Survey reveals commuter happiness locations


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The Independent Online

Cardiff commuters are the happiest and those in Manchester the most miserable, it was revealed today.

The 11-city happiness rankings for rail commuters were compiled by the Campaign for Better Transport (CBT) according to train service affordability, overcrowding and punctuality.

Cardiff was shown to have the most-affordable fares and comparatively low overcrowding while Manchester's commuters were likely to be miserable due to higher fares relative to wages.

Following the Welsh capital, Newcastle upon Tyne was the next happiest spot for rail commuters, followed by Nottingham, Birmingham and Leeds.

After that came Liverpool, Leicester, Sheffield, Bristol, London and, finally, Manchester.

The listings were published to coincide with the final week of the public consultation by the Government on rail fares.

Commuters face a January 2013 rise in season tickets of RPI inflation plus 3%, with the figure dependent on the RPI rate in July this year.

RPI inflation has fallen considerably in recent months, but commuters could still have to fork out around 6% more for their season tickets in the new year.

CBT campaigns director Richard Hebditch said today: "Surveys show that affordability is the most important issue for passengers, even more than punctuality or overcrowding, and our list shows just how much it affects their experience of rail travel.

"While passengers in Cardiff and Newcastle are likely to be happy with their commute, they may not be so happy if the cost of their season ticket starts to rise to levels seen elsewhere in the country, something we know the Government is seriously considering.

"With rail fares already sky high across the country, and the Government set to raise fares by 3% above inflation next January, the chances of finding happiness on the daily commute are going to be slim."