6 March 2012: The new Government policy paper on the railways is anticipated this week, and the start of a public consultation on rail fares is expected to follow shortly. Don’t miss this opportunity to have your voice heard.
Fare payers have been left carrying the can for high costs in the railway for too long already. It is time fares started going down. Some fares have soared by 200% since 1995, yet for the first time the Government has agreed to a public consultation on the issue.
The fares review could be the moment when the tide turns; this is a huge opportunity for a real shake up of our rail fares system. We need your help to make sure everyone who has an opinion knows that the fares consultation is happening and knows how to take part. It’s expected to start in the next few days or weeks; so tell your friends, post it on Facebook and if you are on Twitter, Tweet your followers.
Everyone has a story about an eye watering fare or a nightmare train journey. Now you are going to be given the chance to take part in a Government review, have a think about what you want to say. Ever been stung when you got on the wrong train with an advance ticket? Want to see rail fares going down not up for once? Think fare rises on commuter tickets are a stealth tax? Want affordable walk on rail fares, not just budget airline style advance tickets? Would you use the train if more flexible season tickets or railcards were available?
It a complicated issue but don’t let that put you off. We have produced a briefing, which we hope provides a helpful summary of the changes and reviews underway. Passengers bring important expertise from a perspective that is too often over looked. The bottom line is simple; fares keep going up and up. This month’s Rail Magazine had an interesting article by fares expert Barry Doe, setting out just how much fares across operators have risen since 1995. Inflation has gone up by 60%, but the cost of train tickets has soared above this. Some walk on tickets have gone up by 200%. Even some off peak day Saver tickets, which are regulated, have gone up by up to 195%
Whatever your opinion, be sure to keep an eye on the Fair Fares Now site, or follow #farefail to find out as soon as the review starts.