Another year, another fare rise

Discussion in 'Fares Advice & Policy' started by NSEFAN, 13 Aug 2013.

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  1. yorksrob

    yorksrob Veteran Member

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    Unfortunately, it does rather arbitrarily discriminate against the unattached section of the population.
     
  2. Andrewlong

    Andrewlong Member

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    Difficult to compare the world in 1996 and 2013.

    I would bet you that you would still get annual fare rises as the government cuts funding and tells BR or its replacement to fund the shortfall.

    I am not against changing the way we run our railways but don't necessary believe that simply going back to BR would solve the issues.
     
  3. oversteer

    oversteer Member

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    Out of interest does the 11% against leasing - quoted by the BBC - include maintenance or is it simply the cost of the trains?
    Seems a huge percentage if its just the finance cost, surely a large proportion of rolling stock should be well paid for by now.. Or is that ROSCOs making money by not doing much?
     
  4. Goatboy

    Goatboy Established Member

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    Yea, good luck with that. If you are booking less than 2 weeks to go you'll never get anywhere near that, infact XC Advances on this route are often barely cheaper than the walkon fare. Plus many people go away for the weekend - I do - I can forget XC Advances at ANY price on the train I use most often. It's walkon, a combination of split tickets or the car. Currently, the train wins - just - because my split combo is the same price as the car but I don't need to faff with driving. If it gets much more expensive, the balance swings.

    They are already paid - sunk costs. The VED and insurance bills is paid whether you leave the car in the station carpark or drive it to your final destination. Only marginal cost matters unless we are arguing you could sell the car and just use trains.

    Even if they were not, since when was VED and insurance £15 a day?! That'd be £5.5k a year! Perhaps if you are 17, insuring a Supra Turbo, but for Mr Average, a 37 year old accountant from a leafy suburb, thats so OTT its laughable.

    I used actual mpg not published MPG (I agree, published MPG is rubbish). A midsize family diesel hatch will easily get about 45mpg on an Exeter to Birmingham run.

    It doesn't cost £110 to drive a Golf diesel or something from Exeter to Birmingham and back, inclusive of parking. Infact it doesnt even cost half that.

    Unless you get a good deal on an Advance (Which, on some routes I agree, is a very easy thing to do, but others not so much) or you get creative with your ticketing then medium and long distance rail is very often noticeably more expensive than using the car if there are two of you and not much cheaper, if at all, if there is one of you.

    Obviously there are occasions when the train is cheaper - when I find them, I'm very happy and I leave my car parked on the drive and take the train. I like travelling by train. But these occasions are becoming rarer which in a world of £1.40 a litre fuel is just bizarre.
     
    Last edited: 13 Aug 2013
  5. Dave1987

    Dave1987 Established Member

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    And how do you know that for a fact?? You seem to have sold yourself a pipe dream that a nationalised railway is automatically going to be better.

    The roads are nationalised and are falling to bits because of a lack of funding to repair them. How to you know the railways wouldn't go the same way??
     
  6. Goatboy

    Goatboy Established Member

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    The funding for the repairs to the railways is already publically provided so whats the difference? :p

    The rail network isn't a true private enterprise at all, it's a massively state funded and government directed enterprise with private sector players in it.

    The taxpayer has never paid as much to the rail network as it currently does.
     
  7. NSEFAN

    NSEFAN Established Member

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    Perhaps that's why we're seeing the level of improvement that we currently are? A good railway is always going to cost lots of money to run, no matter how efficient it is. Who runs it is irrelevant, what matters is how well the money is spent.
     
  8. Dave1987

    Dave1987 Established Member

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    Network Rail is a seperate company from the DFT.

    The taxpayer pays for infrastructure improvements, I don't see how that would change under the BR banner.

    Still waiting for the pro BR people to show that the modern railway would defininately be better under BR. All I'm hearing is it def be better because it just would. If you are so so convinced you must have some evidence to prove things would defininately be better.

    If it could be shown that BR would def improve things I would be all up for nationalisation but at the the moment it is all just waffle!
     
  9. jon0844

    jon0844 Veteran Member

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    The M6 toll road is in pretty good nick and a great road to drive on (if a little costly). Oh wait, that's privately run isn't it!
     
  10. yorksrob

    yorksrob Veteran Member

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    Without wishing to open a can of worms for our motorist chums, is it the private ownership of the M6 toll road that leads to it being in pretty good nick - or rather is it more to do with the unique way in which travellers pay for it through a system of tolls <D
     
  11. Dave1987

    Dave1987 Established Member

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    If I am ever driving from North birmingham to south birmingham I will use the M6 toll because as you say the road is lovely and smooth and its gets you away from all the lorries and queues around near bescot. It isn't cheap but its certainly worth it. Anyway back on topic.......
     
  12. jon0844

    jon0844 Veteran Member

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    I used to skip the toll road as I didn't want to pay out of principle, but what an idiot I was when I realised what I'd been missing.

    But back on topic, given all the money being spent now - where would the savings come from if we renationalised? A bit less to the TOCs? Big deal.

