One reason rail and bus travel may never go back to the way it was is that commuters have saved too much money.
A commuter travelling from Reading to London, for example, would spend £4,736 on an annual rail season ticket.
Those prices are due to increase again soon, with fares set to rise by 2.6pc from March 1, one percentage point above the Retail Price Index figure to which they are pegged.
Yet since the arrival of the pandemic, many workers have not spent a penny on travelling to work, or have dramatically reduced their spending to just one or two tickets a week.
Hurst sums up the mood of many commuters. “The price of a season ticket is just disgusting and they’ve put it up every single year by 3pc and I see no improvement in the service.
“It just isn’t good enough to pay £4,000 and if I miss one train I have to wait half an hour for another one.”
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