Is Pensioner free travel forcing up prices?

Discussion in 'Buses & Coaches' started by philthetube, 10 Feb 2017.

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  1. TheGrandWazoo

    TheGrandWazoo Established Member

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    I could have guessed ;) The answer is re-regulation and state control....now what's the question?

    The idea that a commercial operator cannot be adequately reimbursed is rubbish. Working on that basis, housing benefit to private landlords would also not be feasible.

    The issue is funding and has been since the nasty party got into power. The cuts are only going to get worse too. I'm now of the opinion that the ENCTS needs to be fundamentally restructured - perhaps to remove it being wholly free at point of use. However, grey haired people vote.....
     
  2. Teflon Lettuce

    Teflon Lettuce Member

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    so we have another round of "my bus fare is being pushed up by free travel for pensioners" do we?

    this oft trotted out argument is flawed on one historical fact... single cash fares had been going up faster than inflation for years before the national free pass schemes started in ALL constituent parts of the UK.

    The truth is that since deregulation there has been competition... as part of their strategy for passenger loyalty many network operators have, over the years, put up their single and return fares at a faster rate than their day and period tickets. There is a simple reason for this... once you have bought a pass from an operator you are highly unlikely to pay again to use a competitors service.

    It has obviously now got to the point where a day ticket is cheaper than 2 singles or (where available) a day return.

    It works on the same principle as many amusement parks work on... look at an amusement park that offers single ride tickets and a day pass.. and then work out how few rides you need to make before a day ticket becomes the cheaper option.

    In fact the argument that free travel schemes are pushing fares up is also flawed because of a false premise... re-imbursement rates do not go up every time fares go up... the usual practice is for a re-imbursement rate to be agreed on the average single fare at the time the council decides to make it's survey.... and then is fixed until the council can be bothered to re survey the network... here in wales some councils that I know of haven't done so in the last 5 years!

    To those who say that the travel schemes are a subsidy to operators... quite simply they are NOT. They are a payment for a service that the operators HAVE to provide by law... if an operator were to refuse to participate in the scheme they would not be entitled to BSOG. I wonder how many people who think these schemes are subsidy would like to be told they HAD to provide a service and that they would be paid x amount.....no negotiation...no consultation.... take it or leave it.

    Perhaps someone would like to try going into Tesco's, load up a trolley with a weeks shopping... and then telling the store manager that seeing as though his costs would have been the same whether you'd shopped there or not, you'll only pay £20 for your shopping because you believe that will cover the store's costs and leave it no better or worse off? If anyone does... please tell me what his answer was :D:D:D
     
  3. Paul Sidorczuk

    Paul Sidorczuk Veteran Member

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    I used the full fare example, as this is how matters are dealt with in the TfGM area. It is not often that our own council of Cheshire East are seen as more lenient than TfGM...:oops:
     
  4. johnnychips

    johnnychips Established Member

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    Arctic Troll, I sort of see where you're getting at, but who calculates and how, "people who would have paid to travel?"
     
    Last edited: 10 Feb 2017
  5. radamfi

    radamfi Established Member

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    Housing benefit is different as it is easy to compare with market rents in the area. Most renting is not paid for by housing benefit so private renting paid for by housing benefit doesn't really distort the rental market so much, except perhaps in a few isolated areas. There is also no obvious alternative to housing benefit whereas of course bus deregulation is an anomaly confined to very few developed countries.
     
    Last edited: 10 Feb 2017
  6. Busaholic

    Busaholic Established Member

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    I could have quite a lot to say on this subject but, in this instance, I'll restrict it to this. London accounts for about half the bus journeys made in England, if not the UK, and there is and has been a freeze on bus fares there, with (arguably) a decrease for some with the advent of the Hopper concession. In London, bus travel is free 24 hours per day not only for Freedom Pass holders (i.e. Greater London residents) but anyone with an English national pass. This ought to be borne in mind before pontificating about the effects on bus operation of the scheme, particularly by those who make the statement it is 'unaffordable' which is a political, subjective judgement, and can be easily countered.
     
  7. Teflon Lettuce

    Teflon Lettuce Member

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    a strange contention there that housing benefit doesn't distort the rental market... and the inference that the housing market isn't deregulated.

    Since the mid 80's social housing stock has been sold to tenants without much replacement... therefore forcing more and more people into private rent... are you telling me that the unaffordable rents charged in some areas would still be as high if landlords didn't have the difference made up by housing benefit? surely if there was more social housing and no housing benefit landlords would have to charge affordable rents otherwise their properties would stay empty... unlike free pensioner travel which is a service paid for by councils and NOT subsidy... arguably housing benefit IS a subsidy to fund the greed of landlords and to hide the failure of housing policy over the last 30 odd years!
     
