There are lots of things you can buy for £29. Ladies will choose pretty dresses from Topshop, make-up or fluffy kittens, men will opt for beer, new pants or FHM. When spent together the man with new pants and the lady with a pretty dress might enjoy a night at the cinema or a romantic meal for two at the Harvester, but no matter how they choose to spend their £29 it will be pleasant, enjoyable and nothing at all like buying a train ticket from SouthEastern.
I woke up this morning to find that Tunbridge Wells had been cast adrift overnight, washing up just off the coast New Zealand, or so you’d think given that without even a hint of a emotion the deadpan SouthEastern employee behind the plexiglass (and presumably bulletproof) screen, asked for £29 for a return ticket to London.
Twenty. Nine. Pounds.
Now, I never was any good at maths and after a quick headcount it seems there are 72 seats per carriage, and an average of 8 carriages per train, and hell, let’s add another 10 passengers standing per carriage on a quiet day. Some passengers pay a lot more, some a lot less, so let’s for argument’s sake say £29 is the average fare. I make that roughly £19,024 per train. Now, let’s generously say there are approximately 3 trains an hour for 16 hours, that’s a tidy £913,152 a day. Now, you know me, I’m fair, so let’s say that average capacity is 60%. Chaos and inappropriate frotting in rush hour and on the vomit comets, stretched out with The Times the rest of the day. I make that, and don’t forget I said my maths were appalling, £547,891.20 revenue per day, per line. The Hornby London 2012 Train Set is available in shops now for just £69.
Given that staggering figure, does £29 per ticket strike anyone else as grossly un-fare?