No man's knowledge here can go beyond his experienceJohn Locke
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A couple of good friends have engagement parties in London this February, so I decided it might be a good idea to get my Apex train tickets booked well in advance to ensure I didn't end up burdened with the usual extortionate price that has been the product of privatisation following the 1993 Railway Act.
It was no great surprise to discover that my first outing to the city, being the first weekend of many schools half term, coincides with engineering work between Didcot and Swindon. So, the usual direct service from Gloucester to London is not running. Leaving either a bus transfer or the route via Bristol at 3 hours plus journey time (normally about 110 minutes) for which Apex tickets are not offered. With the cheapest ticket price at approximately £35 before tube connections. For that price I might as well drive! A sentiment I am sure is shared by most people making the journey from the West Country. How can we ever hope to create a greener England by reducing the number of cars on the road when rail prices are so over priced. Increasing road taxes certainly doesn't help. It just leaves less disposable income and even less chance of affording train tickets.
National Express, meanwhile, have actually taken a bit of initiative and are injecting the cost savings of implementing e-tickets into special reduced fares. Despite my reservation of coach travel, under the current circumstances the travel duration equals the roundabout train journey, and my fun fare came out at a whopping £2 return!!! I am sure I can put that cost saving to good use in London :)
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