Sweden (or somewhere in that neck of the woods) tried using reduced
fares in the early 70's. The experiment was abandoned when it became
clear the the cost of extra maintainance, new stock and track would
greatly outweigh the governments current subsidy = not poular with the
voters. It's a no-win situation, everyone wants, but no one wants
to pay (just like everything else I suppose).
In the early 70's SELNEC (South East Lancs/North East Cheshire) buses
round Manchester and Stockport had a flat 2p per ride fare for under
16's. We used to get around an awful lot on weekends - even Buxton!
Beacuse off-peak means, by definition, the times when poeple don't
want/need to travel.
Pop into town and buy, say, a microwave, school uniforms for kids, some
food, maybe a model or two and some shoes for the misses and the
other usual stuff, and then go on the bus. It's not going to happen.
If you decide to have a cycling holiday in the UK you can't even be sure
you can take your bikes, there's no PLA (Pssengers Luggage In Advance)
or any other form of support - no Porters, no trollies (generally), no
nothing - the railways are now soley geared up for the commuter or
individuals travelling singly (and light!) between (some) major
conurbations. Until that changes railways are going to remain the
preserve of the few who they happen to be convenient for, or the
poor sods who have no choice. For a very large proportion the
railways are an utter irrelevancy, and that won't change until
we/they cannot physically get petrol/diesel at any price.
But it doesn't. Ergo people are not as interested as they could be in
travel cards and the benefits they give. How low would fares need to
go to get them interested?
We took 9 people (5 adults + 4 kids) and paid =A310 so there is some
Funny that, the BR managed to do just that in the 1950s and '60s...
They also managed to run bank holiday services, put on extra trains at
short notice - oh and they also delivered the newspapers to (almost)
every station each morning, delivered the coal to the coal merchant,
they even ran an (express) parcels service...
Are you being deliberately thick or are you normally just thick?
There is a loss of interested due to the (real or apparent)
complexities and cost of the current railway ticketing system (and -
as someone else pointed out - the petty, for ease of operations,
restrictions TOCs place on what people can take onto trains now), not
in travelling by train.
But you were over the magic number of five, the question was, could
*the national average family* of 4 (or 3 if one parent was having to
work) use the same offer and if so was that flexibility obvious in the
Times have changed. most trains were loco hauled and they could afford
to have a few spare locos around to take up the extra work. Having
lots of spare Pendos, etc., to service peak times is a completely
About as often as you're an annoying little twerp.
Loosing the argument I see, the fact that a train can accommodate up
to a thousand people, meaning that a at least half that number of cars
(making the assumption that most people are travelling in pairs) are
not being used seems to have escaped your notice...
Are there many cases of building more roads in the sort of urban areas
where railways would need to be extended? There are bypasses and new
developments on green or brown fields, but I can't think of many cases
of demolishing houses to build or widen a road through a residential area.
There was the M11 for one, but it is pretty unusual. A handful of houses
were demolished to build Croydon Tramlink.
I think you will find the world of profit and greed is why people are
travelling in the first place. People aren't using commuter trains for
fun, they are doing it because it gives them more profit than
subsistence farming would.
There is also a question about whether people "need" to live in
somewhere like Grantham or darkest Hampshire and work in London, and the
extent to which well-paid people should be subsidised so they can live
in the countryside and work in a city.
Blocks of flats around stations or stops are ideal for public transport
use, but people still seem to want semi-detached houses, gardens and grass.
Commuting, inter-city and regular and/or heavy freight is what rail does
Rail has a very large market share in Birmingham, and dominates the
London - Leeds market.
If you think Britain lacks cross-country services, try a trip in France
when the start or end points are not Paris.
Of course even here, the operators only do what the government tells
No, but the new roads in rural areas are what allow more people to
reach the towns quicker.
Conversely, it would also be very difficult to extend the railways in
urban areas now that a lot of the old track beds have been built over.
I hadn't heard that, but transport minister Ernest Marples' family
firm was Marples Ridgeway. Who built the roads.
After he retired to Spain there was a Panorama (or similar) program
about him that concluded the only reason he wsn't a guest of Her
Majesty, was that there was no extradition treaty with spain.