Thursday, May 29, 2008

Rip off

I was in Edinburgh yesterday, the great whore of the east, on a training course learning all about GIS mapping systems. Or at least learning about a specific type of software which is a GIS mapping system. I'll be there again today, and tomorrow too.

The return rail fare to Edinburgh is £21.90 from my local station. I would have to catch the 0740hrs train to Glasgow Queen Street, then change onto the Edinburgh train to get to Waverley station in time to walk (10 minutes) to the course venue for 0930hrs, and finishing the course at 1730hrs I would not get home again, or to my local station anyway, until 1930hrs. Total travelling time, about 3 hours.

The journey is 55 miles each way and I could probably do it in a little over an hour on the bike, at a cost of about £10 for the return journey. Total travelling time, about two and a bit hours. Total cost, about half that of the rail journey.

Can't think why I don't use public transport more!


  1. Travelling to Edinburgh from Glasgow on the M8 is not something I relish, and have the dubious pleasure of undertaking by car in two week time - at the worst time of day.

    Layclerk, if of course, highlighting the advantage of using his bike which is cheaper to run than a car, and get through the heavy traffic.

    The biggest mistake people fall into when looking at the cost of a journey using their own transport is to just consider the fuel cost and not all the other costs - insurances; services; depreciation; etc. I guess to undertake that sort of journey by car would take closer to the train time, and would cost around £12 in diesel, which could be at least doubled - if not trebled - when all the other costs of motoring are added.

    However buying a ticket for a train journey does not guarantee a seat........

  2. A good point by pencefn regarding the extra costs of private transport such as insurance etc, but I would merely point out that the bike (and indeed the car) is sitting outside on the street right now fully taxed and insured, and unless I put a much higher than average extra number of miles onto it it will depreciate at the same rate whether it sits there or I use it. Therefore I would contend that the real world cost of the journey is more or less only the price of fuel, oil and the fairly negligible amount that servicing costs.

    I actually travelled by train yesterday, and got a seat in each direction and I was in fact quite impressed by the journey, apart from the cost. Today I travelled by bike and it was faster (though admittedly not by all that much, maybe 20 minutes each way), cheaper and more enjoyable for me.

    I got through the traffic fairly easily, as a former motorcycle courier and current advanced rider I think I have some expertise in the black art of filtering and making progress through traffic, but I wouldn't have liked to have been stuck in the car so I don't envy pencefn's journey in two weeks!

    Tomorrow I will again travel by train, but that's because we will be going for a small glass of shandy or two after the course finishes, so the train driver can be responsible for getting me home again afterwards!

  3. You have considered the financial cost to yourself here but not the environmental cost. Perhaps it would benefit you to do some research into the fuel efficiency of a full passenger train compared to a car carrying only one passenger. I think it is a very narrow-minded viewpoint to consider only personal benefits when choosing to travel by car rather than train.

  4. So sue me, anonymous!

    Frankly I don't really care what you think, worthy as your thoughts clearly are, particularly if you choose to hide behind complete anonymity and not even use a pseudonym when commenting on my opinions on my Blog.

    My motorcycle (note: I was using a motorcycle, not a car, so perhaps it would benefit you to read slower) doesn't make that much difference to the environment, and even if it did I'd still use it, and the car for that matter, whenever I wanted to take advantage of the benefits to me they endow, and the freedom they bestow.

    Feel free to come back at me on this.