A round trip to the moon is now cheaper than the average UK rail season ticket, say analysts.
Commuters hoping to have some of their salaries left over for food after renewing their annual season ticket in January will be disappointed as rail bosses calculate next year’s bonuses on Wednesday.
Despite innovative finance schemes, it would now be more expensive for Neil Armstrong to take one small step for man from the delayed 08:32 at London Euston than it did to make one giant leap from the lunar lander 50 years ago.
Rail chiefs claim the increase in fares is justified as the poor performance of the pound means that yachts and luxury villas will cost them more in real terms, while Brexit uncertainty may see the price of vintage champagne and private jet fuel skyrocket.
Adjusted for inflation the cost of putting two men on the moon is now lower than the annual cost of those same men commuting from Birmingham to Manchester and each astronaut was guaranteed a seat in the Apollo capsule.
The government have defended the annual ticket price increases, “Putting a man on the moon was once a dream,” said Rail Minister Chris Heaton-Harris.
“That dream did not become a reality without the investment of billions of pounds, granted that investment was in technological innovation and passenger safety, not shareholder dividends, but you get my point.”
Richard Branson is said to be delighted by the news and is urging commuters fed up with high fares and delays on the West Coast route to consider switching to his Virgin Galactic service.