Prior to becoming an out-of-London-commuter, rail ticket rises never bothered me. An "8%" rise amounted to 10p or so on a tube ticket and whilst the incremental creep on that has made it feel more expensive over the years, in practical terms it never seemed material.
An 8% rise on my current railcard costs, however, needs to be budgeted for next year and affects my family finances. The 8% on my ticket cost works out to over £250 a year (or, in layman’s terms, half the price of a new iPhone).
Now, if this was a fine, upstanding service I might sympathize a little with the rise. After all, the rail companies are complaining that privatization has ‘bled’ money out of the national railway infrastructure, and trains are generally thought of as better for the planet than cars and planes and the like. But – isn’t privatization meant to increase profitability and customer service? Clearly not for poorly managed companies. And I think you all know what I feel about Southwest Trains and Southern’s overall record; friendly on-board staff do not make up for general incompetence and mediocrity elsewhere in the organization.
But – <sigh> – there are few alternatives. If only commuters could afford to strike against the railways, that way would justice lie.