19th August 2020
Campaign for Better Transport has responded to today’s announcement that regulated rail fares could rise by 1.6 per cent in January, calling it a ‘missed opportunity’.
Darren Shirley, Chief Executive of Campaign for Better Transport, said:
“As people return to work and the economic impact of COVID-19 becomes more apparent, the rise in rail fares will do little to encourage people to return to using the railways. The Government must do more to encourage people to return to public transport, and it must provide the financial incentives to do so. Today’s fare rise is a missed opportunity to do just that.”
The sustainable transport charity is also urging the Government to bring forward the introduction of flexible season tickets to help the millions of people who work part time and those who will be returning to workplaces for just part of the week in January.
Darren Shirley said: “Part-time commuters will feel the pinch of this rail fare rise even more acutely, unless flexible season tickets that provide an equivalent discount on full-time ones are available from January. The Government must recognise that the needs of commuters have changed and ensure that the railway meets those needs in an affordable way or else we risk the long-term economic and social costs of permanently diminishing the public transport system.”
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Notes to Editors
- The Government uses the previous July’s Retail Price Index (RPI) figure to set the following year’s regulated fare rises. RPI was 1.6 per cent in July 2020, whereas the Consumer Price Index (CPI) was one per cent for the same month. Regulated fares account for around 45 per cent of ticket sales; the rest, including things like advance and peak long-distance tickets, can be increased at train companies' discretion.
- Last month, the Government asked rail companies to submit proposals for flexible season tickets. Last year, of the 32.6 million people in employment, around 1.7 million people reported working mainly from home (five per cent), and a further four million said they worked from home at least part of the week. In April this year, in the middle of the lockdown, nearly half (47 per cent) of people in employment did at least some of their work from home. 40 per cent of women in employment work part time.
- Campaign for Better Transport operates in England and Wales. We campaign to bring sustainable transport to all and ensure solutions are delivered that improve the wellbeing of communities, quality of life and the environment. Campaign for Better Transport Charitable Trust is a registered charity (1101929).