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UK politics - Hamsterwheel

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UK politics - Hamsterwheel

Old 3rd Jan 2018, 16:35
  #13381 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Charley View Post
Broadly agree with the mathematics and with G-CPTN's verification.

The season ticket is £10,567 per annum.

Track miles (rail version thereof) from Birmingham New Street to London Euston is 112 miles (source). The maximum number of working days* per year is 232 (source).

The total miles travelled per year thus 51,968. (232 x (112 x 2)).

Thus cost per year 20.33p/mile assuming all days worked and season ticket not used for any other purpose.

Now that one person has made the claim and two people have verified it, care to answer the question as to why you were so skeptical about the figures in the first place?
Since you asked....

First, Siti, bless his RAF blue cotton socks, is one of our more "staunch " right wing contributors and, along with others of the same ilk and former occupation, tends to be somewhat devoid of accuracy as a result.

Plus, the very mention of anything which is anti-Tory and involves trade unions here on JB can be the equivalent of one of those "all you can eat " meal offers.....the faithful duly gorge themselves to over capacity when confronted with such.

It's actually 101 rail miles to Euston and 112 from Moor St to Marylebone ( the latter is far more conducive than bearded rail I should add ) but we won't quibble about a few miles here or there....unless you want to.

So, you've just parted with £10.5k to travel ( assuming you rtn the same day and don't stay in either location overnight, in which case, unless you've got a very generous friend, your costs are going to increase even more ) and for that, you will spend between ( approximately ) 3hrs a day on bearded rail and 4hrs on Chiltern Railways.

If you are starting from B'ham, or the surrounding areas, then you have to get to either Wolverhampton / New Street or Moor St / Snow Hill in the first place...train ? car ?, bus ? telekinesis ?...walk ? cycle ? scrounge a lift ? taxi ? and likewise getting around in London ...all this takes time... and usually.... money.

And what percentage of your salary goes on travel, not just the extortionate amount of the season ticket ?.....and how much productive time will be the result if you spend the time travelling every day, let alone the cost to your health.

The reason I was, and still am, sceptical as to the 0.22p figure is because the amount is very small, a bit too conveniently small in fact when you start taking the other variables into consideration but, thankfully, you provided a simplified mathematical explanation which even those of us with a limited educational attainment ( me for example ) can understand.

Of course, it would also help if various Gov'ts, predominantly Tory but Labour are also, to a lesser extent, culpable hadn't felt it so imperative to splurge the transport budget on London and the South East, rather than say allocate it more broadly across the rest of the UK.

As I was saying about the faithful.....enter good old Mystic ( any predictions for 2018 perchance ? ) Prophead....

" I do not for one minute believe it would run any better under government control though. The worse run areas may be improved but the better ones would probably see a decline"

Alas, when the ECML was put back into public ownership, it, erm, did remarkably well and made a profit.

Then came along the UK's rail saviour, grinning as always, and oops!!, it's now had to be bailed out ( shall we call this a decline ? ) on very favourable terms albeit not yet fully explained of course, by that nice Mr Grayling, currently enduring a warmer than the UK excursion to Quatar.

Last edited by Krystal n chips; 3rd Jan 2018 at 16:48.
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Old 3rd Jan 2018, 16:38
  #13382 (permalink)  
 
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Yup, that's the problem. You cannot have competition on the same tracks with different companies (and hence a pure "free market"). Not enough room. Same with energy, water and communications, you can't change the wires or pipes every time you change supplier. Thus you end up with this "private monopoly regulated by government" farce, usually foreign owned and thus removing wealth from the UK...
Where I live (Southport) Merseyrail to Liverpool / Cheshire is frequent, modern, reliable, cheaper (if you add parking) and faster than the car, so I use it wherever possible. Northern Rail to Manchester is expensive, old fashioned, overcrowded and slow, so I don't. Unless public transport is cheaper than the car what exactly is the point of it???? Other than for rich people who can afford to drive to look down their noses at....
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Old 3rd Jan 2018, 16:53
  #13383 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Effluent Man View Post
It's the way the OP was written that caused the problem. Had Siti simply put 22p per mile then I don't think this would have arisen. I must admit to doing a double take when I read it as 0.22p per mile. Now that would have been a bargain. I would query the statement about the cost compared to travelling by car. My Mercedes C220 has average 60.5 mpg over the last 11,000 miles. Fuel cost at current 117p a litre works out at 8.6p per mile. That leaves 13.4p for all other costs. Assuming that you have a car already then tax and insurance costs can be discounted, so that leaves around £6500 for wear and tear and extra servicing costs. It's do- able.
Its doable if you get free parking at the other end - are there many working in London who get that?
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Old 3rd Jan 2018, 17:05
  #13384 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Jet II View Post
Its doable if you get free parking at the other end - are there many working in London who get that?
I doubt it, unless they own the space!
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Old 3rd Jan 2018, 17:54
  #13385 (permalink)  
 