    The only way a return to BR would save the tax payer money would be to cut back on projects, surely?

    Loads of money is being spent now, after decades of neglect but I am sure we could axe all of it and struggle on with the existing stock and stop upgrading stations and infrastructure. And forget about new lines.

    After all, aren't those arguing for a return to BR claiming it would save billions and return the tax payers subsidise to pre privatisation levels.

    If not, they're really just looking to cut private companies out of the loop, which suddenly won't save anywhere near as much (in my opinion).
     
  13. radamfi

    radamfi Established Member

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    I suspect that if railway lines were franchised out with gross cost style management contracts like London Overground and German regional trains, with BR or similar body setting fares and timetables, then privatisation would be not be so controversial.

    As for the M6 Toll, it doesn't have much traffic, and it has a particularly low number of HGVs using it, so it is relatively easy to maintain.

    Some of the motorway network is privately maintained so are effectively private motorways as well. It is just that the Government pays the tolls ('shadow tolls')
     
    Last edited: 13 Aug 2013
  14. furryfeet

    furryfeet Member

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    I suspect the latter - which leads to hardly any lorries using it.
    Hence the lack of wear and tear on the road surface.
     
  15. heisenberg1203

    heisenberg1203 Member

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    On a day where a 4.1% rise in fees was announced, I arrived at the train station this afternoon, having checked that my train was running on time. One minute before it was due to arrive, we were notified that it was running 15 minutes late.

    I could have waited and been late for work due to the trains again but got a taxi instead. I realise issues can occur that cause certain problems but this happens all too often on the Manchester/Warrington Bank Quay to Liverpool line. My girlfriend lives in the East Midlands and I've never experienced as many delays/cancellations when there. If Northern Rail is anything to go by, I'm sure they'd find it difficult to justify the fare rise.

    As far as I'm concerned, a rise in fares is necessary at times but surely this will prove to deter people from using trains. Shouldn't we be doing the opposite, encouraging more people to use their cars less?
     
  16. island

    island Established Member

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    My point was not trying to say that my numbers were right and yours were wrong, merely that in a scenario with as many variables as this, either of us can easily produce numbers that suit our own point of view. And so can the news media.
     
  17. Goatboy

    Goatboy Established Member

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    This is mostly because rail offers hugely inconsistent value on fares rather than because either side is cherry picking. There are some fares which offer great value for money and make taking the car a really daft thing to do. This is great. Local journeys in the South West with a local railcard is one of these scenarios. It's absolutely excellent and really encourages people to avoid road use.

    Yet there are other scenarios where the cost of rail travel just boggles the mind - in both directions. I once travelled from Birmingham to London, via Virgin, for £7.50. Comically cheap, ridiculously so in fact. I'd have considered it good value if it was double that and happily paid it. But then I try and buy an offpeak single for a 5 mile journey from Malvern Link to Worcester and it's a fiver...
     
  18. NSEFAN

    NSEFAN Established Member

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    Big variations in fares for fixed distances are always going to happen on the railways, unless the industry moves to a rigid price-per-mile scheme. This might actually be worse as it wouldn't take into account how well used each route actually is, and would penalise passengers on quieter but longer routes whilst (arguably) undercharging for shorter high-density services.

    On a side note, the roads currently don't have variable pricing for using a more popular route. Given congestion is only going to get worse in the coming decades, I wouldn't be surprised if tolls become more prevalent on the motorways, with higher charges for travelling at busier times.
     
  19. sheff'd victoria

    sheff'd victoria Member

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    The main view that came up on Twitter from T'North is that passengers dont mind paying extra for travel is there is a good standard of stock and services around.

    I was also told ( and if someone can confirm that this is right please ) that in the days if the Cheap Day Return is was only a 10p difference between a single and return ticket ?
     
  20. Realfish

    Realfish Member

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    I'm not sure that you can pick and choose what to include in motoring costs. It's a bit misleading to compare a rail journey that includes a contribution to access charges, leasing, maintenance, staff costs etc etc etc , but ignore car excise duty (because it's already been paid)

    This might help.

    http://www.theaa.com/resources/Documents/pdf/motoring-advice/running-costs/petrol2013.pdf

    So if you average 10,000 miles a year in a Focus, you'll be paying about 70p per mile for your journey - about £230
     
  21. yorkie

    yorkie Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    That doesn't quite make sense, but I can confirm CDRs are typically about 10p more than a CDS, yes (but they're now known as Off Peak Day).
     
  22. Bungle73

    Bungle73 On Moderation

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    Um, the Cheap Day Return is still around, it just goes by a different name. And yes, that Return is only slightly more than a Single.
     
  23. yorksrob

    yorksrob Veteran Member

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    Hmm. I'm not so sure. I wonder if that's one of those things that people say because it seems logical enough, but when it comes to stumping up the cash at the ticket office window they feel differently.

    Leeds - Lancaster for example is coming up as £23 return for a journey on oldish, but generally well presented stock (the pacers tend to be of the 144 variety) and not overcrowded. I wonder whether people would actually be "willing" to pay much more for a journey on a train that's a bit shinier, but not all that much more comfortable.
     
