British government transport spokesman says train too pricey

The British government's transport spokesman in parliament's upper House of Lords admitted that travelling by train had proved too expensive for him, newspapers reported Friday.

Earl John Attlee said he had to scrap a planned trip to a motor show at the National Exhibition Centre (NEC) in Birmingham, central England, because the buy-on-the-day fare from London's Euston terminus was too expensive.

The Conservative hereditary peer, a grandson of 1945-1951 prime minister Clement Attlee, was under pressure in the Lords chamber on Thursday as he defended inflation-busting fare rises.

"When we look at just walking up to Euston and buying a ticket it is very expensive and we don't compare well with our continental partners," he said.

"But when we look at advanced purchases we do compare quite well.

"In my case, one day I wanted to go to the NEC to visit the motor show and I could not afford the walk-up fare.

"Just too expensive for me."

Attlee is paid more than £63,537 ($100,000, 74,000 euros) a year in his role as a government whip, The Daily Telegraph newspaper reported.

This year's overall average rail ticket price rise was 3.9 percent, the 10th successive above-inflation annual rise.