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Campaign for Better Transport condemns latest rail fare rise

13 August 2013
Campaign for Better Transport has condemned planned rises in regulated rail fares for 2014 as bad for commuters and bad for the economy. Fares are due to rise by an average of 4.1% from January.

Stephen Joseph, Chief Executive, Campaign for Better Transport

“The Coalition pledged to make fares fairer. Instead, they've continued to ramp up the cost of train travel, far out-stripping incomes. This isn't just bad for commuters, it's bad for the economy too. If the Government is serious about growth it needs to stop pricing people out of jobs."

"Getting to work is now the biggest single monthly outgoing for many commuters - more than food, more than housing. One of the surest ways of stamping on any green shoots of recovery is to price people off the trains and out of the jobs market. For the sake of the economy we should end above inflation fares increases now and start planning for fare reductions."

Since 2007, fares have increased nearly twice as fast as income from employment, outstripping wages by nearly 14%. From January, selected annual season ticket prices will be:


  • Canterbury to central London - £5,009 (distance 55 miles - predicted price increase of £197)
  • Reading to central London - £4,122 (distance 35 miles - predicted price increase £162)
  • Woking to central London - £3,015 (distance 23 miles - predicted price increase £119)
  • Liverpool to Manchester - £2,915 (distance 30 miles - predicted price increase £115)
  • Sheffield to Leeds - £2,332 (distance 30 miles - predicted price increase £92)




1. On 13 August, the Office for National Statistics published the Retail Price Index (RPI) inflation figure for July 2013. Under current Government policy, this figure plus an additional 1 per cent is used to determine increases in regulated rail fares. meaning fares will rise by an average of 4.1 per cent  from January 2014. Wages are currently rising at 1.3 per cent a year. Campaign for Better Transport has produced a graph comparing rail fare increases and wage increases since 2004.

2. Examples of predicted rail fare rises are available on the Campaign for Better Transport website.

3. 2014 would be the eleventh year in a row that regulated rail fares will have risen above inflation.

Government’s policy of above inflation train fare increases means many season tickets prices have risen by more than 50% in the 10 years since 2003.

In January, Campaign for Better Transport published research based on 40 commuter routes to London showing that from 2003 to 2013 London commuters have seen:
•    Average season ticket costs increase by £1300
•    Fares grow 20% faster than wages
•    Average costs in real terms increasing by £360

Campaign for Better Transport is calling on Government use its Fares and Ticketing Review (due to published in the Autumn) to:
•    Name a date to end above inflation fare increases.
•    Commit to reducing fares relative to inflation.

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).