Adur, West & East Worthing Party including East Arun

Passengers cannot be expected to pay huge rises in rail fares – Huppert

Commenting on today’s inflation figures setting July’s RPI at 3.2 per cent, which in turn could lead to a 6.2 per cent (RPI+3%) rise in regulated rail fares in January, Co-Chair of the Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Party Committee on Transport, Julian Huppert said:

“After Labour raised fares by a crippling 66 per cent in cash terms between 1997 and 2010, Britain has the most expensive railway network in Europe, up to 30 per cent more than our nearest competitors. Astonishingly, they still want to raise fares above inflation.

“The Coalition is, quite rightly, investing more in our railways than any Government since the Victorian era in an effort to sort out the mess we inherited. But we can’t just pass on the cost to commuters.

“Liberal Democrats in the Coalition, along with the Transport Secretary, managed to negotiate a RPI+1% fare rise for 2012, much lower than planned by some Conservatives.

“But people are struggling to make ends meet against a backdrop of wage freezes and rising utility bills. George Osborne has to realise that people cannot be expected to pay huge rises in rail fares on top.”

ENDS

Notes to Editors:

  1. Julian Huppert and Lord (Bill) Bradshaw, Co-Chairs of the Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Party Committee on Transport, wrote to the Transport Secretary over the summer, reminding her it is Liberal Democrat policy to seek a real terms cut in rail fares.
  1. Julian Huppert has written a blog on the fare increases here: http://julianhuppert.org.uk/rail-fares-are-too-high/
  1. In July the Coalition announced an extra £4.2bn of infrastructure investment for our railways, in addition to the £5.2bn already announced for 2014-19. This includes funding for the Northern Hub; electrification of Welsh railways; £700m for over-crowding in the South-East; £240m for the East Coast Main Line and a new “Electric Spine” to improve links between North, South, East and West.

 

 

One Comment

  1. Posted 14 Aug, 2012 at 11:32 pm | Permalink

    Since the early 1990s UK train fares on average have increases faster then inflation as reported by RPI, but does this tell the whole story, as the recent news headline make out?

    Historically, UK train fares have generally increased inline with UK average salary growth as can be seen from the graphs of historic UK train fairs against average wages and graphs of historic UK train fairs against RPI inflationwhich show the relative compounded changes since 1987. This is very different to the trend with inflation were train fares increases much faster. From all the news headlines recently, you would have thought that train fares were racing ahead from wages for the last 10 years.

    It was only since 2010 that train fairs have consistently increased faster than wages, mainly due to average wage growth slowing significantly. So relative to wages on average train fares are only slightly more expensive as they were in the late 1980s.