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I wouldn't have the foggiest about that. I live exactly a hundred miles away and nothing would entice me closer to that awful place.
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Old 3rd Jan 2018, 18:25
  #13386 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Effluent Man
I would query the statement about the cost compared to travelling by car. My Mercedes C220 has average 60.5 mpg over the last 11,000 miles. Fuel cost at current 117p a litre works out at 8.6p per mile. That leaves 13.4p for all other costs. Assuming that you have a car already then tax and insurance costs can be discounted...
These figures for the cost of fuel when using the car are about right. My real fuel costs have been 8.7p/mile recently. However we have to compare apples with apples; if we're talking about methods of commuting to work, which is a neccessity, then we need to wrap all the costs of the car into the calculations; insurance, tax, maintenance, the initial cap-ex, the cost of parking around the workplace. One might suggest the overall costs per mile are not entirely dissimilar to that of the season ticket example postulated above. Personally, I believe it's entirely arguable that car travel is even cheaper per mile at all compared to some rail commutes.

On the other hand, if we're going to assume that 'everbody owns a car anyway' then it leads to an obvous solution; if rail travel is too expensive, ditch it and drive to work! Vote with your feet, trust in market forces. If fewer people use the trains then might not the train operating companies be forced to examine their pricing? They might not compete with each other given our current national franchising model, but they are still competing with other solutions to commuting problems.

Originally Posted by andytug
Unless public transport is cheaper than the car what exactly is the point of it?
The answers are varied but do exist; speed (overall journey time), convenience, the chance to 'switch off' or multitask during the journey, etc. If public transport really does come at a premium (which is debateable in the first place if we consider all of the costs involved with private alternatives) then that premium is down to the advantages each individual sees in it as a solution to their logistical problem. Situational advantages vary from case to case.

My counter-question would be; should public transport be cheaper than car travel?

And if it is cheaper, that's great! However, if it is only to be cheapened by increasing the level of subsidy offered by non-users of the service... well, I'm just not seeing a compelling argument for that. Most of my rail-travelling friends are in the same camp as Prophead - "prices go up sometimes, hey ho". The very small minority of people using the price increases to justify nationalisation of the railways or increasing the levels of taxpayer subsidy again haven't made a coherent argument for it, at least to me. And in some cases have simply reeked of entitlement while failing to make a compelling case.

K'n'C:

Thanks for your reply which I have looked over carefully.

You asked about the hassles of getting to and from the point of embarkation and disembarkation. Fair points but I must admit I don't understand how it's germane to the discussion; those overheads will exist whether rail travel is cheaper or not and, frankly, they are the choice of the traveller. If the commuter chooses to live in an area of Brum which isn't near the central station and yet work in a part of London which isn't near a terminus, what does that have to do with the commuter in general, train operating companies, the government or the taxpayer? At what point does personal responsibility kick in a people with really long and awkward commutes to work decide to, for example, consider moving closer to their workplace? In the example we debated above, there are plenty of locations downstream of Birmingham which have comparable or cheaper property prices and would reduce the travel time and cost to London.

Finally, although I don't wish to 'quibble over mileage' as you suggested, please quote your sources for the journey being 101 miles. Not worth arguing over but do cite your sources. My source for the mileage is here - just enter Birmingham New Street to London Euston. It quotes 112 miles and 48 chains. It also gives a detailed routing, junction/station by same. Meanwhile, this is the progess of a real train on that route today; please note the waypoints shown correspond exactly to the route offered by the first website. If my confidence in 112 is misplaced, please provide a more accurate and authoritative source. Thank you sir! While you may feel it's quibbling over mere miles, over the course of a year the error would be 5,104 of them - significant enough not to want to walk it.

Last edited by Charley; 3rd Jan 2018 at 18:28. Reason: The red bit added for clarity.
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Old 3rd Jan 2018, 19:22
  #13387 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Charley View Post
if we're talking about methods of commuting to work, which is a neccessity
No, it's not a necessity, it's a lifestyle choice.
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Old 3rd Jan 2018, 19:30
  #13388 (permalink)  
 
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100% agreed, Getrude.

