Inconsistencies of travelling and why it’s better to pollute

My Fiancée and I travelled down to London recently to see a premiere screening of 300. This week I’ve been invited to go to see Alpha Dog and 300 at the IMAX, and both are out. Why? Travelling costs, they are horrendous.

Yet when we were looking at the costs to travel to London there was a clear winner, and it was the most polluting method of transport we could have chosen, barring riding a leaking nuclear reactor down the country.


Let me cut to the chase. Flying was the cheapest method at a mere £180 return for us both and an additional £10 each for a train into London.

We could have driven, but the tax on the petrol and the congestion charges in London, as well as the parking costs just weren’t attractive. Job well done Government, you’ve dissuaded me from driving, so now I’m off to dump tonnes of carbon pollution into the air because I’m flying.

Let me take that back. Job not well thought through Government, you’ve saved your precious capital congestion and made me take to the skies. Nice green policy.

So why didn’t I take the train? £600, that’s why. No, that’s not first class either. For two, standard class, cheap fares, a week or so in advance, £600. Well at least those were for returns.

Isn’t that ridiculous? It’s three times cheaper to fly from Edinburgh to London, and flying is cheaper than driving. How is that a joined up green policy? Why are the trains so expensive and yet flying so cheap? Something just isn’t right here.

Surely trains emit less carbon footprint than a plane full of people, plus it’s safer, easier and actually for complete travelling time it’s about the same time and much easier.

You know I’d much rather sit on the train and travel than fly, and I’d be willing to fork out a little extra for first class to get some table service and wireless connection, however that is not worth £600, taking the train has to be cheaper than taking a flight, otherwise people will take the cheaper and more polluting option just as I did.

Before anyone hits me with arguments about how much it costs, etc. What’s the cost of getting a plane up in the air coupled with airport fees?

There’s a thing called economy of scale, reduce the prices to make it more attractive for people to use and more people will use the service, but price yourself out of the market and no one will use you. I think it’s called Business. It is something that the airlines have certainly understood, and yet the rail companies are missing it totally.

Mind you, no matter the ticket price can you guarantee a breakdown or strike rate comparable to other forms of travel?

1 comment on “Inconsistencies of travelling and why it’s better to pollute”

  1. danae Reply

    Richard, all i can say is yes, exactly! I’m invited to countless lingerie shows down in London and it’s ridiculous how much travel is — i greatly prefer the train and it’s not worth it time-wise to fly, so i essentially can’t go thanks to ridiculous prices. Come on britain, sort this out!!

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