Text Size

Current Size: 100%

Arguing about fares flexibility misses the point

11 January 2012
Responding to the issue of rail fares raised in Prime Ministers Questions today (11 January) Campaign for Better Transport’s chief executive, Stephen Joseph, said:

"Arguing about fares flexibility misses the point, both parties have been supporting above inflation rail fare increases for a number of years and the current Government is committed to three per cent above inflation fares rises for the next two years. Passengers need less talk and more action from politicians to give us an affordable rail network.”

UK rail fares are significantly higher than in Europe. A recent comparison by Campaign for Better Transport found that sample UK ticket cost three and a half times more than the most expensive European one, and almost ten times (9.7) more than the cheapest one.

Notes to Editors

1. Regulated fares were subject to increases of RPI from 1996-1998, RPI-1% from 1999-2003, RPI+1% from 2004-2011 and RPI+3% from 2012-2014, with a cap for 2012 of +1% announced in the Autumn Statement.

2. Campaign for Better Transport compared the cost of an annual season ticket, including multi-modal travel on the citys’ underground systems, from a commuter town approximately 23 miles from the capital of five European countries:

•    Woking to London, £3,268
•    Ballancourt-sur-Essonne to Paris, £924.66
•    Strausberg to Berlin, £705.85
•    Collado-Villalba to Madrid, £653.74
•    Velletri to Rome, £336.17

3. By 2009 fares in London and South East England were 20 per cent higher than European ones, and fares in the rest of the country were also significantly higher than in Europe (Passenger Focus).

4. 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).