Beat The Rail Fare Increases

The main thrust of this blog has always been towards exposing the dishonesty, self serving duplicity and hypocrisy of Bog Gov. and Big Corp. But it is time to widen our horizons somewhat and get involved in the fightback.
Our first effort in this direction is a follow up to the post about rail fare increases from a couple of days ago.
Now the excuse for raising fares above the inflation rate is that it will combat overcrowding on public transport. And the excuse for whacking up taxes on fuel, stealth taxes such as congestion charges and plain and simple taxes that attack personal liberty such as road tolls is that it encourages people to use public transport; thus providing an excuse for more punitive fare increases – they don’t really think we’re that stupid do they? (Panto like response from punters – “oh yes they do.”)
OK, I’ll take you word for it. So let’s shaft them.

First plan your journey well in advance. If you can book six weeks in advance there are plenty of reasonable fares available.

If you are a regular rail users get a season ticket. No matter if you are not a commuter, a typical example of the lunacy is that the shortest journey for which a season ticket is available is the half mile trip between two stations in Ryde, Isle of Wight. This will set you back just over £100 and such a season ticket can be purchased at any station in the UK or through ticket agencies. You never go to the Isle of Wight? No matter, the fact that you are a season ticket holder entitles you to 30% discount on your other fares so if you Manchester or Leeds to London once a month on business you’re quids in.

The shambolic way privatisation was cocked up has thrown up many anomalies in the fare structure. For example, it is often cheaper to split your journey while never leaving the train you first board. A bit of careful planning is involved but if your train goes all the way from , say, London to Manchester instead of paying the standard £109.50, choose the right train and you can book London to Milton Keynes (£20.30) and Milton Keynes to Manchester (£73.) Total £93.30.
There are hundreds of similar savings to be had. Use the links provided below to find nationwide information.

moneysavingexspert has a comprehensive guide to best value season tickets and one off fares.

megatrain.com – low cost intercity travel

barrydoe.plus.com (independent travel consultant) this site guides you through the labyrinth of fares, off peak discounts, zoning etc.

an insiders guide to cheap rail ticketsis a simpler guide to the most useful savings

http://www.thetrainline.com is a good resource for comparing fares and train times.

http://www.nationalrail.co.uk provides official information to help with journey planning.

Transport Union TSSA has highlighted that rail travellers in the UK pay 55p per mile between London and Manchester while a journey from Paris to Calais costs 17p per mile. So much for the Government’s green claims. The primary consideration? As usual ITS THE MONEY.

Now avoid those nice friendly convenient ticket machines. They lack the means to sell you the cheapest ticket. Go and wake up the ticket vendor sitting behind the little window. Oh sure, some of them might be surly and unhelpful jobsworths whose grim visage would turn vinegar sour, but a lot are jolly, as helpful as the regulations allow and glad to have somebody polite and knowledgeable to talk to.
You see they are not allowed to advise on the cheapest way to make your journey, their bosses don’t pay them to help customers save money. Oh no, as with any bureaucracy the 42 factor rules. If you don’t ask the right question the answer will not make much sense. But if you have done your homework there are bargains to be had.

Sometimes its cheaper to pay for a longer journey than you plan to make. Anyone going from London to Carlisle (well someone must go to Carlisle!) will save money if they buy a London to Glasgow ticket. There’s no way they can make you go to Glasgow.

So now you have an insight into the craziness of the railway system, just go out there and take advantage of them. The links provided above will lead you to much more detailed information on how to demand the most economical prices.

Minister Admits Government Are A Fraud.

It is not often we get chance to say something nice about a Labour minister so kudos to Ian Pearson, the environment minister who has revealed that compliance with new controls on carbon emissions by airliners is pretty much voluntary for flight operators (and that the Americans regard themselves as exempt.)
Climate Change deniers have always said, with some justification, that emissions from aircraft are, by volume, small compared with the amount of pollution being pumped out by industry and road transport. This however is a classic case of concealing a lie within a truth.
While aircraft emissions amount to less carbon pollution than is caused by other sources it is where those emissions are emitted that is the problem. Gases like carbon dioxide and methane become greenhouse gases when they reach the upper atmosphere. This is because while shortwave radiation from the sun easily penetrates to the planet surface where it is reflected as longer wave radiation that is absorbed by carbon gases and water vapour thus trapping heat.
Pumping carbon dioxide into the troposphere at altitude 25000 or above, where there is no rain to mop up mess and no plants to turn carbon into leaves and stems is a much more efficient way to pollute than simply squirting shite around at ground level. And of course, as the air density is much less the same amount of pollutants can spread themselves a lot further.
In the face of corporate protests that the airlines and the oil companies are being victimised Pearson is the first politician to acknowledge without first removing himself from office, that maybe, just maybe, the victims here are the poor buggers whose homes are being swept away in floods, wrecked by hurricanes and typhoons, whose crops and livelihoods are being destroyed by droughts and ice storms, whose health problems are being exacerbated by excessive heat or cold might actually be the real victims in all this.
In doing so he has exposed the traitor and war criminal Blair as a fraud more concerned with his legacy that the wellbeing of the public. He has also show that the gesture politics of King Kenute of Livingstone are just a smokescreen to conceal stealth taxes and have no chance of turning back the tide of climate change.
Before we British can start doing out bit to save the Earth two things must happen:
(1) We must find a way to elect a government that will stand up to corporate bullying.
(2) We must find a Prime Minister who will stand up to American bullying.

