Cheap fares – so no new trains …. Except in London! ….

Posted on December 6th, 2011, by The Chairman

Last October and not for the first time a Government Minister has talked about fares in Northern England being far behind those in the rest of Britain making it difficult to justify new or extra trains.  Transport Minister Teresa Villiers brought this up again in her speech in Leeds last October – click the link in the 3rd paragraph in …. 

…. and look at the 3rd paragraph of page 3 in Teresa’s speech.

Peter Walker from the County Durham group, Coastliners, has written to Railfuture to say that he had come across this argument before, so he’s conducted his own research.  He says “As you see, it hardly bears out what she said or indeed what anyone else has tried to claim about North/South fare variations.  As in all these matters, it depends where people look.”

Here are just a few of Peter’s fare comparisons based on the cost of a standard off-peak single ticket (arranged in ascending order of distance): –


Billingham – Hartlepool 7.25 miles £2.80

London Bridge – Streatham Common 8 miles £2.00

Manchester Piccadilly – Cheadle Hulme 8.25 miles £3.20

Leeds – Bradford 9 miles £3.10

London Kings Cross – New Barnet 9.25 miles £2.60

Manchester Victoria – Mossley (Lancs) 10.25 miles £3.20


There’s interesting!

So next time we hear someone in prominence coming up with this, perhaps we should ask them for evidence to justify all their new 350s, 377s and 379s whilst we carry on with (even more) 142s.

Please leave a comment

  1. Peter Says:

    What about Knutsford to Northwich? That’s £4 single and must be around 10 miles.

  2. Jen Says:

    There are some big hikes to Metrolink City fares from the Mid Cheshire line next month.

    For Knutsford to Metrolink City an Anytime Day Return up from £8.20 to £9.20, that’s a 12.2% increase. While for Hale to Metrolink an Off Peak Day Return increases 50p from £4.10 to £4.60 which is also a 12.2% increase.

    The smallest increase I’ve noticed so far is a 20p increase to the £4 Knutsford to Altrincham Off Peak Day Return which is a 5% increase.

  3. Mike Battman Says:

    BBC is reporting a 5.9% rail fare increase next year..

  4. Jen Says:

    Mike: 5.9% is the average fare increase allowed for regulated fares. Operators are allowed to increase a popular regulated fare by double that and then freeze an unpopular regulated fare as long as their average increase works out at around 5.9%. In January this year Knutsford to Chester fares got reduced and Knutsford to Manchester fares saw a big increase.

  5. Mike Battman Says:

    Jen: Yes, I agree.
    It wasn’t meant to contradict your post, just highlight the spin on the story

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