  24. tbtc

    tbtc Veteran Member

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    Did FGW promise a certain length of train in the timetable?

    If not, how are you defining "shortformed"?

    Sounds a bit like what we are getting over the rest of the decade - brand new EMUs being built to cascade other EMUs to newly electrified lines to cascade modern DMUs (like 185s) to secondary routes to allow other services to either be increased in capacity or the "weakest" stock to be withdrawn.

    I've got to agree with Dave here - public ownership isn't always the answer.
     
  25. Goatboy

    Goatboy Established Member

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    It's not misleading at all - it's entirely appropriate. There are fixed costs involved in both rail and road. For a car owner, he pays the fixed costs whether he takes his car or not.

    There are only two numbers which matter to a car owner when deciding whether to use his car or use rail:

    a) How much does the rail ticket cost me?

    Track access charges, blah blah blah are all irrelevent to this question. The amount of money the car owner will pay is the price of the ticket he requires to make the journey. Thats it.

    b) How much will it cost to use my car?

    This doesn't include his insurance or his excise duty - its prepaid. It includes only marginal costs - the fuel he will use for the journey, the proportion of the tyres he will wear out, etc. I'm off up to the Midlands the weekend after next. If I don't take my car, I don't get a pro-rata refund for my VED. My insurance company won't send me a cheque (Yes, ok, annual mileage has a slight effect on policy price but it isn't the primary driver). That money is gone whether I use the car or not.

    All I care about in that scenario is the cost of taking the car on that particular journey. It turns out that, currently, its about the same as using the train. So I take the train.

    The 70p a mile for a Focus figure is completely misleading in this context because it's not as if he'll save that 70p a mile if he parks his car on the drive. He's still paying for that car even if he doesn't use it.

    Take each journey as a peice of standard investment appraisal - and standard investment appraisal excludes sunk costs. Of which VED etc is.

    The only time the rest of the costs are relevent is when the question is 'Shall I buy a car or shall I rely on public transport'. If THAT is the question then of course the 70p a mile figure is far more relevant. That 70p a mile figure gets lower the more miles you cover as the fixed costs get more and more diluted - this shows you how useless it is to calculate per journey cost. It's just a way of illustrating whole life costs.

    But thats not the question for most people - we will never convince most people to give up a car, we can only convince them to use it less.
     
    Last edited: 14 Aug 2013
  26. tbtc

    tbtc Veteran Member

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    Why do you think that a train fare (where you need to pay for a driver, you need to pay for a Conductor, you need to be for signalling staff, you need to pay for a ticket office, you need to pay for the infrastructure, you need to pay for the leasing of the train etc) should always be cheaper than a car (where you discount all of these costs as "fixed" and therefore ignore them)?
     
  27. Goatboy

    Goatboy Established Member

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    Because otherwise there is little incentive for the car driver to leave his car behind and use public transport. Rail is a crucial public service and is central to the governments desire to reduce CO2 emissions and create a sustainable economy which isn't reliant on imported foreign oil.

    We MUST have public transport as a much bigger part of our nations transport mix.

    Except for certain cirucumstances, for example if you need to do some work or perhaps travel to London, if it was cheaper to drive at a time that suited you in a private car to a destination that suits you than it is to use the train, you'll take the car. We must change this if we are serious about meeting the commitments we've made for future emisisons and if we want to remain a competitive economy in the future.

    Fossil fuels are not the future. We need people off them BEFORE a huge price shock causes irrepairable economic damage.

    Rail is not, generally, a premium service. Private transport is the premium service. Therefore outside of lucrative fast business link services (ie Manchester to London, London to Paris) it must compete on price.

    Other countries understand this. Look at Germany. The German government realises the value of a rail network that makes people think 'Why would I drive?!'

    Rail services are rarely commercially viable (I mean the entire cost) - they are always going to be a cash sink for a government. Rail is rubbish at profit - its a subsidy sponge. The sooner we get over that, realise that and stop pretending it can stand on its own two feet and charge enough to cover its costs the better.

    We don't try and run a health service where users pay 75% of the cost of using it so we shouldn't be doing the same with public transport either.
     
    Last edited: 14 Aug 2013
  28. LNW-GW Joint

    LNW-GW Joint Veteran Member

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    But the DfT is throwing shedloads of money at the Great Western - electrification, IEP, Reading upgrade to name just the obvious items.
    It may take another 3-4 years to reach Bristol, but you can't say the money is not going in.
    You will get 4-tracking up Filton bank (ie more capacity) and an upgrade at Temple Meads.
    If you use local diesel trains they will be upgraded by cascading from electric routes.
    Some parts of the country certainly can complain about lack of investment, but I don't think Bristol is one of them (though it's been a long time coming).
     
  29. Goatboy

    Goatboy Established Member

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    The main benefit of electrification is reduced operating costs.

    Will these be passed on?
     
  30. NSEFAN

    NSEFAN Established Member

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    Not if Network Rail's debt keeps increasing in the way it currently is. :D
     
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