London to Leeds train journey ‘among worst in country for value’

The journey from London to Leeds is said to be among the worst value in the country.
The journey from London to Leeds is said to be among the worst value in the country.
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The train journey from London to Leeds is among the worst in the country in terms of value for money, a new study has claimed.

According to Kwik Fit Insurance Services, the journey has an additional cost of £133 compared to driving.

Only the journeys from London to Newcastle, which was rated as £159 more expensive than driving, and London to Edinburgh, at £150 more expensive, were rated worse.

The research also found that some journeys are not just more expensive by train but also slower.

They include Birmingham to Norwich (76 minutes), Glasgow to Leeds (54 minutes) and Glasgow to York (44 minutes).

But even when train travel does save time, some rail lines appear to offer worse value than others.

A return between Leeds and Cardiff was found to shave just 10 minutes off journey times despite costing an extra £72.

Train trips between the Welsh capital to London are just 22 minutes quicker than by road at an additional £67, while Glasgow to Aberdeen costs passengers an extra £33 to save only 12 minutes.

The research took into account the price of an off-peak return train ticket for popular journeys from London, Birmingham New Street, Glasgow Central and Leeds, as well as the average cost of fuel for a hatchback, saloon and 4x4 car.

Rail fares rose by an average of 1.1 per cent at the start of the year.

Stewart Barnet of Kwik Fit Insurance Services said: “It is difficult to argue the case for train travel on some journeys.

“Though the price rise this year is one of the lowest in the last decade, this offers scant consolation to travellers who forked out huge amounts to get home over the holiday period and may continue to do so into 2016.

“When you think about car sharing and family trips, the savings can be even more substantial as people aren’t paying out for a seat per person.”

A spokesman for the Rail Delivery Group, representing train companies and Network Rail, said: “More and more people are taking advantage of a range of good value discount fares that train companies offer, as well as more and faster services.

“Sales of cheaper Advance tickets have increased five-fold in 10 years.

“The fact is that there are great deals out there for train passengers and people are voting with their feet - the number of rail journeys has more than doubled in the last 20 years.”

David Sidebottom, passenger director at the independent watchdog Transport Focus, said: “Britain’s rail passengers pay some of the highest fares. Our most recent passenger survey showed that just 31% of commuters felt they had got value for money on their ticket.

“Long-distance trains can be cheaper, but only if you buy the lowest-priced Advance ticket on a fixed-time train.”

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