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Norwich to Swansea return? That will be £705 please

PUBLISHED: 18:50 21 January 2020 | UPDATED: 13:08 22 January 2020

The UEA lecturer was quoted £705 for the ticket and says it raises questions about travelling across the country. Rui Vieira/PA Wire

The UEA lecturer was quoted £705 for the ticket and says it raises questions about travelling across the country. Rui Vieira/PA Wire

A Norwich academic has reacted with shock after being quoted £705 to go by train to Swansea.

Professor Alan Finlayson said the fare, which included a travel card, was for an anytime return to go to Wales and back in a day for a funeral.

He said it raised the issue of people not being able to travel across the country efficiently or at affordable prices.

On Saturday he tweeted: "For unexpected (personal) reasons I'm looking to go by train from Norwich to Swansea return, in a day, in a fortnight. For 2 adults (with railcard) the price (standard fare) is £705.40.

"That's not a typo."

The price the professor was quoted to travel from Norwich to Swansea. Picture: Alan FinlaysonThe price the professor was quoted to travel from Norwich to Swansea. Picture: Alan Finlayson

The tweet, which has been liked more than 6,150 times, had 2,241 retweets and 1,236 replies.

One person asked: "Is this the highest train fare ever?"

The lecturer said the factors of travelling in peak time and through London contributed to the fare, but it was the only way to travel east to west and make the service.

Twitter users helped him to get the price down to £120 a person by using a split ticket approach, but the couple have decided to drive.

Prof Finlayson said: We're going to drive, it's the only way I could do it. If I did get six different tickets to change, I'm not confident I would not miss those connections.

"It was for environmental reasons but you can work on the train. For someone like me it's not taking a full day off work which I cannot do if I'm driving."

The lecturer said people opened up about their own difficulties travelling by train and how they tried to get around high prices.

He said: "Everybody has a story about the difficulty of travelling by train in this country. It was such an extreme amount of money.

"Some people told me they knew how to do it as they run small businesses and wouldn't survive. That was quite a striking bit of information."

The drive will take between five and six hours, instead of six to seven on the train.

Prof Finlayson wrote on Twitter: "I wonder what the effect is on the national economy of being pretty much unable to go east-west efficiently & affordably?

"I've seen data showing cities' productivity decreases with commuting times.

"Still, at least it's making money for shareholders and sustaining ideological dogma."

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