Reply To: Virgin Trains first class decline…

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Our guilty secret is out, NTarrant! VK: jealousy is most unedifying ;-).

One of the things I like about ‘Rail’ is that the magazine’s editor, Nigel Haigh, publicly disagrees with Barry Doe about the single fares proposal. So do I, as it happens.

Haigh proposes a zoned approach to ticketing and fares, and lobbies for the directly-operated East Coast to pioneer (or at least trial) such a system.

Unfortunately, I’m not convinced by that approach either, as it assumes either equal demand and supply between all stations, or linearly increasing demand towards the principal hub, and no competition. Unfortunately, the East Coast suffers from significant capacity pinch-points at varying places along the route, high-points of demand between points that do not include the principal hub, and a time-advantage swing towards air for London-originating flows North of Newcastle.

The current, frustrating fares and ticketing regime is at least partly a result of a decades-old lack of will to provide network and rolling stock capacity that, even today, would cost a fraction of ‘High Speed’ and yet deliver significant time-savings and reliability improvements to the existing main trunk routes – thereby allowing more radical simplification of fares and ticketing.

Right, must dash. I can’t find my notebook, although I think it might be in the pocket of Lord Anthony anorak…..

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