I’ve used the train for two business trips in the last week. Here are examples why the whole ticketing system needs an overhaul. Sit down. Time for a rant.
Firstly, I’d like to point out it shouldn’t be on me, the consumer, to seek out the cheapest deals by checking various routes and combinations of tickets breaking the route up. One route, one time, one price. That’s how it should be.
Trip one last week was to Battersea in London. Four trains from my local station (a 5 min drive), into Brum, to London, across London via Tube then overground one stop to Battersea Park. £203 return via Birmingham, £101 if I go from Worcestershire Parkway, 20 mins away. How can half price still be very expensive? Ridiculous
Trip two yesterday was to Bristol. Three trains via Birmingham, into Brum, out to Bristol then a short trip to Clifton Down. £70 return. If I went from Worcestershire Parkway again, changed at Gloucester to Bristol £16 return. Yes, £16 return vs £70 via Birmingham. For the kicker, if I added the short trip to Clifton Down onto that ticket, the price went up to £27 but I bought that ticket separately for £2 return. WTAF! Bristol and back, £18 return and a bargain. Less than the fuel in my car.
Two examples of grossly overpriced tickets if you travel via Birmingham on the train. I love the train, in particular, GWR which I have to say were fantastic on both trips but you can’t get away from the fact the system is broken. It should be cheaper than driving everytime you book but with train companies deregulated having to make profits for shareholders they’ll always concentrate on profits over customers.
Rant over. Now for the cool bit. From Clifton Down to work in Bristol is a 5-10 min walk or a 2 min ride on a Voi rental scooter. I took one and it cost me 26p each way. Proof they are the future for quick, short, local journeys. Don’t believe the hysteria about e-scooters, they are gamechangers.