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Campaigners criticise new rail fares hike

5 December 2014
Campaign for Better Transport has responded to the announcement of rail fares increases from 2 January 2015.
 

Martin Abrams, Public Transport Campaigner, Campaign for Better Transport said

“Consecutive governments have deliberately forced up rail fares and it needs to stop. During this Parliament, many fares have risen three times faster than wages, affecting all those who rely on trains and putting enormous strain on household budgets."

Martin Abrams continued

"Whoever is in power after the General Election urgently needs to adopt a much fairer approach to ticket prices. There must be a permanent end to above inflation fares rises, not just the temporary respite currently in place.

"Using a more accurate measure of inflation would also save commuters hundred of pounds. Government should drop the discredited Retail Price Index as a basis of fares and use the Consumer Price Index favoured by the Office for National Statitics instead.

"We also need tickets that are in line with modern lives. Over 8 million people now work part-time and many more work flexible hours. Very few train companies offer tickets for this growing group, leaving them stuck paying over the odds for full-time season tickets they don't need. Government must rethink its approach on this and not abandon its promise of nationwide help."

Notes

1. On 5 December, train operators will publish details of the price of standard tickets to be implemented from 2 January 2015.

Operators are also expected to publish details of season ticket prices for the same period.

Season tickets are regulated by Government to a set formula based on the July RPI inflation figure:

RPI Fares Policy (1996-2015):
January 1996 - December 1998 - RPI-only (from a base of 1995)
January 1999 - December 2004 - RPI minus 1%
January 2005 - December 2012 - RPI plus 1%
January 2014 - December 2015 - RPI

2. For the last two years, the Government has cancelled the '+1%' part of the fares formula. However, this does not represent a long-term change of policy.

3. Since 2010, the cost of regulated fares has risen sharply. Examples can be seen in the table attached.

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