RET fares are coming to the isle of Arran's Brodick to Ardrossan ferry route serviced by CalMac. The fares will make a huge difference to locals and visitors alike reducung the cost of travel making it more affordable for people to visit and for islanders to commute. Recently the journey departing Monday the 13th October 2014 from Ardrossan to Brodick returning five days later on Saturday the 18th cost £105 for a car and driver, with RET the difference could be as much as 70%. Eurotunnel offer day trip fares from £40 return Folkstone to Calais and a short stay saver can be less than £96 and while you don't need a passport to visit Arran it does highlight some of the like for like offers worth consideration to the traveller.
Concerns have been voiced by some that the fares don't go far enough with Alan Reid MP for Argyll and Bute contacting Advertising Standards inferring the RET branding was misleading as the fares exceeded the driving cost even for the thirstiest of cars, though there are some cars that would not apply the 5.0 TVR Cerbera being a good example and what then of comparisson to electric cars? Frustrating still is charging for a driver & car as opposed to bundling together as the car won't drive itself over despite google car's best efforts for now.
'RET is a distance based fares structure, which underpins the Scottish Government’s commitment to providing one single overarching fares policy across Scotland’s entire ferry network. The RET formula for calculating fares is a combination of a fixed element (to ensure services remain sustainable and to cover fixed costs such as maintaining harbour infrastructure and vessels) and a rate per mile (calculated by Transport Scotland analysts using contemporary independent research by RAC). An updated RET formula will be calculated annually in line with the cost of travel, and applied at the beginning of each summer timetable period.' - www.calmac.com
Rail comuters look on with envy at RET, as costs continue to spiral for rail commuters who have faced above average price Under the Government formula rail fare increases each year are pegged to July's retail price index (RPI) inflation figure, which was revealed to be 2.5% this morning. Price hikes are capped at RPI plus 1%.
However under the so-called ‘flex’ rule, train operators may raise fares on some routes by an extra 2% as long as the overall average stays at RPI plus 1%.
This means while the average rise will be 3.5% some fares could rise by 5.5%, adding hundreds of pounds to the cost of annual season tickets on the most expensive commuter routes.
More islands will follow suit and everyone agrees that the benefits will out weigh any negativity in the long term but it's worth remembering that the cost will still have to be recouped from somewhere as running the ferries is still a costly business.