Tuesday, 20 December 2011

How Nucking Futs is this?!

The train fares go up next month. Apparently, by an average of 5% or so. Since my other half lives some 70-odd miles away as the crow flies, it's cheaper for me to use public transport to get there, even when I *did* have a car. You will recall that a car that I owned was AGAIN stolen from where I live, close to a year ago now (the second in four years, dammit), so I haven't bothered getting another, since it seems to be open season on cars that I own, and in this economy, I can ill afford all the associated costs anyhow (hint: 'Protected No Claims Bonuses' aren't really protected very much at all: You car insurance premiums always seem to go up, no matter what). So, since TfL gave me a staff pass, I use public transport. What the heck: One saves money where one can, these days, after all.

So, I decided to check at the National Rail Enquiries website, to see what the new fare would be. £36, up two quid. Not so bad. Then I wondered what it would cost if I separated out the journey, and took advantage of my staff pass to eliminate the cost of the tube element of the trip from the railway journey ticket cost - they give you London connection journeys by tube in the cost of the ticket. The full trip is: A bus to my local railway station in the south London suburbs, a train to central London, a connection tube journey to Paddington, then a train from there to my other half's town in the sticks, and either a half-hour walk from the station, a cab ride, or a local bus, depending on how lazy or cheap I may be feeling when I get there.

So, one might think a couple of quid could be saved from eliminating the cost of the London tube connection fares, and using my staff pass on the tube instead (OK, so it'd be there's be four tickets in the amended journey plan, instead of just two, but what the hell: Two outbound, two return, instead of two tickets, out/return).

So, imagine my "WTF!?" moment of disbelief, when the cost of the two separate rail-only journeys came to eighty pence MORE than if I kept the tube connections, instead of dropping by the expected two or so quid from removing the cost of the tube element of the journey cost.

Now just how nucking futs is that, eh?

And yes, I'm still banging my head on the desk in disbelief.

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