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Government plans to raise rail fares three times faster than salaries

14 August 2012
On 14 August, rail commuters will discover how much the cost of their season ticket will increase by from January 2013.

With Government pushing ahead with plans to increase regulated fares by 3% above the rate of inflation, the Campaign for Better Transport, has released statistics showing how hard this will hit rail users across the country.

Stephen Joseph, Chief Executive, Campaign for Better Transport said:

"If the Government sticks by its policy, rail fares will rise three times faster than salaries. With the economy flat-lining, this is untenable. The Government knows they can't continue to hit commuters – that's why they've postponed the fuel duty increase. Now they need to do the same for rail users."

"The last transport secretary Philip Hammond said he thought that rail was a "rich man's toy" and his replacement Justine Greening has not been able to persuade George Osborne to limit next year's severe fare rises. Our railways need to be affordable to ordinary people, not just "train toffs" on high incomes."

"If rail fares are allowed to gallop ahead like this, many commuters to London will soon be paying as much to travel to work as they do in income tax. This is no way to stimulate the economy."

The '£1000 Towns' - Commuters travelling to London from the wider south east

Across the South East, commuters to London are routinely spending up to 15% of their salary on getting to work. By 2015, this will create a series of '£1000 Towns' – places where commuters will see the cost of their annual season ticket RISE BY MORE THAN £1000 between 2011 and 2015.

Commuters in other parts of England

Commuters travelling to work in cities across the country will be hit by increase in fares. Figures show commuters routinely spending between 5-10% of their salary just on getting to work.

Those buying a season ticket for rail travel between Liverpool and Manchester would see an annual increase of over £160. Annual fares between Oxford and Reading would rise by over £140, and the yearly cost of travelling between Leicester and Derby would go up nearly £120.

Stephen Joseph, Chief Executive, Campaign for Better Transport said:

"Fares rises don't just affect those travelling to the capital. In fact, with the country's economic woes biting deepest away from the south east, some regions have seen salaries falling over the last 12 months. To increase rail fares by 6 per cent in such a climate is not just unfair but hugely counterproductive."

Notes to editors

1. 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).