So this week, we hear that yet again rail fares are to rise at above inflation rates. Articles in today’s papers describe how some Govt MP’s are to challenge George Osborne on this because they fear loss of voters in marginal seats… (Guardian)
Personally I think there is cause for wider concern.
In this age when the roads are full to capacity, when we are supposed to think greener etc. what better way to exacerbate this but to price people out of taking the train instead. As if Dr. Beeching didn’t do enough damage to the rail network in the 60’s.
This will also hit the economies of our cities. In a couple of months time (although the rises are scheduled for January, the point is still the same), people will be looking to go Christmas shopping (yes, I know!!), ideally some people would like to visit London, or a local city, for a day out and shop as well. This year, and next, they will think twice about going due to the cost of getting there. For instance my stepson last year took the train and had a day in Bristol, this year he isn’t going because money he would have spent shopping will all go on the train fare to get there. If people in general did this it would equate to a loss for the train operator and the high street. His would not be an isolated case.
I’m guessing the price of fares has to rise due to lack of funds to subsidise the rail network and the ageing infrastructure, but if less people are encouraged to use the trains then we will still have to subsidise more anyway. Surely we should be encouraging people to use the train network, where possible, rather than hindering it and putting up prices more is definitely a hindrance, what we should actually be doing is cutting the fares, somehow…
I am not a libdem who thinks that everything green is the way forward, but surely this fare rise flies in the face of getting people off the roads!