Man saves money on train fare by flying from Sheffield to Stansted via Berlin
It's apparently cheaper to get an economy flight across Europe and back than it is to take a train in the UK
Ever gritted your teeth while paying through the nose for a train fare?
A man tried to find out whether it is really cheaper to fly on a budget airline than take a train.
Jordon Cox was shocked when his train to Essex from Sheffield cost £50, so he flew home instead.
The MoneySavingExpert.com blogger said: "I always go the extra mile to save money, but last week I went the extra 1,017 miles and saved £7.72 by getting back to Essex from Sheffield via Berlin – I even had enough Euros spare for a currywurst sausage by the Brandenburg Gate… Wunderbar !"
Although it was worse for the environment, it was cheaper to travel over a thousand more miles to get home from Sheffield to Essex.
The blogger was giving a talk on couponing, and realised he wouldn't exactly save much money when the cheapest single train fare was £47.
He said: "It turned out that flying out from East Midlands Airport to Berlin, spending seven hours exploring the city and then flying to Stansted and getting the bus home was cheaper than a single train journey in England."
Mr. Cox also found he could buy a return train ticket to Berlin city centre, enjoy a free tour of a government building and lunch while he was out there and still save money.
This isn't just true for one journey - the blogger was shocked to find other journeys showed similar savings.
Other train savings
London to Bristol – Ryanair flights via Dublin: £14. South West train: £41.
London to Manchester – Ryanair flights via Milan: £33. Virgin train: £101.
Bristol to Newcastle – Ryanair flights via Dublin: £14. Cross Country train: £74.
What he would have spent by going by rail
£47 for train from Sheffield to Shenfield
£2.99 for ham and cheddar toastie for lunch
£1.80 bus fare from Sheffield to Hutton
TOTAL - £51.79
What he actually spent
£4 train from Sheffield to Derby
£4.20 for bus from Derby to East Midlands Airport
£11.83 Ryanair flight to Berlin
£5 Berlin return train from airport to city centre
£1.50 Currywurst for lunch
£9.54 Ryanair flight to London Stansted
£8 bus home to Hutton from Stansted airport
TOTAL - £44.07
Rail fares in the UK have only been getting more expensive - rising at three times the rate of salaries.
Long-suffering commuters from January 2 face the latest annual price hike for their tickets, as campaigners said services were so poor in parts of the country that passengers would be amazed rises would be allowed.
The latest annual rise means fares have risen at three time the rate of wagepay packets since David Cameron was elected Prime Minister in 2010, according to an analysis by Labour.
Tickets this year rise by an average of 1.1 per cent in England, Wales and Scotland, affecting 1.7 billion rail journeys made in the UK each year.
Anthony Smith, chief executive of the independent watchdog Transport Focus, said: "In some parts of the country, given rail performance has been so dire, passengers will be amazed there are any fare rises at all."
He added: "Passengers are paying their part in the railways – rail revenue is heading towards £9 billion a year. The rail industry must now keep its side of the promise: deliver on the basics."