12 August 2013
Campaign for Better Transport has published research showing that rail fares are increasing nearly twice as fast as incomes, outstripping increases in wages by nearly 14 per cent since 2007.
Despite a pledge for fair pricing in rail travel in the 2010 Coalition agreement, the Government has continued to raise fares above inflation each year. Tomorrow (13 August) rail commuters will discover how much their their season tickets will go up by from January 2014.
Stephen Joseph, Chief Executive, Campaign for Better Transport said:
"Getting to work is now the biggest single monthly outgoing for many commuters - more than food, more than housing. One of the surest ways of stamping on any green shoots of recovery is to price people off the trains and out of the jobs market. For the sake of the economy we should end above inflation fares increases now and start planning for fare reductions."
1. On 13 August, the Office for National Statistics will publish the Retail Price Index (RPI) inflation figure for July 2013. Under current Government policy, this figure plus an additional 1 per cent is used to determine increases in regulated rail fares from January 2014. The June RPI figure was 3.3 per cent, which if repeated for July would mean fare rises of 4.3 per cent. Wages are currently rising at 1.3 per cent a year.
2. Campaign for Better Transport has published research comparing increases in regulated rail fares and average income from employment. This is available on the Campaign for Better Transport website.
3. Figures from the Office for National Statistics detailing average weekly household expenditure on main commodities and services showed transport to be the largest single outgoing.
4. 2014 would be the eleventh year in a row that regualted rail fares will have risen above inflation. Campaign for Better Transport is calling on Government use its Fares and Ticketing Review (due to published in the Autumn) to:
• Name a date to end above inflation fare increases.
• Commit to reducing fares relative to inflation.
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).