I could probably have worded my post better. Insert the words 'assuming one has committed to a commuting lifestyle...' as required.
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Old 3rd Jan 2018, 23:42
  #13389 (permalink)  
 
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Realistically who would commute from Birmingham to London on a daily basis?
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Old 4th Jan 2018, 06:25
  #13390 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Charley View Post
These figures for the cost of fuel when using the car are about right. My real fuel costs have been 8.7p/mile recently. However we have to compare apples with apples; if we're talking about methods of commuting to work, which is a neccessity, then we need to wrap all the costs of the car into the calculations; insurance, tax, maintenance, the initial cap-ex, the cost of parking around the workplace. One might suggest the overall costs per mile are not entirely dissimilar to that of the season ticket example postulated above. Personally, I believe it's entirely arguable that car travel is even cheaper per mile at all compared to some rail commutes.

On the other hand, if we're going to assume that 'everbody owns a car anyway' then it leads to an obvous solution; if rail travel is too expensive, ditch it and drive to work! Vote with your feet, trust in market forces. If fewer people use the trains then might not the train operating companies be forced to examine their pricing? They might not compete with each other given our current national franchising model, but they are still competing with other solutions to commuting problems.



The answers are varied but do exist; speed (overall journey time), convenience, the chance to 'switch off' or multitask during the journey, etc. If public transport really does come at a premium (which is debateable in the first place if we consider all of the costs involved with private alternatives) then that premium is down to the advantages each individual sees in it as a solution to their logistical problem. Situational advantages vary from case to case.

My counter-question would be; should public transport be cheaper than car travel?

And if it is cheaper, that's great! However, if it is only to be cheapened by increasing the level of subsidy offered by non-users of the service... well, I'm just not seeing a compelling argument for that. Most of my rail-travelling friends are in the same camp as Prophead - "prices go up sometimes, hey ho". The very small minority of people using the price increases to justify nationalisation of the railways or increasing the levels of taxpayer subsidy again haven't made a coherent argument for it, at least to me. And in some cases have simply reeked of entitlement while failing to make a compelling case.

K'n'C:

Thanks for your reply which I have looked over carefully.

You asked about the hassles of getting to and from the point of embarkation and disembarkation. Fair points but I must admit I don't understand how it's germane to the discussion; those overheads will exist whether rail travel is cheaper or not and, frankly, they are the choice of the traveller. If the commuter chooses to live in an area of Brum which isn't near the central station and yet work in a part of London which isn't near a terminus, what does that have to do with the commuter in general, train operating companies, the government or the taxpayer? At what point does personal responsibility kick in a people with really long and awkward commutes to work decide to, for example, consider moving closer to their workplace? In the example we debated above, there are plenty of locations downstream of Birmingham which have comparable or cheaper property prices and would reduce the travel time and cost to London.

Finally, although I don't wish to 'quibble over mileage' as you suggested, please quote your sources for the journey being 101 miles. Not worth arguing over but do cite your sources. My source for the mileage is here - just enter Birmingham New Street to London Euston. It quotes 112 miles and 48 chains. It also gives a detailed routing, junction/station by same. Meanwhile, this is the progess of a real train on that route today; please note the waypoints shown correspond exactly to the route offered by the first website. If my confidence in 112 is misplaced, please provide a more accurate and authoritative source. Thank you sir! While you may feel it's quibbling over mere miles, over the course of a year the error would be 5,104 of them - significant enough not to want to walk it.
Charley,

That's an interesting reply.

I see you are quite definitive with overall costings for cars, but less so when these are applied to rail travel. Surely, when calculating personal expenditure these costs are equally relevant ?

The links you provided were interesting in one sense, although I'm not that obsessed with header codes to source every one when I wish to check a trains progress. That, and using such does tend to convey the impression you are, as a passenger, considerably more knowledgeable as to rail operations. Unless of course you are a rail professional ?

My mileage came from Wiki, so you'll get a jolly good rousing cheer from the chaps on here for offering different mileages to myself.

What I don't accept is this supine response as in "hey ho, what's a little price rise after all " to fares and fare increases. Unless, of course, money is no barrier and you are daft enough to pay simply because you can....some on here are.

You've probably realised by now I'm decidedly against privatisation per se and the Tory Holy Grail of "Privatisation is the Panacea ! " mantra.

