Recently I booked some of my travel for the Christmas holidays. I’m off back to Inverness for a few days on Saturday, and I had to struggle to get a cheap APEX return train ticket for £19.50, avoiding the normal cost of around £35.00. So much for getting people out of their cars.
Of course, I could have got the Megabus for about a third of the price, but I hate the lack of legroom and get travelsick reading on buses, so tend to take trains whenever I can, as long as I can get those cheaper advance prices. But if the rail system continues to be so expensive for regular tickets, are more folk really going to bother?
Well, I suppose I am: I don’t have a car, so rely on public transport (and lifts from kind friends). And anyway, journeys are just as interesting as destinations. I’ve met a fascinating collection of people on trains around the UK – some genuinely compelling folk who help the hours fly by, one or two prize mentalists, and even people I’ve discovered I know of or have friends in common with. And on one occasion I sat next to a battered wife fleeing her husband with all she could cram into a single suitcase.
Surely stories like that are worth £19.50. Even if it will involve getting up for the 7.07am from Glasgow on Saturday, the only one with APEX seats left, the morning after my work Christmas bash…