News that train fares are to rise again this year, at more than the rate of inflation, has coincided with the revelation that fares in the UK are up to ten times more than those in, for example, Italy, and three and a half times those in France.

The high costs have forced a re-think by many on the costs of trips, and the viability of alternative transport to trains. A recent survey by One Poll revealed that 66% of people are put off taking short breaks in the UK by train fares.

The train operating companies claim that the additional income is spent on improvements to services, rather than salaries, perks and pensions for management. However an investigation by the Daily Telegraph showed that the commercial director of one company, Peter Williams of East Coast, spent £1,400 of his firm’s money on seven flights between Glasgow and London, despite personally extolling the virtues of train travel to customers, and East Coast having trains running on the route, which would have been free for him to use.

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