Have a read of these links please.

http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/politicsandpo...privatisation/

https://weownit.org.uk/blog/rail-pri...ess-or-failure

Do you really feel happy that the cost of the ticket as quoted isn't going to actually provide any tangible benefit to the consumer / passenger ?

And now for one of those definitive moments.......

https://www.theguardian.com/politics...es-study-finds

Which is duly exemplified by many here on JB.....Tory ( and other miscellaneous and now inconsequential former political parties ) supporters and contributors.

Not often polls are that accurate, but, you do conform to the demographic perfectly......well done....chaps !

Last edited by Krystal n chips; 4th Jan 2018 at 06:41.
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Old 4th Jan 2018, 06:27
  #13391 (permalink)  
 
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Realistically who would commute from Birmingham to London on a daily basis?
Maybe the mates of those commuting from Manchester to London?
The comment about commuting being a lifestyle choice puzzles me. If, in the interests of bettering oneself, you are offered a job in somewhere like London. Grand! Now you need to find a place to live and that often results in people having to move further and further away from the city. The commuting then becomes Hobson's choice, rather than a lifestyle choice. I must say though, I am baffled by people wanting to commute between Manchester/Birmingham and London.
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Old 4th Jan 2018, 07:04
  #13392 (permalink)  
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KelvinD,

If someone living in Birmingham or elsewhere is offered a job in London they should look at the costs of relocation and relative living costs and if the offered relocation package/salary make it attractive. They can also look at the costs of relocating outside London and commuting.

What they aren5 entitled to do is stay where they are, take the job and higher salary - then demand the taxpayers elsewhere in the country subsidise their commuting costs.

Figures from 2014: ....”In London those with a commute of more than an hour earned an average of £18.80 an hour compared with £9.60 for those with shorter commutes. Outside the capital the figures are £14.30 compared with £8.30...”
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Old 4th Jan 2018, 08:01
  #13393 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by KelvinD View Post
Maybe the mates of those commuting from Manchester to London?
The comment about commuting being a lifestyle choice puzzles me. If, in the interests of bettering oneself, you are offered a job in somewhere like London. Grand! Now you need to find a place to live and that often results in people having to move further and further away from the city. The commuting then becomes Hobson's choice, rather than a lifestyle choice. I must say though, I am baffled by people wanting to commute between Manchester/Birmingham and London.
As an intelligent bloke you do realise that it is an individual's choice to move? If it is to better oneself then it is still a choice. Personal responsibility.
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Old 4th Jan 2018, 08:49
  #13394 (permalink)  
 
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ORAC: I don't disagree with the argument that taxpayers should subsidise the commute. I was merely disagreeing with the bland statement that commuting is a lifestyle choice.
The Nip: Of course I realise it is an individual's choice to move. But what happens if your job in your factory in the North disappears? You find a new job but it is in London. Now find somewhere to live! You could find yourself moving to somewhere like Basingstoke, where you might be able to afford the accommodation costs but you will be faced with an expensive commute.
When I first moved to Basingstoke, one of the things that struck me was how the accents I heard in the town centre were mainly Jock or Scouse. Took me back to my time in the Army and my time as a dockyard matey in Simons Town!
I moved to Basingstoke (from Wiesbaden) as my job was notionally headquartered here. (My work was anywhere except Basingstoke). I once had to make the morning commute into London to attend a seminar and swore I would never do that again! A few years later, I found myself heavily involved with the roll out of the Met Police comms system and had to travel occasionally into London. And hated every single minute of those journeys.
So, back to your claim that commuting is a personal responsibility, I would say that the choice could come down to putting up with commuting or, in the example I give, sitting on your bum, taking the dole and moaning about how all the jobs have gone.
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Old 4th Jan 2018, 09:29
  #13395 (permalink)  
 
