01 June 2009

Quote of the week

Lord Adonis penned an article in the most recent RAIL magazine in which he reflected on his recent trip around Britain using a standard-class All-lines Railrover ticket. He'd blogged on a day-by-day basis while undertaking his 2,200 mile trip. We did something similar too.

However, our quote of the week comes in the last paragraph in Adonis' reflective article in which he states the following very candidly indeed:

"After my trip, the ticket [All-lines Railrover] seems to be better known. So what does ATOC do immediately on my return? They raise the price by a whopping 15% overnight, and mutter to my officials that they are worried about the ticket being misused. With friends like that, what enemies need the railways fear?"

Interestingly, the 'misuse' the Association of Train Operating Companies is concerned about derives from their fear of reduced profits. Barry Doe gives the following example that best illustrates this:

The first-class All-line Railrover now costs £650, yet some first-class returns to London cost £375 each. Someone who needs to make this return trip twice per week will pay more than the cost of the Railrover. TOCs would much rather take £750 off a passenger than £650, despite all railway ticket clerks being requested to always sell the cheapest possible ticket for the type of journey requested "and specifically told to consider rovers". (GL)