13 August 2011

Commute by Jag is Cheaper

The Campaign for Better Transport has contacted us to say that Mrs LEYTR isn't always right - words I only utter at my peril. Converting cars to operate on a pay-as-you-go basis, with users not paying for fuel when they fill them up but in cash every time they use the vehicle to cover the cost of travel, can be cheaper than public transport. Well, trains, anyway.

Buried in their online archive, the CBT calculated that Transport Secretary Philip Hammond would be financially better off continuing to commute to Westminster from his home in Woking every day than travelling by train. The cost of an annual season ticket between Woking and Central London is £3,268, while annual fuel costs for a Jaguar would amount to £2,277. That's an annual saving of almost a grand.

In the train's favour is that it produces up to four times fewer carbon emissions and that travelling time can be both faster and more productive. Even if typing fiercely into a laptop isn't your cup of tea, having a little snooze is always an option, provided you find a seat.

The CBT has produced an online petition to force pressure on the government not to increase many regulated fares by 28% over the next four years. By 2015, for example, the cost of an annual season ticket between Ashford and Central London will be 28.6% of the forecast average salary for that year.

Sadly, Lord Adonis' comments to RAIL Editor Nigel Harris in the latest edition illustrates why rail fares are to rise to much in the coming years. The industry is seeing 6% year-on-year growth, despite the national economy being in the doldrums. For the first time in generations, tangible modal shift is being seen. For no matter how high rail fares are pumped each year, many save considerable sums by using the train.

Higher fares doesn't seem to be dampening demand, moreover they seem to be having little effect at all. While this is the case, we cannot see (sadly) how the government will be persuaded to change tack at all.


Greg Tingey said...

Rail traffic is growing, yet there still (apart from X-rail in London) seems to be no real attempt to re-improve the lines & services and re-open routes stupidly closed after the crook Marples put his hatchetman, Beeching in to make a profit for the road-builders.

( Different in Scotland, and perhaps Wales, of course )

Anonymous said...

As for the Jag comparison, fuel costs aren't the only costs for a car. Even if you're just looking at variable costs, there's the mileage towards the next service and depreciation (or "saving up for your next car" as I prefer to call it).