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I haven't read in detail all the above calculations for different ways of commuting into London, as nothing on earth would persuade me to return to that way of life.
But have the driving costs included the congestion charge which is currently £11.50 per day, and parking which seems to be about £25 per day in e.g. Victoria?
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Old 4th Jan 2018, 09:30
  #13396 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by KelvinD View Post
ORAC: I don't disagree with the argument that taxpayers should subsidise the commute. I was merely disagreeing with the bland statement that commuting is a lifestyle choice.
The Nip: Of course I realise it is an individual's choice to move. But what happens if your job in your factory in the North disappears? You find a new job but it is in London. Now find somewhere to live! You could find yourself moving to somewhere like Basingstoke, where you might be able to afford the accommodation costs but you will be faced with an expensive commute.
When I first moved to Basingstoke, one of the things that struck me was how the accents I heard in the town centre were mainly Jock or Scouse. Took me back to my time in the Army and my time as a dockyard matey in Simons Town!
I moved to Basingstoke (from Wiesbaden) as my job was notionally headquartered here. (My work was anywhere except Basingstoke). I once had to make the morning commute into London to attend a seminar and swore I would never do that again! A few years later, I found myself heavily involved with the roll out of the Met Police comms system and had to travel occasionally into London. And hated every single minute of those journeys.
So, back to your claim that commuting is a personal responsibility, I would say that the choice could come down to putting up with commuting or, in the example I give, sitting on your bum, taking the dole and moaning about how all the jobs have gone.
As you say there are many reasons. But it is still a choice. Everyone has to make choices. I would say the main is financial. If money is the overwhelming reason then so be it. My point being is you make your own choice and shouldn't expect others to help you out.
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Old 4th Jan 2018, 09:59
  #13397 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by The Nip View Post
As you say there are many reasons. But it is still a choice. Everyone has to make choices. I would say the main is financial. If money is the overwhelming reason then so be it. My point being is you make your own choice and shouldn't expect others to help you out.
I hate to be the one to inject the concept of reality into your flawed understanding of matters.

You see, whilst the profiteering rise in season tickets is currently in the spotlight, unfortunately the issues are somewhat deeper than the lifestyle choice ( although for many it's a choice born out of necessity.....otherwise known as work ) which seems to have infatuated some on here.

Have a read of this article where some examples are displayed and please read the comments by Mick Cash......unless you care to dispute his realistic understanding of matters that is?.

UK train prices to rocket as services 'rob' passengers | This is Money
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Old 4th Jan 2018, 10:21
  #13398 (permalink)  
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The comparison is unfair.

The main problem in the UK is that the vast majority of the rail network, and travel, is concentrated in the South-East supporting commuting into and out of London, with the trains, stations and staff being vastly under used outside 2-4 hours at either end of the working day. Which is why if Travel off-peak it costs practically nothing.

Because of that the vast majority of the tax payer subsidy goes to cover the overheads of having that systemís overhead costs.

Donít take my word for it - read it in the Guardian...

https://www.theguardian.com/commenti...bsidies-london
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Old 4th Jan 2018, 10:47
  #13399 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by ORAC View Post
The comparison is unfair.

The main problem in the UK is that the vast majority of the rail network, and travel, is concentrated in the South-East supporting commuting into and out of London, with the trains, stations and staff being vastly under used outside 2-4 hours at either end of the working day. Which is why if Travel off-peak it costs practically nothing.

Because of that the vast majority of the tax payer subsidy goes to cover the overheads of having that systemís overhead costs.

Donít take my word for it - read it in the Guardian...

https://www.theguardian.com/commenti...bsidies-london
ORAC...one has already mentioned the discrepancy regarding funding across the UK less you missed it...even contained criticism of Labour.

Thus to "Off Peak " travel....true, you can pick up some very good deals, no dispute there because I have and do.....however....you do have to sit down and plan, very carefully and also book well in advance to get the deals, plus sometimes including a bit of inconvenience to yourself. No real hardship for me but can be for others.

It also pays to scrutinise the "off peak" hours....carefully, very carefully in fact. You see, it's not the sole preserve of daily commuters who are required to pay above the overpriced fares, it's anybody who needs to travel during these peak periods and the window can be very tight.

https://www.virgintrains.co.uk/-/med...trictions.ashx
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Old 4th Jan 2018, 11:27
  #13400 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by KelvinD View Post
The comment about commuting being a lifestyle choice puzzles me. If, in the interests of bettering oneself, you are offered a job in somewhere like London. Grand! Now you need to find a place to live and that often results in people having to move further and further away from the city. The commuting then becomes Hobson's choice, rather than a lifestyle choice.
It's lifestyle choices. You choose to get into a career where the jobs are in London, you choose to take a job in London rather than a lower paid job elsewhere, you choose to live in a four bedroom detached house with swimming pool in Milton Keynes when you could, for the same money, have had a bedsit in a rat infested tumbledown back street in London.

Lifestyle choices. I choose the "lower paid job outside London" lifestyle, and I have a twelve minute cycle ride to work.
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