We're fighting for cheaper, fairer and simpler rail fares because:
- Fares are too high
- Fares have increased far faster than wages
- Train tickets offer little flexibility
- There are easy ways to reduce fares
Fares are too high
We have the most expensive train fares in Europe. People up and down the UK are being priced off our railways unable to use the train to get to work. Our Government is responsible as it regulates 60% of train fares and these have increased by 27% since 2010. Unregulated train fares can rise even further. Fares keep rising because the Government is cutting its contribution to the railways and making passengers pay more.
Fares have increased far faster than wages
Research by the TUC found that rail fares have risen at more than twice the rate of inflation and wages over the last decade. The Government has pledged to hold fare rises at the Retail Price Index (RPI) for the duration of this Parliament, but as wages are not rising inline with RPI, this means more unaffordable fare rises for passengers.
Train tickets offer little flexibility
The labour market has changed. With over 8.5 million people working part-time there is a greater need than ever for more flexible ticketing. .
Many part-time workers will ask why they too cannot enjoy the rail ticketing savings that full-time workers receive. With almost 75% of part-time workers are women, the lack of flexible ticketing options currently available is not only a cost of living issue, but has now become a gender equality issue that must be put right quickly. We want to see flexible ticketing for part-time workers rolled out across the whole of the UK rail network.
There are easy ways to reduce fares
The Government currently use an outdated formula to calculate fares increases. At the moment they use the Retail Price Index (RPI) rather than the more widely used and recognised Consumer Price Index (CPI).
RPI over-estimates real inflation so consistently that the Office of National Statistics has dropped it as an official measure. This would have little impact on railway revenues, but it would save passengers money and bring fares inline with things like public sector pensions. The Government could and should do this now.
You can read our full list of campaign asks in our Fair Fares Now Charter.