The Thick of It


Wednesday, May 23, 2007

South West Trains

I've been meaning to write something about this for some time. The publishing of the Local Transport Bill and the proposal to allow local authorities to introduce pay-as-you-drive charging reminded me of the 20% increase in off peak fares for those travelling from outside of the Travelcard zones area. SWT are trying to price people out of travelling in busy periods, though this now stretches until midday.

While studying economics at university our tutor explained how pricing can be used to control market behaviour and cited British Rail as an example. SWT are now doing this because people travelled at the end of the peak period to avoid high prices and overcrowding. This smacks to me of operators promising the Treasury big payments to secure franchises, money that has to be recouped. In the past it was directly from tax payers, now indirectly from sales taxes and service users.


el Tom said...

Not a fan of SWT at all. It can cometimes be more expensive for me to get from my parents place in Woking to London than it is from London to Manchester.

Timmymc said...

South West Trains are owned by Stagecoach, while Virgin west coast is also 50% owned by the same company.

I hope all is well at Manchester University Labour Club.