Why are rail passengers still feeling the pain?Today's announcement that the RPI inflation figure stands at 2.5%, means that some fares in England could go up by as much as 5 .5%. "Compare that to people's real incomes, which are virtually stagnant, and you'll see how unfair these rises are" said Bruce Williamson of the campaign group Railfuture. "With an election on the horizon, I think it's likely that the government will sweeten the pill with a smaller increase, but we need a longer term fairer fares policy. In particular, the government must start using the lower CPI figure, which it always claims it prefers and which is a more accurate reflection of everyday prices. CPI with with just 1% flexibility for the train operating companies would mean some fares going up by a maximum of 2.6%, which feels fairer"
"Making rail travel ever less affordable is an unsustainable policy which risks backfiring in the longer term. Already our rail fares are the highest in Europe. If people cannot afford to travel to work then that harms the economy or it could force even more people onto our congested potholed road system. Either way, the taxpayer loses."
Notes to editors:
Railfuture is the UK's leading independent organisation campaigning for better rail services for both passengers and freight.
Railfuture's website can be found at: www.railfuture.org.uk
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For further information and comment please contact:
Bruce Williamson, media spokesman
Tel: 0117 927 2954 Mobile: 07759 557389
media at railfuture.org.uk