Fare's fair? Train tickets increase now, for improvements by 2019
Two days ago, the Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC) announced train fares would be rising by over six per cent and by as much as thirteen per cent in the new year. Boo and hiss, cried pretty much everyone at the price hikes, which are set by the Government rather than the train companies.
Now the Government have announced exactly what we'll be getting for our money, should any of us choose to board a train ever again. Over £8 billion will be invested in the railways, with around 2,000 new carriages being bought into service - the majority to ease overcrowding. The bias is towards London commuters, with a fifth of the new carriages for the new Crossrail line and 800 for Thameslink. The remainder will be distributed across the country to ease congestion on urban routes.
However, while ministers claim the benefits of this extra capacity will be seen 'within the next few months', all the new carriages won't be in service until 2019. Don't expect a seat just yet, citizen.
Other announcements include the news that the Thameslink route across London has been given the full go-ahead, and new electric trains will serve on routes between Manchester and Liverpool, and Manchester and Blackpool. Yes, Blackpool. Now you'll have no excuse not to experience life and fashion as it was in the 1970s.
So it's good news for some of the country, and little-to-no change for the rest; a raft of services that primarily benefit the South West but won't be fully realised for the best part of a decade, by which time another government could have sacked the plans off - and you start paying for them in a few weeks time. That's good with you, right?