“Britain’s rail prices are becoming increasingly divorced from reality,” said Bruce Williamson from the independent campaign group Railfuture, commenting on January 2nd’s annual rail price hike. “High street prices have remained stagnant for more than a year, with the official CPI inflation figure hovering around zero, yet the government thinks it’s fair to make rail travel even more expensive.” The government uses the higher RPI figure of inflation when calculating rail fare increases, currently 1.1%. “RPI is completely discredited and is rarely used by government, except when it comes to jacking up rail fares. It’s time it was ditched.”
“These price rises will further increase the gap between our rail fares and those on the continent, making us easily the most expensive place to travel by rail. Not only that, but oil prices are falling and George Osborne has frozen fuel duty for motorists for four years now. Why won’t he do the same for Britain’s hard-pressed rail passengers?”
“Despite the government’s best efforts to price people off the trains, passenger numbers have doubled over the last twenty years or so, but the number of seats certainly hasn’t. We’re being squeezed in the wallet as well as in the overcrowded carriages”
Railfuture has produce an ANALYSIS of a decade of fare raises to show the impact of using RPI instead of CPI. A £100 fare has risen by £23 more using RPI than it would have under CPI.
Notes to editors:
Railfuture is the UK's leading independent organisation campaigning for better rail services for both passengers and freight.
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For further information and comment please contact:
Bruce Williamson, media spokesman
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media at railfuture.org.uk