The recent announcement that rail fares are set to increase yet again was met with disbelief, commuters already struggling with the cost of travel are to be hit in the pockets again.
Rail travel in Britain is in some cases up to ten times the cost of fares on the continent, for example a season ticket from Woking to London, inclusive of tube costs £3,268 whilst a journey of the same distance in Italy costs just £336. Shocking.
The graphic below shows how rail fares have increased over inflation since 2004.
Using the example of a friend we have, he and his family moved from Kent to Lincolnshire a few years back for a quieter life, he commutes into London every weekday for work which is a bit of a mission in itself, 2.5 hours each way if all connections run well.
He currently pays £7,800 a year for his season ticket and this recent announcement which could see the cost of that same ticket increase to £8,500 has left him wondering whether he can actually afford to come to London to work anymore. A local job could be an option but there’s not much available for his skill set and being in his early 50’s a new career is probably not an option either.
So what does he do? Does he continue in vein struggling to keep his head above water, struggling to put food on the table or does he simply give up and join the ranks of those on benefits. Free cash for no effort must be looking very attractive to a lot of people that are struggling due to similar circumstances…if this government isn’t careful it will allow the rail companies to price people out of commuting, those people will then flood into already stressed local job markets…wages would fall, tax contributions would decrease or be lost altogether as would their rail fare contributions meaning that even more burden is placed on those that do plough on..
Quite simply we seem to be heading towards a society which is better off being supported by the government…I’m not sure how a society of that type would end up but we at Biccies know one thing….it won’t be pleasant.