So, it looks like we are finally moving. To a bigger home, to accomodate the ever growing equipment that comes with having a child.
But this dear readers is not my rant, although I suspect in the coming weeks that I will get a bee in my bonnet over something that is related to moving. No. This rant is about the cost of travel.
You see I am lucky enough that I get discounted travel due to my job. However because I have to work, I need childcare. It is not financially viable for myself or The Husband to be a stay at home parent. It is also not financially viable to put Emma into a full time day care (HOLY CRAP ARE THEY EXPENSIVE!) so my mother comes and has Emma a few days a week. It is a godsend. Emma has a great bond with her nana, and my mother, who cannot just sit still and chill for anymore than 5 minutes takes the time to dust, do a load of laundry or the vacuuming, and we are very grateful to her. We continually tell her that she doesn’t need to do those things, but my mother is like me, stubborn and headstrong and well, doesn’t listen to anyone!!
So instead of forking out my entire monthly salary to a day care (YES IT IS THAT EXPENSIVE!) I pay my mothers travel to us. Currently it is £177.80 a month. Not a huge amount, and when she isn’t coming to care for Emma, she can use it to go to her hospital appointments, or into town to shop/sight-see etc. Its certainly a hell of a lot cheaper than a daycare!
Now that we are moving further out (2 stops on the train) I expected the cost of the season ticket I buy my mother to increase. What I wasn’t expecting was to be told that a season ticket between the two stations does not exist and therefore the cheapest ticket is a travelcard between Staines and Zones 1-6. The cost £295.30. WHAT!?!?
It seems that my mother is the only person who will regularly be travelling between Kidbrooke and Staines. Understandablely hard to believe that out of several million people living in and around Greater London, that this is the case. She also has no need to use the underground or buses, so why a travelcard?
I did my research and discovered that a monthly season ticket between Feltham and Staines is £87.20. Add that to the monthly cost of the current season ticket of £177.80, you get a total of £265. Cheaper than the cheapest ticket I was told was my only available option! By £30.30. Granted £30.30 isn’t a huge amount of money in the grand scheme of things, but that £30.30 is a weekly fresh food shop for us. It could be used to purchase Emma new clothing, or shoes (kiddo is a weed i tell you!)
My rant isn’t the cost of the travel, but rather the fact that I was told the cheapest ticket was a travelcard by a member of staff, when it actually wasn’t. It is no wonder that people get annoyed by the cost of train fares.
When I started on the railway, I was always told that when selling a ticket to someone, you give them the best available fare for their needs. To my knowledge this is still the practice today, so why hasn’t it happened on this occassion?
If it wasn’t for the fact that I did a little bit of research, I’d be paying an additional £30.30, when I don’t need to.
It is frustrating and annoying and I am off to ask South West Trains why there isn’t a monthly train only season ticket.
Reminder to all, do your research before buying things. Don’t just assume everything you are told is the be all and end all.