Gareth from the Office: Public Transport isn’t fare

Rail travel.
Rail travel.

FOR many of you this week you may have gone back to work to find either an inbox full of emails or a phone full of voicemails.

However, if you travel in or out of the city on a daily basis you may have noticed you’re paying more to commute. Why? Because of increased fares on public transport.

Train fares have been increased by up to 11 per cent in some areas, with routes between Northampton and London seeing an increase of almost seven per cent.

Now let’s face it, fuel for cars isn’t cheap but to drive to Bletchley from Newport Pagnell is a journey I would far rather take on in a car than on any public transport.

But now it’s much worse for people. Already, there are people who travel to London each day for work and earn barely enough to cover the travel costs. Surely that’s not fair.

I’m not saying that people commuting to work should instantly have their wages increased but the Government should be thinking more of those who are using public transport.

Isn’t their aim to drive more people to use it? No pun intended.

But what reason could the rail companies have for putting up their prices?

The Association of Train Operating Companies said money raised through fares helps pay for better services but even so, services would have to improve dramatically from what they are already for people to see any difference.

One day I could be working in London facing the same dilemma that people are now but I don’t want to be priced out of a perfectly good job because I can’t afford to travel, and that is what may well happen to people now.

They may have to turn down perfectly good job opportunities in favour of work closer to home because the costs take a huge chunk out of their salaries each month.

Currently, if you travel between Milton Keynes Central rail station and London Bridge, as an example, it will cost you £4,408 per year. That is without tube costs and buses or petrol costs to get you to the station in the first place.

Factor in living costs like rent, food and other things and suddenly it can all add up.

Then you find yourself working just to pay bills and each month the cycle continues.

In my car I will roughly spend around £80 to £90 a month on fuel, if I drive it economically and that will accumulate to less than £1,000 a year.

Yet people are constantly being harangued about using public transport and commuting into their places of work.

Sorry but I’ll take my chances in my car, thank you.