It's January 2nd, and for lucky rail commuters across the country, that means our annual dose of fare hikes. Yippee! Take a close look at the numbers, though, and it's clear that we're getting totally, utterly, unashamedly ripped off.
Across the board, us lucky commuter drones are seeing above-inflation rises of 4.3 per cent on season tickets, and average 3.9 per cent increases across the whole of the UK. Here in London, prices have gone up by 4.2 per cent, continuing the trend of Transport for London raiding our pockets on a yearly basis.
A breakdown we did showing fare prices from 2004 (the year Oyster properly rolled out); what prices should be if they followed inflation, and what prices actually are today, shows the stark truth: Transport for London are raping and pillaging their way across people's wage packets, with all the prices across the board rising significantly above inflation.
Yes, some of the fare increases might not look dramatic, but honestly, why the hell should prices go up at all over inflation? It's not like we're seeing a better service for our money; we're still besieged by chronic overcrowding and a pathetic excuse for timely service. This is the capital city of the world's third-richest country; a city that managed to pull off the Olympics six months ago, but still we're incapable of providing an efficient and cost-effective tube system; the sort of infrastructure that should be a basic staple underpinning the smooth running of London. But no. We're still stuck with gummed-up seats, faces shoved in strangers armpits and a bloody gap between "the train and the platform edge".
So here's a tip for the bosses of TfL: Sort out the Tube; make it run properly, smoothly, efficiently and then, maybe, possibly, we can talk about giving you some more of our money. Jacking up fares while you're failing miserably at all of the above is just barefaced cheek.
Hat-tip to @hwallop!
Image credit: Man with money from Shutterstock