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Call for fares freeze for Southern Rail commuters as annual rail fares increase set to be announced

15 August 2016

As the annual rail fare increase for next year is announced tomorrow (16 August), campaigners are calling for a fares freeze for season tickets on Southern Rail to reflect the ongoing problems faced by commuters.

Campaign for Better Transport is calling on the Government and Govia Thameslink, which runs the franchise, to agree to freeze season ticket prices at 2016 levels as a goodwill gesture to long-suffering commuters.

James MacColl, Head of Campaigns at Campaign for Better Transport, said:

“In the face of continuing delays, cancellations and overcrowded trains, it would be outrageous if Southern Rail commuters' season tickets prices were put up again. The Government has an opportunity to show it is listening to passengers' demands by freezing the fares - in fact this is the least they can do. Passengers also expect to be properly compensated for cancelled services and we want Ministers to attend a Passenger Assembly meeting to answer directly to the people affected."

ENDS

For further information please contact Alice Ridley on 020 7566 6495 / 07984 773 468 or alice.ridley@bettertransport.org.uk

Notes to Editors

  1. The percentage increase for regulated rail fares for 2017 will be announced on Tuesday 16 August and will be July’s Retail Price Index inflation figure.
  2. For more information on fares and the fares data quoted please contact the press office.
  3. Further examples of current costs of various season tickets for 2016 (2017 available from Tuesday) can be found here.
  4. Campaign for Better Transport is also calling for the introduction of season tickets for part-time workers to offset the national rise in regulated rail fares being announced today. Currently most commuters can only choose to buy single journey tickets or a season ticket which provides a discount when used five days per week, so part time workers are missing out on savings. In the UK 8.5 million people work part-time - 223,000 more than last year. Four million of those work flexibly, and nearly three quarters (73 per cent) of part-time workers are women. Having previously committed to rolling out part-time season tickets nationally, the Government has now said it will be left up to train operators to introduce individually, which could therefore take many years if at all.
  5. UK Labour Market figures from the Office for National Statistics.
  6. 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).