Make My Vote Count
Nature Does Not Negotiate
Ian Pearson

If you were hoping for the article on avoiding exhorbitant rail fares today, it will be along tomorrow providing there are no more SHOCK! HORROR! Politician Tells The Truth stories to distract me.

Nobody loves me, everybody hates me…

Well not everybody, but since I posted an item titled Christmas Is Bollocks on Boggart Blog I last a few friends and had some very unflattering personal messages.

Apparently quite a lot of people think I should stop being a miserable old git and like Scrooge sign up to the who turkey and christmas trees routine.

I wonder if these Dickensian dopes stopped to think while they were wearing their silly hats and pulling their cheap as chips crackers (oops, sorry. Wrong Dickensian!) that an estimated thirty thousand people will be fortced to declare personal bankruptcy because of Christmas spending, or of the misery many hundreds of thousands who avoid bankruptcy or are simplt too poor to be able to declare themselves bankrupt will suffer.
People will be forced into the hands of loan sharks, others will take part time homeworking jons to make ends meet and still more will suffer the humiliation of having to ask friends and family to bail them out.

So when people tell me I should learn to enjoy, I mean it when I say that I enjoy every day of the year and so Chistmas comes and goes with little fuss, we see friends and family, we don’t eat turkey and Christmas pudding because nobody likes it and we don’t spend fortunes on worthless tat.

And the big pressie this year? Instead of spending on worthless tat we funded a well for a village in Africa so the people there can drink clean water next year. Because too many people in the world are denied that simple luxury that we take for granted.

Merry Christmas everybody, ho, ho, ho.

Indian Scientists Find A Way To Slash Drug Costs.

We rarely have chance to report good news from the Health Service front and yesterday’s story about Indian scientists developing new drug manufacturing techniques is no exception.
The story of how the researchers have found a way to engineer molecules so that a drugs functionality is reproduced without patents being violated is wonderful news for the poor nations and good news for everyone except Big Pharma Corp. who have been bleeding us dry for decades of course of course. And great news for India which is really establishing itself as a world leader in technology.

We expect some mega lawsuits from American Corporations of course. We do not expect Big Pharma cartel members to get much sympathy in Indian courts though.

But in Britain, a nation where bureaucratic procedures account for more of the cost of drugs that the actual drugs themselves will we see any benefit?
Before you formulate your opinion you must recall that the National Health Service is an organisation that uses its mighty purchasing power, its army of highly trained buyers and its economies of scale to ensure that we, the PETs (poor effing taxpayers) fork out £4.50 for a pack of post it notes that could be bought at Tesco for £1.75 (probably even cheaper at Aldi.
So any saving accruing from the work of these wonderful Indian chemists will immediately be swallowed up by the cost of administering the process of buying the cheapest effective product on the market.
Where Government is concerned every price cut is an opportunity to increase the burden of administration.

READ THE FULL STORY
Scientists on a mission to bring cheap drugs to world’s poorest nations.

Cluedo: It Was Gordon Brown In The Surgery With A Spreadsheet.

Not so long ago Machiavelli commented on the planned closures of A & E units and specialist children’s facilities as part of the Governments drove to “make the NHS more efficient and give patients more choice.” We thought nothing the Department of Health And Bean Counting could do would leave us more gobsmacked than a blatant attack on sick children.
Now we learn that in the interests of efficiency (i.e. saving a few quid) people recovering from major operations will not routinely have follow up appointments with the consultants who treated them but will be referred to their G.P.s
Its true that many follow up appointments are routine and do not require the involvement of a consultant. This is why (and I speak from experience) most follow up appointments at hospitals are conducted by registrars and junior doctors.
While not having attained the highest level these doctors will be specialists in their field and will have daily briefings with their supervisors during which concerns can be raised.
Can we really believe that a G.P. no matter how competent and committed can deal with orthopaedic, cardio-vascular, neurological and oncological cases all in the same day. And if that were realistic, are G.Ps not under enough pressure already from the workload imposed by ever more demanding patients and an implacable bureaucracy?
The Government counters all logical arguments by citing cost, efficiency and “the widening of patients choice” as its justifications. What is really going on however is the withdrawal of an important layer of patient care and an important learning process from the next generation of doctors.
And this LABOUR government has the gall to tell us they are doing us a favour by making it possible for us to choose in which dirty, cash strapped hospital we get third rate care from inadequately trained staff. We will probably never be able to prove how many deaths will result from this shoddy exercise in short – termism and bean counting but if any are identified we all know who will be to blame don’t we?
The most scary thing of all about it is thirty per cent of the electorate would still vote for them.