Tuesday, 1 May 2012
“It’s Cheaper By Train”
Not a phrase that you expect to hear from anyone travelling in the UK. But if you can avoid buying a wincingly-expensive walk-on train fare, there are amazing bargains to be had. For example, Hove in Sussex to Cromer in Norfolk. According to Google maps, that’s an awkward cross-country journey of just under 200 miles each way, or 400 miles return. In fuel terms, at around 35mpg that’s nearly 12 gallons of petrol, around 53 litres. At £1.40 a litre, that’s about £75, just for petrol. Taking a more realistic view, and including the other costs of running a car, we can use the figure agreed by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs, namely that running a car costs 45p per mile. Or, for Hove to Cromer and back, 400 miles = £180. The rail fare, using advance purchase and with a rail card, was £15.50 outbound and £18.15 return. Including the cost of the tube across London. Which totals £33.65. Even if you just compare it with the fuel costs of driving, this leaves around £40 for taxis, buses and everything else. Or, if you take into account the HMRC approved full costs of the journey (at 45p a mile), it means you are better off taking the train by nearly £150. Believe me now?