The First Great Western Train robbery - fares jump 16 per cent

25 February 2009

There are more than a few upset passengers on board First Great Western trains right now. Yes, right now, this instant. Go and have a look if you don't believe me.

They're ready to start punching strangers in the back of the head, partly because they can't sit down during their commute and have to stand like shitty-arsed cattle for hours on end, but mostly because they're paying through the nose to do so; their season ticket prices have jumped up in price, and not by just a few quid, either.

According to Bitterwallet reader Edi and others on the First Great Western Passengers' forum, passengers had been paying discounted fares because services were failing to meet punctuality and reliability targets set by their Passenger's Charter. But because the figures improved slightly in January, the 10% discount for poor performance was scrubbed. That was after First Great Western increased it fares by 6% in January. As forum member apr00va points out:

I renewed my ticket from London to Reading and was told that there would be no discount. So from paying £332 in December 2008, I had to pay £398 today! This is daylight robbery.

Obviously it's First Great Western that has judged themselves to be achieving the targets which in turned negated the unexpected price hikes, but as one forum member points out, the company hasn't always been honest about issues of performance.

Meanwhile Bitterwallet reader Edi is now paying the new ramped up prices for the same lacklustre commuting experience:

Claiming that targets have been met is a slap on the face - its still a nightmare to find a place to stand during peak hours, never mind a seat.


  • Martin
    This is the problem with hard targets. If you are failing but very close to a target, it is not that hard to focus a little spend to meet the target without really improving overall.
  • -=Mike H.
    Looks like the Fat Cats, want a new Phat Car, Phat Phuckers.
  • The B.
    On a plus note, my train arrived at my destination (Clapham Junction) on time yesterday, that's the first time since September 2008 (and my fare went up by 8.5% in Jan, so beat that).
  • Euro B.
    [...] banged on plenty this week about the upwardly-spiralling cost of fares on the UK’s rail network, but Which? Magazine have [...]
  • » B.
    [...] goes further, with his colourful (but reasonable) analysis of the situation on the brilliant site Bitter Wallet: They’re ready to start punching strangers in the back of the head, partly because they can’t [...]
  • The B.
    [...] who is behind this attempted revolution in national coach travel? Why, it’s your favourite train operator, FirstGroup. In fact the Scottish firm operate the whole Greyhound operation across the states - so [...]

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