The secret plan to reduce train overcrowding seems to be working. The Metro reports a survey suggesting one in four commuters will be deserting trains, many taking to their cars to avoid the new year's rail fare shock. Others plan to move house or find a new job. Of course, if this actually plays out in reality, the sheer weight of additional traffic will cause massive congestion in many places, hitting businesses and those who have no real choice but to drive. Road casualty figures will likely rise, as commuters rat-run through residential areas and past schools. Interestingly, the survey suggests cycling won't increase.
Some of this may be bravado on the part of commuters, but it won't take much of a switch to the roads to cause gridlock. What then? Will they rush back onto the trains? This is the trouble with the Coalition's transport policy - it isn't really a policy at all, in the sense that a policy is directed towards achieving some sort of desirable end-state. What they're doing is sending confusing messages to the travelling public - giving them the price signal that they should switch from the greenest transport to the dirtiest option. Nice work lads! And they're doing nothing to make cycling more attractive either, although at least that's not getting more expensive.
Duh! Did Philip Hammond actually think about any of this when he allowed such massive rail fare rises? Does he actually think through the consequences of any of his policies?