TRAVELLERS can reach China, Israel, Egypt, Russia or the US this month for the same price as a train ticket from Bolton to London.

Booking tickets a day in advance, return prices from Bolton Railway Station to the capital at peak times reach a whopping £364, with the bulk of that - around £338 - taken up by the journey between Manchester and London.

This means that the average person travelling to the capital from Bolton would be spending around 70 percent of their weekly wage on a return ticket, according to data from the government's Annual Survey of Earnings.

In some cases it is nearly half the price to fly from Manchester to London as journeys with FlyBe booked a day in advance come in at £192 and take around an hour compared to the two hours it takes on the train.

Flight comparison site Sky Scanner lists a range of destinations that could be reached for the same price or less, including flights to Moscow for less than half the price and Tel Aviv for £193. Both would be cheaper than travelling to London, even including a £40 taxi fare to Manchester Airport.

A spokesman for Virgin Trains, which operates the train services between Manchester and London said that the majority of passengers “take advantage of discounted tickets”, quoting a starting price for fares to the capital of just £23.

They added: “The anytime fare quoted is our most flexible fare and allows customers to travel on any service at any time without any restrictions.

“From London to Manchester they have the choice of 46 trains from the capital each weekday.”

Other destinations which can be reached for a similar fee include return travel to Beijing, the capital of China and host of the 2008 Olympic Games, for £328 or a visit to see the pyramids in Egypt for £281.

In addition, for the exact of a journey to London, passengers could travel to Orlando for a week in December.

In January, the government is set to allow a 3.1 percent increase in train fares across the country, this follows last year's 3.4 percent rise - the biggest in five years.