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Train fare increase: Is this Britain’s most expensive long-distance ticket in price per mile?

Is this Britain’s most expensive long-distance rail ticket in terms of price per mile? The Independent has calculated that, from 2 January, the standard anytime fare between London Euston and Wilmslow in Cheshire will rise to 96 pence a mile. The price for the 177-mile journey, which takes 107 minutes, is to rise by one per cent to £169.90 – nearly £4 more than the fare to Manchester, which is 12 miles further.

Passengers on the UK’s most expensive railway, the Heathrow Express, will see a 2.5 per cent increase in walk-up fares to £22 one way, which works out at £1.50 per mile for the 14.7 mile journey from London Paddington to Britain’s busiest airport. Travellers who buy tickets on the train pay an extra £5.

Great Western Railway, which has faced much criticism for its poor service this year, will increase the fare for its 15-minute hop from Swindon to Didcot to £22.20 – a per-mile rate of 92.5p.

On Virgin Trains’ east coast routes, some fares are not increasing: London-Leeds stays at £112, and the £1-a-minute link between Stevenage and Newark remains at £63.

Another feature of the fare rises that take place on 2 January is that for some journeys, the day-return fare is virtually the same as a one-week season ticket. Between Warrington and Milton Keynes, for example, an anytime return ticket suitable for a business traveller on a day trip will cost £205. A seven-day season costs just 10 pence more.


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