Research has just come that confirms what we’ve long suspected – public transport has become really bloody expensive since the recession. Like bonkers expensive. So expensive you half expect the number 73 bus journey to include a three course dinner and a foot rub from Channing Tatum as part of the price.
The research, which was released to coincide with national protests against high fares, shows that train fares have risen by more than 26% since the beginning of the economic downturn.
That’s almost three times faster than wages – no wonder Unions said that high fares commuters and passengers were causing “transport poverty”.
The TUC’s general secretary-designate, Fraces O’Grady, had this to say about the findings:
“Train fares have massively outstripped wages and inflation, even during the recession. Train operating companies seem to have completely ignored the fact that real-term incomes and living standards have fallen and have ploughed ahead with eye-watering price hikes. Average fare increases have risen at nearly three times the rate of average wages since 2008.Our current privatised system, which is costing taxpayers a staggering £1.2bn a year, may be a wonderful Christmas present for train companies but is a huge squeeze on the public purse and commuters.”
Young job hunters are probably feeling the squeeze more than most, as budgeting for travel to job fairs and interviews because even more difficult with rising prices.
But don’t despair – there might just be some good news for unemployed young people! The government announced that young unemployed people will soon be able to claim free travel on the counties biggest bus companies!
70% of the bus routes in England, Wales and Scotland will be covered as part of the scheme and could help up to 800,000 jobless people from those regions. In Britain bus companies like Stagecoach, Arriva, First and Go-Ahead will be taking part.
Free travel will be available with a Jobcentre Plus travel card from January next year.
But can’t wait till then? Check out these budget travel options and let the super saving begin!
- The Trainline Check this site out for cheap train fares, works especially well if you book your train time in advance http://www.thetrainline.com/
- Megabus Sitting on a coach for 5 hours might not be the most glamorous way to travel, but it can be a cheap as chips http://uk.megabus.com
- Bicycles shares There are lots of different bicycle share docking stations in cities like London and Bath, find the closest and most well-stocked stations on the this site http://bikes.oobrien.com/london/
- Car shares There are even lots of people up and down the country willing to have you along in a car share, check them out here https://www.liftshare.com/uk/