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Passengers join rail demo at Waterloo Station to demand fair fares

16 August 2011
Campaign for Better Transport staged a demonstration at Waterloo Station this morning as part of their Fair Fares Now campaign  (Tuesday 16 August) on the day commuters found out they’ll be paying on average 8 per cent more for their train tickets next year.

The Government announced in the Spending Review that regulated fares will increase by inflation plus 3 per cent for three years from 2012 with July’s retail price index (RPI) inflation figure used to calculate the following January’s rise. Today’s announcement from the Office of National Statistics of 5 per cent RPI means regulated fares will increase by 8 per cent in January, making them 28 per cent higher by 2015.

Commuters at this morning’s demonstration wrote messages to the Government on over-sized rail tickets and campaigners popped giant balloons to show that it’s time to burst the bubble on inflation-busting fare hikes. Demonstrators also listened to the concerns of Shadow Transport Secretary, Maria Eagle, and speakers from Friends of the Earth and the TSSA union.

Alexandra Woodsworth, Campaign for Better Transport’s public transport campaigner, said: “These punitive fare rises deal a fresh blow to commuters already facing the financial crunch of rising costs combined with frozen wages. We need affordable rail travel – not only to give passengers a fair deal, but to protect the economic health of our major cities, and to address the urgent imperative to cut carbon emissions. Today, hundreds of angry commuters outside Waterloo Station sent a clear message to Government: it’s time to burst the bubble on inflation-busting fare hikes.”

Fair Fares Now has launched a national petition which calls on the Government to reverse its above inflation fare hikes. People can sign the online petition at www.fairfaresnow.org.uk/petition

The demonstration took place from 08:00 to 09:30 on Tuesday 16 August at Waterloo Station.

Photographs from the Waterloo demo can be viewed at http://www.flickr.com/photos/bettertransport/sets/72157627446036822/. High resolution versions are available on request from Alice Ridley on 020 7566 6483/07984 773 468 or alice.ridley@bettertransport.org.uk

Examples of the effect of 8 per cent fare increases in London and the South East:

Examples of the effect of 8 per cent fare increases elsewhere:

Notes to Editors

1. Campaign for Better Transport launched the Fair Fares Now campaign in January to call for cheaper, simpler, fairer rail ticketing. Visit the website for more information www.fairfaresnow.org.uk

2. The Government announced in the Spending Review that regulated fares will increase by RPI+3% for three years from 2012.

3.Train companies have flexibility about how they implement the average 8 per cent fare rise across their basket of fares and can vary this by 5 per cent on individual routes. This could mean some commuters facing a rise of 13 per cent on their fares.

4. According to the latest wage and inflation forecasts from The Office for Budget Responsibility, average earnings for 2012 will increase by 2.2 per cent. Regulated rail fares on the other hand will increase by an average of 6 per cent (three times faster than wages) in Scotland and 8 per cent in England and Wales (four times faster than wages).

5. 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).