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Fare point

Letters

The entry from The Sunday Times (News Stand NCE last week) reported that 'Britain has the highest standard train fares in Europe and by far the most complicated fare structure' and quoted the fare for the 384km journey from London to Woking as £13.50.

For this length of journey the train must have taken the complicated, but pretty, route.

Nevertheless at 3.5 pence per kilometre the fare structure is at least moving in the right direction.

Or have I missed the point!

Alan R Smith (M), 95 The Avenue, Sunbury-on-Thames TW16 5HZ

I write on behalf of beneficiaries living on the ICE Benevolent Fund's Hayward's Heath estate to express our disquiet about the proposed sale of the estate (NCE 15 February).

We believe any sale of the estate to be both unnecessary and unwise as there is a continuing need among members and their dependents for housing. The estate is an asset to the Fund whose running costs have been reduced since the removal of 24 hour care and assistance and the post of estate manager made redundant.

Beneficiaries occupy over half the properties - three have taken up residence during the past 18 months. Of the Fund's beneficiary cases worldwide, over 10% have homes on the estate. Vacant properties are readily rented out on the open market to provide additional income, a useful diversification of investments at a time when equities and gilts are showing poor returns.

There will be a need for housing as part of the Fund's assistance as, even in an age of state benefits, circumstances mean that many slip through the welfare net. Beneficiaries are grateful for the assistance and hope that such help will remain available to members in times to come.

Ian Towner, chairman, Mill Hill Close Beneficiaries Association, 14a Mill Hill Close, Haywards Heath, West Sussex RH16 1NY

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