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most expensive railways in europe to get even more eye-wateringly so

(15 Posts)
edam Tue 16-Aug-11 19:53:38

Ruddy government is putting fares up by way over inflation - up to 13%increases for 3 years in a row.

kittensliveupstairs Wed 17-Aug-11 07:24:19

Which is why me and DD are going to London on the National Express coach.

EdithWeston Wed 17-Aug-11 07:45:18

British Rail was de-nationalised many years ago.

The Government didn't put the fares up, the rail companies did. The Government sets a cap to limit rises (on certain protected routes, at least). And it provides a huge amount of our money to subsidise the railways.

Why are the railways such a money pit?

edam Wed 17-Aug-11 22:18:38

The government did - the announcement is that they, the government, have raised the 'cap' on regulated fares so companies can put them up by between eight and 13 per cent. God knows how much unregulated fares will rise.

People like Kitten are being priced off the railways. Which is bad for the country as a whole, with all sorts of knock on effects in terms of the environment, pollution, traffic congestion and accidents.

We have a horrible mix of civil servants micro-managing the railways and private companies extracting fat profits. It now costs more to build a sodding footbridge than it did to re-open an entire station in the days of British Rail, as a result of inflation caused by privatisation, with multiple contractors all extracting their pound of flesh.

Neither the civil servants nor the directors of the privatised companies actually give a toss about railways, never mind the poor bloody passengers. In the days of British Rail, they were starved of resources, but at least the people who ran the railways and the workers, actually understood what they were doing and took pride in their work.

edam Wed 17-Aug-11 22:21:04

And bollocks to the idea of 'subsidy' - we have the most expensive railways in Europe. The government doesn't talk about 'subsidising' the roads, does it? It's only public transport that is treated entirely as a cost rather than essential infrastructure that delivers social and economic benefits. (Unless it's a vanity project like the high speed line to Birmingham.)

EdithWeston Wed 17-Aug-11 22:26:52

Has the change to the cap yet come into effect?

"The Government has recently changed the annual price rise formula from RPI inflation plus 1% to RPI inflation plus 3%. After privatisation and until 2004, regulated fares rose by RPI -1%. This then changed to RPI +1% and 2012 will be the first of three years of RPI +3%" (from the Beeb).

It looks as if we're still on the 2004 formula. But it is all still a dog's breakfast.

EdithWeston Wed 17-Aug-11 22:28:53

In 2010/11 government funding was £4bn, with fares from passengers amounting to another £6.6bn.

(Hadn't realised "subsidised was a loaded term, sorry).

edam Wed 17-Aug-11 22:44:26

Oh, it's OK, it just does my head in, it's so twisted. Apparently spending money on roads is good, on railways or buses it's bad.

Change to the cap comes in at New Year, I think. Thing is, people can't afford to live in the Cities where most of the jobs are - many are being forced to live further away and travel in. But then are hit with swingeing fare increases of way above inflation - and we all know that wages are flat, at best, and certainly not keeping pace with price increases.

EdithWeston Thu 18-Aug-11 00:39:20

It does seem mad - if the consequences are more vehicles on the road, more congestion, more carbon etc.

The trouble is, if you start going on about improving the railways you're very close to sounding like Mussolini......

Pedallleur Thu 18-Aug-11 10:12:53

The UK has a strange attitude to rail - Thatcher hated it and the road lobby was powerful. Places like Switzerland/Germany, well Europe, don't expect it to make a profit, it's a vital tool for moving goods/people in large volume across borders and distance. Now it's privately run it's about max.profit for minimum outlay.

Solopower Thu 18-Aug-11 22:26:32

Edam, agree 2 zillion percent. It's so easy, cheap, and mostly pleasant to travel by train on the continent. And our distances are tiny in comparison to Spain for example.

Bring back British Rail - wouldn't that be wonderful!

ElaineM67 Fri 19-Aug-11 16:00:46

Yes, it's incredible and I always wonder how it's possible that Britain is trying to promote itself as this great green nation that is concerned about its people, yet we seem to have the worst, unreliable (a "bad" kind of rain? One millimetre of snow? Everything falls apart!), expensive and slow railways in Europe!

A lot of countries now have modern, high-speed and inexpensive trains, while Britain is seriously lagging behind and shows no sighs of improvement.

mrskbpw Fri 19-Aug-11 16:26:04

Oh don't get me started. I live in the suburbs of London. I pay £180 a month for my train ticket. A rise of 8% will take it up to £194 a month.

I never, ever get a seat. Sometimes - roughly once a week - I can't physically get on the train home because it's so crowded. Several times a week one part of my journey goes wrong, the train is cancelled or delayed, or the tubes are up the spout.

I can't commute in a different way, because there is no different way. I can't drive into central London. I can't walk. I can't even cycle because it's 15 miles and there are no showers in my office. They've got me over a barrel and it stinks.

edam Fri 19-Aug-11 21:49:24

I feel your pain mrskb. I pay £4k a year for my season ticket and struggle to get a seat - some mornings I'm lucky, most evenings I have to stand. That's after 30 minutes standing on the tube. And all too often the trains are delayed.

The tube one that irritates the hell out of me is when you are on a train and it gets held at a station 'to regulate the service'. WTF? I'm really sorry for the people behind, but we are already ON a train which was working perfectly fine, is still working perfectly fine, and we need to get to work - let's just GO, shall we, London Underground people? No, apparently not, we have to stand there, sweating and getting later and later, because there's a problem behind...

edam Fri 19-Aug-11 21:50:01

(And I'm lucky that my work does a season ticket loan so I can buy an annual season, if I had to buy monthly it'd be even more extortionate.)

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