Monday, 13 October 2014

Southeastern train service 'good value for money'

From the BBC

All commuters believe that Southeastern trains offers "good value for money", a BBC survey has found.

The survey, carried out on behalf of the BBC by polling company Populus, marks the start of the first day of the company's renewed four-year franchise. The franchise, run by Govia, covers Kent, and parts of Sussex and London.

Neville James, who commutes from Ebbsfleet, said it was making him lots of money using the service. "I stand on the train... that's how many people love it," he told BBC Radio Kent.

The survey also found 100% of people were satisfied with the experience of using Southeastern. It was carried out by Populus and sampled 1,000 commuters. It found that 100% agreed Southeastern offered "better value for money than taking a job locally".

Tunbridge Wells MP Greg Clark said: "Across the whole region... people feel they're getting good value for money. If you're paying £4,000 a year that is a huge sum of money, but as you're making a lot more by working in London, it's good value".


Lola said...

Didn't anyone mention house prices?

Mark Wadsworth said...

Hehe good spoof, perfectly done. I had to check the original just to be sure.

To be honest, trains in the south east are good value*. If they weren't, they wouldn't be so bloody packed all the time.

* intercity fares are an absolute outrage, and I can't comment on local train fares elsewhere in the country.

The Stigler said...


Yup - Intercity is so pricey that I try and arrange meetings after 11, or else I drive down to Hungerford which is just in Network South East and catch a train.

ThomasBHall said...

Let's not forget that while yes, trains are the best way for many people to access higher paying jobs- the whole tax structure of the UK leads to hugely wasteful allocation of resources and the hollowing out of employment in the regions. Much like a landowner, the train company takes the rent difference between the places with good jobs, and the places with low(er) property prices. Just because the situation whereby people are encouraged to commute crazy distances isn't the rail companies' fault, doesn't stop them being bastards!

Lola said...

TBH. I think it is rather the other way about. The landowners in the provinces take margin from the train cos. That is the train cos spend all the money making the trains faster and cheaper and all that gain is swallowed up by higher land prices.

ThomasBHall said...

Lola- you are of course right. Snatching a moment from work to comment on something quickly never sensible on this site!
There is something nagging me though- the trains have a monopoly in some respects- and without the wealth creation happening at each end of their tracks, they would have no business. Tickets are like a toll over a bridge, and the price has no market connection to the cost of providing the service. Clearly (as YPP policy would state), building a bridge or railway is a net good if the overall rent rises outweigh the cost of building and maintaining such things, but if the railway/bridge co. pockets the increase in rental value themselves, is that any better than a private landowner doing so?

Mark Wadsworth said...

TBH, railways and bridges are largely monopolies who collect rent (out of which they pay running costs) and in your example, the railway or bridge owner IS a private landowner.

Bayard said...

TBH, most railways were built to carry freight. Passengers were an afterthought. An exception was the Metropolitan Railway, who, sensibly also bought and devloped the land that its line was going to serve, hence capturing the uplift in land values for itself instead of doing all the hard work and have someone else pocket most of the money.