Soaring prices, overcrowding, delays - and a 90 year high for train travel

31 January 2011

"And you lot can go and piss off" said Thomas
According to the amazingly interesting folks of the Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC from now on) there were a whopping 1.32 billion train journeys 2010.

The last time more people used the railways was in 1923. Alas, since that time, there's much less track since the "Beeching Axe" in the 60s which saw huge amounts of rail being tossed aside in favour of... well... nothing.

And so, with demand for train travel clearly on the rise, it is irritating to consider that, on top of less tracks (and thereby, less choice), we're also going to be hit with a price increase and not see an improvement in service.


"2010 was a year of strong growth in rail journeys, as demand bounced back from the recession and passenger numbers rose to levels not witnessed in peacetime Britain since the 1920s," says Michael Roberts, ATOC's chief executive. "With well over a billion journeys made last year, the last time rail travel was this popular train crews were shovelling coal into steam engines and many carriages were still lit by gaslight."

Alexandra Woodsworth, of the Campaign for Better Transport, is worried: “The rise in passenger numbers on the railway is welcome news but we are very concerned that this trend will be reversed by the hefty fare rises we saw this January, and the worse that is to come next year."

"Saving a few pence on cheap advance tickets hardly makes up for paying hundreds more for a season ticket each year. The Government has recently admitted that the fare increases won’t even bring relief for overcrowding, which means we are running the very real risk of pushing people off the railway. Instead, we need to support the growth of train travel with cheaper, simpler, fairer fares.”

TOPICS:   Travel


  • Maggie T.
    Privatisation - it works! They'll be flogging off council houses at a fraction of market value to individuals that are housed in them specifically because they cant afford their own property whilst simultaneously financing privately run housing associations to go out and buy full market value homes to house those who cant afford their own house next!!
  • Nob
    “With well over a billion journeys made last year, the last time rail travel was this popular train crews were shovelling coal into steam engines and many carriages were still lit by gaslight.” 2008? If they want to get more people onto trains, they should introduce an award like an ASBO. Let's call it a TR-ASBO. You get awarded it like they award people with ASBOs. If you torch 10 cars in one night, you get a bronze TR-ASBO. 25 cars for silver, and 50 for a gold TR-ASBO. Less cars = more train travel.
  • qwertyuiop
    "Cheaper, simpler, fairer fares eh?" And where might I find those? Certainly not at the ticket office or any website I've visited. Talk is cheap, actions will dictate who takes control of this government in another 5 years.
  • Brad
    And then when the trains get overcrowded, you can torch 10 houses in one night etc, with the resulting body count being added to the "Your in my seat Rosa parks pass" which can be used to get a seat in a crowded train and also relieving overcrowding by controlling the population. It be like a anti civil rights nazi party system. Which i can see becoming popular in the future.
  • qwertyuiop
    It might be due to the fact that I'm half asleep, but what you've just said makes absolutely no sense to me. Especially the "Your in my seat Rosa parks pass" bit.

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