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Fair Fares Now

Roads to Nowhere

Affordable fares key to a happy commute

Former campaigner's picture

26 June 2012: Depending on where you live, commuting can be perceived as a Darwinian race between the strongest pushers to get into an overcrowded and expensive train or a more pleasant experience. We all know where on the spectrum we stand. Do we?

Well, at Campaign for Better Transport we like methodological and accurate approaches, so we looked at what commuters say matter to them to develop our Happiest Commuter Index. It shows how the different attributes that make up satisfaction with train services affect overall happiness for commuters in specific cities.

How does the Index work? Basically, it looks at how train services in 11 cities perform on affordability, overcrowding and punctuality. 

The result? The Index has found that commuters in Manchester are likely to be the most miserable due to high fares relative to wages.

Where are commuters the happiest? Cardiff should be the city with the happiest commuters in the country followed by passengers in Newcastle, Nottingham and Birmingham. Unfortunately, their relative happiness may not last for long. In spite of the fact that affordability remains the main issue for commuters, the Government is planning  to raise the cost of rail  fares even more next January.

Based on the formula the Government uses to set fare rises, passengers are likely to pay six per cent more for their season tickets next year. With one of the most expensive systems of public transport in the world,  another hike in our rail fares could easily threaten the chances of finding happiness on our daily commute.

What can you do? There are just two days left to reply to the Government’s rail fare and ticketing consultation [note: the consultation is now closed].  This is our big chance to make passengers' voices heard.

This is a big chance to make passengers happier too. Don’t miss it....

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