We Brits have a love-hate relationship with UK train services and are always pleased when they get us from A to B in a relatively efficient way. However the moment you read the dreaded words “Replacement Bus Service”, or the smell of the toilets waft down the carriage, the grumblings begin.
Price of journeys can hugely vary, meaning some travellers can secure great deals by taking advantage of advanced bookings, and others have to pay a decent sum — the grumblings therefore continue as often last minute travel is unavoidable.
With rail fares rising by almost a fifth in the last 5 years, and most increases occurring above the rate of inflation, we wanted to have a closer look at which journeys travellers are paying more for.
In a cost per mile study, London is revealed to be the most expensive per mile to travel from than those starting elsewhere in the UK. Single “anytime” journeys for next day travel to all the other 15 highest populated cities in the UK starting from the capital cost on average 56p per mile – on the other end of the scale, journeys starting from Glasgow are 41% cheaper at 33p per mile on average.
Scotland comes out the cheapest overall with Edinburgh securing the second cheapest price per mile at 41p, showing that despite the further distance that they must travel and so a higher cost in general, cost per mile remains the lowest.
The cheapest overall journey that was discovered was the short hop from Birmingham to Coventry which costs £3.60 for the 23 mile trip, working out at only 16p per mile! On the other end of the scale, the most expensive route was Bristol to London a 118 mile journey costing £98.50, a whopping 83p a mile.
Our study shows that there is little consistencies regarding distance, price, and city to formulate a trend, and so with this pricing postcode lottery, some travellers are simply being made to pay more for trips of the same distance. This could be due to demand, changing operators, number of stops per journey among other things, but one thing is for sure, Londoners, investigate your advance travel options for a better price – or you could end up on the Megabus.
Research was performed through Nationalrail.co.uk looking at “anytime” fares from every major UK operator, such as Virgin Trains, CrossCountry and East Midlands.