The usual suspects are already whinging about rising rail fares, yet they are only being set at 3% above PRI over the next three years. This is a genuine rise of around 10%. Is it such a big deal?
So what will we be getting? 2300 new carriages for a start. Completion of Cross Rail. Electrification from Bristol to London. And an awful lot more. The railways are absolutely buzzing at the moment with ridership at almost an historical high. Success tends to come at a cost. Does anyone seriously believe that motoring costs will only rise 10% over the next three years? And air fares? I'd be surprised if they keep under 50%! It's all relative. Simply giving up and selling your car releases huge amounts of cash, buy a bike and generally travel less (by train of course) and you'll save thousands every year. You could even afford to go first class - we do most of the time!
Apparently a million people have given up driving over the last year, citing the 'high' cost of fuel!! The roads certainly seem quieter. The reduced number of drivers will lead to inevitabe tax and duty rises to cover the income shortfall (only slightly offset by reduced wear and tear), setting up a virtuous circle of less car and lorry use and more use of rail. And 19% less youngsters are taking driving lessons, a brilliant fact!
Forget the 1970s attitudes. Rail, like gold and the Swiss Franc, are on a high. And success costs that little bit more. It's a price well worth paying!