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Rail fare rises 'not smart, not fair and not green'

23 November 2010
Responding to the news that regulated rail fares are set to rise by as much as 10% in the New Year, Campaign for Better Transport's public transport campaigner Alexandra Woodsworth said:

"These astronomical fare rises make a mockery of the Government's commitment to fair pricing for rail travel. Season tickets will cost hundreds of pounds more in the New Year, and a thousand pounds more by the time of the next election.

"These deeply unpopular increases will price people off the train, as the Government is well aware, and make it increasingly unaffordable to work in London and other major cities. Increasing rail fares is not smart, not fair and not green. It's high time that the Government started keeping some of its promises on train travel."

Government ministers recently admitted that they expected the fare increases from 2012 to result in 4% fewer trips by train.

Notes to editors

1. Regulated fares will rise by an average of 5.8% in January 2011, up to a maximum of 10%. Unregulated fares will rise at the discretion of train companies.

2. Regulated rail fares are set to rise even higher in January 2012, up to inflation plus 3%. Campaign for Better Transport research shows that tickets will be 31% higher by the end of 2015, which on many key commuter routes translates to £1,000 extra for a season ticket.

3. The Government said in the Coalition agreement that "we are committed to fair pricing for rail travel" (The Coalition: Our Programme for Government, p31)

4. In a written answer to a Parliamentary Question, Rail Minister Theresa Villiers recently admitted that the Government expected that the change to RPI + 3% from 2012 would result in 4% fewer trips by train.
(Hansard, 10 Nov 2010 : Column 335W)

5. A recent poll by YouGov found that rail fare increases were the most unpopular policy announced in the Comprehensive Spending Review, with 80% of Britons opposing the measure.