Train tickets: cheaper in Wales

9 January 2015

train Train ticket prices are a right arse, especially when one can pay such a random array of prices for the same trip, depending on when you buy a ticket.

However, a new study has shown that English train passengers are being properly rinsed, and can save up to 60% if they buy their tickets in Wales.

It's a bit of a trek, admittedly, to get to Wales to then try and save on a train ticket, however people in Bristol - 20 miles from Wales - are stumping up over £50 or more just to get to major cities in the North, and single peak time tickets bought in Newport or Cardiff to the same destinations are up to £58.60 cheaper.

The key example of the ludicrousness is a trip to Manchester during morning rush hour on Monday next week will cost £80.70 from Bristol Temple Meads, but a train leaving Newport just four minutes later travelling to the same destination will cost less than half the price – only £32.

Welsh train operator Arriva offers cheaper fares on journeys heading north than can be found on many journeys leaving from Bristol, while services from Cardiff to Manchester, Birmingham, Leeds, Liverpool and Blackpool also proved cheaper than travelling from Bristol, but with just minutes added to the journey.

Latest figures from the Office of Rail Regulation reveal huge disparities between the government funding for passenger journeys, varying from an average of £2.19 per journey in England to £9.33 in Wales.

These price differences are the result of the system used by nationalised operator British Rail, which was privatised during the 1990s, according to Christopher Irwin, a director of Travel Watch South West, which promotes the interest of public transport users.

Irwin said: "The history of British Rail helps us understand how fares are priced. Before the railway was privatised, lines used to be classified in three categories; intercity fares, South East fares, which covered a lot of lines to and from London, and regional railway fares."

"Traditionally regional lines would charge less, as those journeys would contain more stops and take slightly longer. Something like Bristol to Manchester would be classed as an intercity line, whereas something leaving from Newport and travelling through Wales is likely to be a regional line and would cost less."

Not wanting to get all electioneering, but the party that promises to re-nationalise the railways, could win by a landslide.

TOPICS:   Travel


  • John
    I'm travelling down to Manchester from Scotland in February. Rail ticket was going to cost me in the region of £119 return. Manage to get return flights for £65. I'll need to pay for airport parking and a small communte at the other end but atleast it won't cost a fortune, enjoy the pleasure of a bus replacement service for part of the journey and spend 5 hours with stuck with a coach full of equally pissed off train passengers.
  • Arthur
    Every other form of transport is cheaper than rail - it should be the opposite.

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