Press release 28th December 2017

Rail fare rises show undeniable bias against the rail traveller

On Tuesday, rail fares will rise by 3.4%, the highest increase in five years. “Fuel duty for motorists has been frozen for seven years now, but not rail fares, which have risen by more than 30% in that same period” said Bruce Williamson of the campaign group Railfuture “The government is showing undeniable bias against the rail traveller and driving people onto our ever more congested and polluted roads”

“Fares are rising faster than most people’s wages so they are taking a larger slice of their income. It looks like people are being priced out of getting to work”

“The problem is that the government uses the RPI inflation figure instead of the lower CPI figure. Fare rises should be limited to CPI, which the government always claims is its preferred figure.”

The RPI figure for July, which is used as the basis for rail fare increases, was 3.6%. The CPI figure was just 2.6%.

“If CPI had been used instead of RPI since 2004, then rail fares would be 17% lower, a significant amount of money for season ticket holders who are spending thousands of pounds to get to work. It’s no wonder that poor value for money is the number one concern of rail travellers, with British rail fares amongst the most expensive in Europe”

“The rail industry should contain its costs so that limiting the rise to CPI would not result in increased support from the taxpayer”

“The public deserves to get value from these fares in the form of much better customer service, clearer ticket choices, better punctuality and reliability, more seats, and more frequent services when and where people wish to travel”

Notes to editors:

Fare rises are an average of 3.4% in England. Wales and Scotland may be slightly different.

Railfuture is the UK's leading independent organisation campaigning for better rail services for both passengers and freight.

Follow Railfuture on Twitter: https://twitter.com/Railfuture

For further information and comment please contact:

Bruce Williamson, media spokesman
Tel: 0117 927 2954 Mobile: 07759 557389
media at railfuture.org.uk