Thursday, August 26, 2010

UK’s sky high train fares now double what Europe pays

James Fielding: The Sunday Express

BRITAIN’S beleaguered rail ­passengers are paying twice as much to travel by train as other Europeans.

Fares in the UK, particularly London and the South-east, are already the highest in the EU.

By next January they could be up to 10 per cent higher.

The Sunday Express compared London rush-hour fares with equivalents in Europe. We found commuters here are already being unfairly hammered even without the planned hikes. A day return from Reading, Berkshire, around 40 miles from the capital, costs £34.40.

Commuters from Beauvais and Chartres in France, which are both around 40 miles from Paris, pay the equivalent of £12 and £13.50. In Italy rail travel is even cheaper, with commuters in Latina, 40 miles from Rome, ­paying £7.50. Back in Britain ­workers commuting from Luton, Bedfordshire, just 35 miles away, are charged £22.40.

That is only 40p more than the fare from Chelmsford, Essex, a similar distance from London.From ­Canterbury West, a 100-mile commute is £23.50. Commuters from Eberswalde, 30 miles from Berlin, are charged around £15, while an 80-mile round trip from Toledo to Madrid costs the equivalent of just £9.50.

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