Train journeys are a rip-off, there's no doubt about that. It doesn't matter if you live in a bustling urban metropolis, or on the top of a remote Welsh mountain, if you need to get the train you'll be overpaying for a service that leaves a lot to be desired. Some are better value than others, however, and according to new analysis by The Sunday Times the five worst ones are to or from London.
The analysis involved looking at a month's worth of punctuality records for hundreds of lines, and comparing them to the prices in order to work out just how much value they were to commuters. There were 360 lines in total, all looking at the journeys made in the four weeks leading up to August 24th. That's a lot of journeys, though I can't help but feel that it's quite a limited time-span to be drawing conclusions from.
The paper's analysis shows that most expensive journey was from Ipswich to London Liverpool Street, costing 71p per mile with 31 per cent of trains arriving late. The overall worst value was London Paddington to Didcot, costing 59p per mile and running late 61 per cent of the time.
The three other routes in the top five were Tunbridge Wells to London Cannon Street (64p per miles, 29 per cent delay/cancellation rate), London Bridge to Sevenoaks (61p per mile, 36.1 per cent delay/cancellation rate), and Liverpool Street to Witham (58p per mile, 38.3 per cent delay/cancellation rate).
According to the paper some people making the journeys paid as much as five times as much per mile than they would on trips in other parts of the UK.
If you're looking for places with travel that's more consistently cheap and punctual, The Times recommends Scotland and Northern England. House and rent prices are usually cheaper up there as well, which is a nice bonus. [The Times via London Evening Standard]