaflamingclue Thu 26-Jun-14 09:36:28

Recently I travelled to London from South Wales. It would've cost me �150 on the train. Bus not even an option because of how long it took. It cost me about �65 in petrol and the Severn Bridge.

Even if I'd booked in advance it would've been no cheaper than driving. Plus the added palaver of getting from Paddington to Waterloo, then out again to Wimbledon.

Why the hell would you bother if you didn't have to?

Gileswithachainsaw Thu 26-Jun-14 09:38:39

Yanbu. Thankfully we have options of buying weekly and four weekly tickets however they aren't interchangeable with all bus companies and given my routes use two different companies it bloody adds up I tell you. When dd2 turns five it's going to be an extra £70 a month for me

Canidae Thu 26-Jun-14 09:42:13


I used to always get the bus but the fare increased to £3.30 one way for just going 3 miles. I just drive now.

gordyslovesheep Thu 26-Jun-14 09:44:02

Yanbu - when we go and visit my mum she always wants to go on the bus/train/ferry - she has a free pass - it costs us £15 - it's cheaper to drive and park!

ouryve Thu 26-Jun-14 09:45:06

I'm about to take DS1 the 5 miles into our nearest city by bus. It will cost £10.50 return for the both of us. It's £6.90 for just me. It's a far whack.

I worked out that I would have to make the journey on my own 3 times a week for the cost to break even with the cost of owning and maintaining a (cheap) car, plus fuel, plus parking, though. Parking alone is £2.60 for 2 hours in most of the city centre carparks.

spegal Thu 26-Jun-14 09:49:46

Trains have always been expensive buses haven't.

As the price paid for each journey on the OAP passes has been cut (from 100%, to 70%, and they are talking about 44% next) they have increased prices to cover costs.

ElephantsNeverForgive Thu 26-Jun-14 09:52:38

Birmingham from here is just about break even, for one person with the outrageous city centre parking prices, and wasn't too bad for me and the DDs.
But now DD1 is 16 it doesn't make sense.

London is stupid and I believe our buses are too. ( it's 3 miles to a bus stop, so I've never bothered finding out)

GuybrushThreepwoodMP Thu 26-Jun-14 10:04:50

YANBU. I live in a city which is commutable to London in about an hour. The train is more expensive and takes longer than driving. Trains should be cheaper, there should be more congestion charge to encourage people to drive less.

caroldecker Thu 26-Jun-14 10:08:56

2 things:

What law of nature says it should it be cheaper? I suppose I am asking why we expect it to be cheaper.

The cost of the car is more than the petrol, in fact most is depreciation in the value of the car. The AA estimates a £10,000 car will cost £2,000 a year. If you travel 5 days a week, that is around £8 a day.

The bus and train companies have to factor this into fares, but none of the above examples do.

glasgowstevenagain Thu 26-Jun-14 10:38:13

2 miles as a 17 year old - approx 25 minutes to walk

hellsbellsmelons Thu 26-Jun-14 10:52:25

I think most of us have carol
Petrol only works out to about 15-20p per mile (if you have a decent car and not a gas guzzler)
But I always work out trips based on 40-45p per mile.
So my 4 mile journey only petrol would be approx 0.80p. But I always use at least 40p so it works out at �1.60. Bus journely is still over �2.50 one way. So still waaaay more expensive. Nearly 40% more.
That is crazy!

KirjavaTheCat Thu 26-Jun-14 10:52:43

I suppose, really, because it doesn't have to be more expensive - but it is. The prices rise and so do the profits, while the service we receive doesn't seem to improve. In fact, overcrowding on trains is a HUGE issue that doesn't seem to be addressed.

maninawomansworld Thu 26-Jun-14 10:55:03

Public transport is ridiculously expensive and the service is beyond awful (especially if you live in the sticks).

I went to London the other week to see dsis and looked at the cost of a train. They wanted over £140 for DW and I to get a train from our village station (which in itself is 6 miles from us so we'd have to drive there anyway). Once in London we'd then have to get a tube on top. Total journey cost would be approaching £160 and travel time would be approx 4 and a half hours.
We jumped in the gas guzzling landrover and were there in 3 hours. Fuel cost for the return journey circa £60 (so imagine if we'd had an economical car).

And they wonder why people won't get out of their cars!

Crinkle77 Thu 26-Jun-14 10:58:59

I agree. Single bus journeys cost a fortune. When people complain to the bus company they just tell you to buy a monthly ticket but when you are only doing a few journeys you won't use it enough.

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