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Renting in London 'cheaper than commuting from Swindon'
WORKERS are opting to rent additional accommodation in London over commuting from Swindon in a bid to save money.
Property website MondaytoFriday.com has said renting rooms in London can actually work out cheaper for commuters who are currently travelling to the city by train.
In January, ticket prices went up by 3.9 per cent in England, Wales and Scotland, while fares for season ticket holders have increased by an average of 4.2 per cent.
According to the National Rail website, a standard class 12-month adult season ticket from Swindon to London is now £7,760, while a single adult ticket to Paddington is £24.80 off-peak and £58.50 on-peak.
Rail fare increases and crowded carriages mean commuters are increasingly considering renting accommodation near to work for just the working week.
MondaytoFriday.com says that it could save users money on most commutes. For instance, a season ticket between Swindon and London is £7,760, compared to a rented room of £4,200, based on the lowest price of £350 a month.
Commuters in Swindon said they understood why people were making the decision to rent in London but thought being able to come home after work was important.
Ian Jenkins, 53, of Redhouse said: “Rail fares seem to keep going up and up but you don’t see any changes to the service we are getting.
“I travel to London three or four times a week so would not consider renting a room in London but I can understand why people do if it saves them money.
“For me though, I like coming home to my family and being at home.”
Chris Watts, of the Fair Fares for Swindon campaign, has called for cheaper prices in Swindon for rail users because he thinks that it has a detrimental effect on the town and deters businesses from investing in Swindon.
He said: “It affects Swindon more because our prices are higher than most other places, so as a percentage increase that affects people more.
“I think there should be a price freeze in Swindon or even a price drop to bring us into parity to other locations in the country.
“It’s unfair we’re paying proportionally more than other locations in the country, and it’s affecting inward investment in the town.”
First Great Western, who run the trains through Swindon, have said that the vast majority of fares are set by the government.
Speaking on January’s increase, a spokesperson said: “This is not about individual fares, the vast majority of our fares are set by the Government.
“These regulated fares are governed by the BFT who give us a formula by which to calculate these fares. We don’t see that increase as a train operator.
“The cost of motoring went up by about 13 per cent – the rises that this brings in won’t come near to that.”