16 April 2009
-- Welcoming to take place at 1pm, Saturday 18 April, York railway station
Campaign for Better Transport has coordinated a welcoming party to greet Rail Minister Lord Adonis as he ends his heroic six-day, 2000-mile rail trip around the country.
Members of the party will be wearing giant train tickets calling for his help: ‘Lord Adonis, please cut train fares’.
The group’s public transport campaigner Cat Hobbs said:
"This heroic train journey should end with a heroic action by the Minister: he should promise to cut train fares. Lord Adonis has shown he loves train travel; but to help all of us afford it, he must bring down fares to the European average. Cheaper fares would make it easier for people to cut their carbon footprint by taking the train. Any lost revenue could be recouped by taxing fuel on domestic flights."
Notes for editors
1) Lord Adonis will arrive at York station this Saturday at 1pm, at the end of his six-day train trip around the country, which he has blogged in the Times. We’ll be there, available for comment.
2) UK train fares are the highest in Europe, as shown in recent Passenger Focus research , which also showed that only 46% of passengers are happy with the value for money of their ticket.
3) Between 1997 and 2008, average rail fares increased by 7% in real terms
4) The Government plans to cut its contribution towards the railways by £1.5 billion by 2014. The Government’s intention is that by 2014, farepayers will pay 75% of the cost of running the railway, with the taxpayer paying 25% (in 2007 both paid around 50%).
5) Reducing rail fares today by 20% could increase rail travel by 17% by 2015. A package of pricing measures, involving cutting bus and rail fares and increasing motoring and aviation taxation, could reduce carbon emissions from transport by 13% by 2025, recent research by Steer Davies Gleave has shown.