For many people, the daily commute to and from work involves hopping on a train into the city. Depending on your location, this could be crammed like a sardine on the tube whilst trying to read your kindle over your head. For others, this could be a more leisurely sit down with a paper or your Facebook news feed to keep you company as you move from satellite town into regional hub.
For some, it’s enjoyable. For others, a nightmare. For everyone, it’s getting more and more expensive. Rail prices have rocketed in the last few years. The government defend these costs by talking about changes to infrastructure amongst other things. But it can be a bitter pill to swallow when you’re personally not seeing any improvements. In some areas, people seem to think it’s getting worse.
With many workers not getting a raise at all and another 2.5 per cent being added to rail travel, things continue to squeeze. ‘If fare increases resulted in a better service, then I could just about stomach them,’ said one commuter.
In London, where congestion, congestion charges and the cost of parking can be a major issue, many won’t drive. In other big cities, Manchester, Glasgow, Leeds, Birmingham, there could be better ways to travel, and switching to the car might be better now than ever. Fuel prices have recently hit a five-year low, and that could be enough to entice people.
If you’ve never driven then the time is right for you to start the process. Think of it as a life investment. It’s easier than ever to do, cars are much better to drive, safer and more economical. Theory tests that previously cost an arm and a leg are now offered free online.
Outside of commuting, think of de-stressing after those hard weeks in the office by going the absolute opposite way and hitting the country. If you want to see friends who live miles away, you can hop in the car and don’t have to be hemmed in by public transport. The car market is booming and that’s bringing great deals.
There are ways to keep cutting your costs, such as insurance deals, and carpooling is becoming increasingly popular. It might not be an option you’ve thought too much about, but it’s a more reasonable one than it has been for a long time.