HARD-PRESSED rail users face a postcode lottery when it comes to rail fares, a new study has revealed.
The cost per mile of a journeys to 15 of the countries major cities, including Leeds, Bradford, Sheffield and Wakefield, and found wide variations in price, from as little at 33p in parts of Scotland to 56p in London.
Sheffield rail users got the best deal in Yorkshire, paying an average of 46p per mile for journeys, while those from Bradford and Leeds paid 47p.
Travellers from Wakefield paid the most in the region - 50p per mile.
It also found that distance is not a major factor in pricing but did find large variations in price between neighbouring cities.
Journeys from Bradford to Wakefield were among the cheapest per mile, at 20p, while the 228-mile trip from Leeds to Cardiff represented good value at 26p per mile. Sheffield to Bradford was almost among the cheapest, at 26p per mile.
The most expensive journey was Nottingham to Birmingham at £1.25 per mile, with a total cost of £65.50 for the 52.2 mile trip.
In contrast a 37.7 mile journey from Nottingham to Sheffield costs just £13.20 or 35p per mile.
The 30-mile trip from Sheffield to Leicester was £37, which worked out at £1.24 per mile.
The 105-mile journey from Bradford to Leicester cost £73.70 - or 70p per mile.
Travelling from Leeds to Nottingham was also among the most expensive journeys. The 72 mile trip cost £44.30, or 61p per mile.
Shane Forster, of consumer website www.voucherbox.co.uk which carried out the study, said: “We are surprised by the differences, which clearly show that travellers from certain cities are paying a great deal more for trips that are the same distance.
“This could be due to demand, changing operators, number of stops per journey among other things.
“But the overall findings highlight something of a pricing postcode lottery for the UK’s train users”.
The study focused on the price of single ‘anytime’ journey through National Rail’s website. The study included fares from every major UK operator, such as Virgin Trains, CrossCountry and East Midlands.
Despite facing longer train journeys, residents living north of the border in Glasgow and Edinburgh enjoy the cheapest fares in the UK, at 33p and 41p per mile respectively.
The second most expensive place to travel from in the UK is Nottingham, with journeys commencing from there working out at 54p per mile.
Nearby Leicester is the third most expensive place to start your train travel from, at 53p per mile.
The study also highlights Britain’s cheapest and most expensive rail journeys per mile.
The cheapest journey per mile overall is from Birmingham to Coventry at £3.60 for a 23 mile trip, which works out at 16p per mile.
A spokesman for the Rail Delivery Group, which represents Network Rail and train operators, said pricing was governed by a number of factors including demand.
He added: “Only a small fraction of passengers travelling long distances buy the most expensive walk up Anytime fares quoted here.
“Rail journeys have doubled in 20 years as passengers have been attracted by a range of good value fares, with sales of discounted tickets increasing by a quarter in just eight years.”
AVERAGE COST PER MILE OF TRAVEL TO MAJOR CITIES
CHEAPEST TRAIN JOURNEYS PER MILE
Bradford to Wakefield (19 miles) £3.90 or 20p per mile
Glasgow to Leeds (221 miles) £44.30 or 20p per mile
Wakefield to Bradford (19 miles) £4.10 or 21p per mile
Liverpool to Sheffield (102 miles) £25.70 or 25p per mile
Cardiff to Leeds/Bradford (227/230 miles) £58.80/£59.70 or 26p per mile
Leeds to Cardiff (228 miles) £58.80 or 26p per mile
Sheffield to Bradford (44 miles) £11.60 or 26p per mile
Nottingham to Sheffield 38 miles) £13.20 or 35p per mile
MOST EXPENSIVE TRAIN JOURNEYS PER MILE
Sheffield to Leicester (30 miles) £37 or £1.24 per mile
Bradford to Leicester (105 miles) £73.50 or 70p per mile
Leeds to Nottingham/Leicester (72/98 miles) £44.30/£60.10 or 61p per mile
Edinburgh to Bradford (205 miles) £101.50 or 50p per mile
Glasgow to Wakefield (228 miles) £104 or 46p per mile