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Fuel duty freeze is no comfort to struggling rail and bus passengers

3 October 2018

Responding to the Prime Minister's announcement that fuel duty will be frozen for the ninth year in a row, Darren Shirley, Chief Executive at Campaign for Better Transport, said:

"This announcement contrasts jarringly with the Government's insistence on pressing ahead with raising regulated rail fares by 3.2 per cent in January 2019. Many rail passengers will be paying more than £100 extra for their season tickets next year. Passengers deserve a fares freeze, especially in the light of the recent disruption on the railways.

"Freezing fuel duty is an extremely expensive policy. This money could be used to give people real travel choices, protecting lifeline bus services and mending potholes that are the scourge of drivers and cyclists alike."

Notes to editors

1. Theresa May will make the announcement in her speech to the party conference today, 3 October.

2. In June 2018 a report commissioned by Greener Journeys showed that the Government's freeze on fuel duty has already caused an extra 4.5 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions by encouraging people to abandon public transport in favour of their cars.

3. Campaign for Better Transport is calling for a freeze on regulated rail fares, including season tickets, in 2019. In future, fare increases should be linked to the Consumer Price Index (CPI), rather than the higher Retail Price Index (RPI), as recommended by Chris Grayling, the Treasury Select Committee and others.

4. Potholes are a major problem for all road users: the Annual Local Authority Road Maintenance Survey 2018 showed that more than 24,000 miles of road need essential maintenance in the next year.

5. Campaign for Better Transport is the UK's leading authority on sustainable transport. We champion transport solutions that improve people's lives and reduce environmental damage. Our campaigns push innovative, practical policies at local and national levels. Campaign for Better Transport Charitable Trust is a registered charity (1101929).