Tunbridge Wells and Sevenoaks are in a list of the UK’s five…


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Tunbridge Wells and Sevenoaks feature in a list of the UK’s five least-value rail trips.

Newspaper the Sunday Times analysed punctuality records on hundreds of lines and compared them to the prices charged to work out the value for passengers.

And it found huge variations in rates for trips of similar length across the UK.

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Unsurprisingly, the five least-value routes are all going to or from London.

The most expensive journey was found to be from Ipswich to London Liverpool Street at 71p per mile, with 33.1 per cent delayed or cancelled.

But west Kent locations came second and third in the list, with Tunbridge Wells to Cannon Street costing 64p per mile, with 29 per cent delayed or cancelled.

And the 20-mile London Bridge to Sevenoaks route appeared just behind, costing 61p per mile with 36.1 per cent of trains delayed or cancelled.

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Trips from London to Didcot Parkway and Witham came fourth and fifth in the list.

The analysis found travel was almost always cheaper and more punctual in the north of England and Scotland than around London.

More than 360 journeys and punctuality records across the UK and punctuality records for the four weeks leading up to August 24 were looked at for this research.

One of the best-value trips in the south east was found to be from Grays in Essex to London Fenchurch Street. It cost 30p a mile and trains were only disrupted 15 per cent of the time.

What passengers are saying

Tony Clayton, chairman of the Sevenoaks Rail Travellers Association, said: “A year ago rail travellers in Sevenoaks complained that the services on South Eastern offered the worst value for money in Britain. This came from Which? surveys across the country.

“Now comes news that things are getting better. Our rail services are only third worst – as measured by a study sponsored by the Sunday Times.

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“It looked at the price per mile paid by rail travellers on busy commuter lines in July and August, and the proportion of services cancelled or late. Not a perfect measure of value for money, but a reasonable start.

“On our local services things have been getting better, with trains on time up significantly after the disasters of 2016. We have complimented Southeastern on its progress.

“But there’s still a long way to go!”

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