Train takes the strain as it's now cheaper by car

PUBLISHED: 12:38 09 January 2008 | UPDATED: 21:15 26 October 2009

County councillor Malcolm Cowan

County councillor Malcolm Cowan

IT is now cheaper to commute to London by car than it is on the train. So says WGC resident Bert Mills, who has ditched the railway in favour of the road for his daily journey to and from the City for work. Fare increases across the board in the new year

IT is now cheaper to commute to London by car than it is on the train.

So says WGC resident Bert Mills, who has ditched the railway in favour of the road for his daily journey to and from the City for work.

Fare increases across the board in the new year means it now costs £3,100 for an annual railcard from WGC into the capital - up £120.

Bert, 27, told the WHT the latest hike was "an absolute outrage" and that it was more economical to go in his car - spending about £5 on petrol and the £8 congestion charge.

He said: "The trains are always delayed, this price increase is ridiculous.

"I've given up on the trains it's cheaper to drive."

WGC county councillor Malcolm Cowan, the Lib Dem group's travel spokesman, said it would not just be people who travelled to London who would suffer.

He said: "The traffic in surrounding areas is going to be worse with more people using the car.

"Another problem is that the prices of the train station car parks are also going up in many places, especially at Welwyn North, so people are using the public highway to park, causing mayhem."

Cllr Cowan added: "Anyone who travels by train in Europe knows how expensive British fares are.

"The UK really is the centre of the rip-off culture, but in this case it is Government-orchestrated.

"At the same time, Labour implores us to use public transport, but ministers travel free in their chauffeur-driven cars, ignorant of what they have visited upon the public by their policies.

"The double standards are what we have come to expect."

A First Capital Connect spokesman said the fares could be dramatically decreased if passengers bought a railcard to King's Cross and then used Oyster Cards or a bus from there onwards.

However Bert, who is a buyer, said: "That is simply unrealistic.

"People who work in London are generally businessmen and therefore need to do more travelling in and around London, which means that it costs a lot more than just the £3 per day that it would using an Oyster Card for one return journey.

"And as for taking the bus, that is farcical suggestion for businessmen."

Travel card prices

From Knebworth

All day travel card. Was: £20. Now: £20.50.

Seven day travel card. Was: £81.60 Now: £85.

Annual travel card. Was: £3,264 Now: £3,400.

From WGC

All day travel card. Was: £18.50 Now: £19.50.

Seven day travel card. Was: £74.50 Now: £77.50.

Annual travel card. Was: £2,980 Now: £3,100.

From Potters Bar

All day travel card. Was: £14 Now: £15.

Seven day travel card. Was: £59 Now: £62.50.

Annual travel card. Was: £2,360 Now: £2,500.

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