The ridiculous price of rail travel in the UK has been highlighted once again, with a passenger sharing a photo of his return ticket from Stockport to London.
His journey came in at a whopping £287.10, which is more than a return flight all the way across the Atlantic to New York City - and I know where I’d rather be.
You can fly from Manchester to New York return for just £271 in September if you book with Air Canada, spending a week over in the Big Apple.
Given how much my Stockport-Euston day return (booked a week ago) cost, is it any wonder this @VirginTrains is half empty? Something’s v wrong with our railways @helenpidd @AndyBurnhamGM pic.twitter.com/ml4orqXHKO— Ben Hoare (@benhoare5) July 30, 2019
Ben Hoare, an editor at the BBC, posted a picture of his Virgin ticket on Twitter, writing:
Given how much my Stockport-Euston day return (booked a week ago) cost, is it any wonder this Virgin Train is half empty? Something’s v wrong with our railways... I think this shows trains are way too expensive and ticketing too complicated. The sad thing is, we invented railways.
Some people were quick to point out you can get cheaper deals depending which service you get - travelling off-peak or split-ticketing - but that’s besides the point, if you have to be there at a certain time or travel last minute you’re screwed.
According to The Independent, a peak time same-day return from Stockport to London, booked on the day yesterday, would have set you back £350 - the train from Manchester Piccadilly will set you back the same at peak time.
They found the cheapest ticket available yesterday was on an off-peak train, costing you £192.95 return, and the cheapest in general was £48 return for advance tickets on certain September and October services.
A Virgin Trains spokesperson said:
The vast majority of our customers take advantage of our discounted tickets, with fares between Stockport and London starting at £24. These great value fares are one of the reasons we’ve won almost all the market share between the northwest and London from airlines and why we’re seeing record numbers travelling on our trains.
What a joke. At least it might prevent southerners from coming up here...