As a regular user of trains I am saddened my Young Person's Railcard will run out soon. For years I've enjoyed reduced fares and to be honest, it hasn't been until recently that I've really made use of the discount.
Over the years the journeys I have taken have been 1 hour long...maybe 3 hours at a real push. Having the rail card benefitted me, but even if my train fare was normal price I could probably have afforded it. Now, that concept has gone. Over the last few months I've been traveling to Newcastle quite a lot. An epic 5 1/2 hours on the train if I'm lucky. With a rail card and booking massively in advance I have managed to buy a return journey for around £65, at the most £80. I believe these prices to be a distant memory.
Even over the last 6 months I have seen the prices increase. Because of timings and not wanting to spend more than 6 1/2 hours on a train, most return tickets are about £100, including the railcard saving. Not good. Without the railcard saving? We are talking about £150. I feel a bit sick just thinking about it. Spending that much money just to travel in my own country. For the same price I can get return flights to Amsterdam or Paris.
In fact, I'm traveling to Newcastle this weekend and it's cheaper to fly than get the train. I try and be environmentally friendly but when I'm spending nearly one hundred pounds on rail fare something has got to give. And there are benefits of flying that make the journey far more peaceful.
I know I definitely get a seat on a aircraft which is more than can be said for trains. It's a direct flight. I'm less likely to be running late if I take a plane. When my railcard eventually does run out, I can see myself becoming quite familiar with Bristol Airport.