  8. Starmill

    Starmill Established Member

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    The thing that I find most inequitable is free rail travel for ENCTS pass holders in areas where we are constantly told there is not enough revenue (despite much of it walking out of the door because of a lack of ticket issuing facilities) and that prices are too low. Why has free rail travel (as opposed to a generous 50% discount on the normal fare) survided while fares for everyone else have skyrocketed by the imposition of restrictions and :wub:0% rises in off-peak tickets?

    Sure I would love for ENCTS pass holders to get as much free travel as they can because it enhances their quality of life. I would also love for the Government not to persist with the crazy notion that public transport must pay for itself entirely. As it seems that's not the way things are going why do we have to make up all of the shortfall? I'm looking at you TfGMC. What's the bill to rail companies for free ENCTS travel, and what could you spend that money on instead?
     
  9. radamfi

    radamfi Established Member

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    Most landlords don't want tenants who pay housing benefit so you can simply look at the rent paid by such tenants as the "market rent". Housing benefit will rarely pay more than this. Whereas with bus fares there is it openly conceded that single fares have risen in order to maximise the free pass reimbursement. For a while, First in Greater Manchester actually had single fares *higher* than the price of a day ticket in order to profit from the funding formula. Suppose the reimbursement rate was increased. Would single fares get cut? I doubt it!
     
  10. johnnychips

    johnnychips Established Member

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    Please could you provide examples of where the single ticket price was greater than a day ticket price? Not doubting you, but if true, this is barmy.
     
  11. Teflon Lettuce

    Teflon Lettuce Member

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    I suggest you read my previous post (#22)
     
  12. radamfi

    radamfi Established Member

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    After a fare rise they would put up posters giving old and new fares. The highest fares would be higher than a day ticket. That was a few years ago now so I can't give specific details. I'm sure locals will still remember this and may be able to quote the exact numbers.
     
  13. radamfi

    radamfi Established Member

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    Your argument was that it is OK to have silly single fares because of the existence of a day ticket to deter people using competing operators. This is hardly a good thing for passengers! Particularly those who need to use more than one operator, or those just making a single trip in a day, because for example they are getting a lift back.
     
  14. Teflon Lettuce

    Teflon Lettuce Member

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    Not at all... my argument is that the rapid increase in single/ day return fares compared to day and period tickets is something that predates nationwide concessionary travel and is a tool that has increasingly been used to lock people into a particular operators services since deregulation... in short a marketing and competitive tool.... and nothing to do with the concessionary travel schemes... as to your argument that having a day ticket cheaper than a day return (or even a single) penalises those who have to use 2 operators... well I should think the percentage of people making a trip that involves HAVING to use 2 operators AND only 2 journeys will be negligently small... after all, to paraphrase a saying... what goes there has to come back!
     
    Last edited: 10 Feb 2017
  15. radamfi

    radamfi Established Member

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    But before the current nationwide scheme there were local schemes in most areas.
     
  16. Busaholic

    Busaholic Established Member

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    Geographically, very few pass issuers allow free or even discounted rail travel. It is only a few metropolitan areas, who restrict it to their own populace, in England anyway. I've had a pass for nine years, never had the possibility of a penny off a train fare.
     
    Last edited: 10 Feb 2017
  17. Teflon Lettuce

    Teflon Lettuce Member

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    and in MOST areas those schemes were not free travel schemes... there was usually a fare for the pass holder to pay... either a flat fare or half fare...

    no matter what arguments you put forward NONE alter the fact that the over inflation rate increases in single/ day return fares predates the national concessionary schemes... and the argument put forward at the head of this thread is that it is the concessionary scheme that has caused these increases... this is not so and that is historical fact.
     
  18. radamfi

    radamfi Established Member

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    But even though the discount was not 100%, there was still a reimbursement system in place.
     
  19. Teflon Lettuce

    Teflon Lettuce Member

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    so your argument is that ANY concessionary scheme inflates fares and distorts the market so there should be NO concessionary scheme?

    in any case, in previous schemes the usual practice was to make the payments dependant on mileage operated not passenger journeys...

    as I said before... the argument is that the NATIONWIDE travel scheme has caused the price hikes in single/ day return fares... nothing you have argued so far has addressed MY contention that the start of price hiking pre-dates the introduction of the NATIONWIDE scheme...

    I am going to leave it here as I see it a pointless exercise in debating with someone who willfully ignores the crux of the argument and tries to make the facts fit their opinion rather than the other way round
     
  20. Paul Sidorczuk

    Paul Sidorczuk Veteran Member

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    Look at the political ethos of TfGM.

    On a personal basis, as one resident exterior to the boundaries of the TfGM empire, we neither have free rail or Metrolink travel within TfGM on our Cheshire East issued ENCTS passes, but we, at our own cost, have purchased three-year Senior Citizen Railcards to help rail travel costs.
     
    Last edited: 10 Feb 2017
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