Rail fares “divorced from reality”, claims Railfuture

Rail campaign group Railfuture has attacked January’s rise in rail fares, blaming the Government for above-inflation rises.

After describing rail prices as “becoming increasingly divorced from reality”, spokesman Bruce Williamson says that the official Consumer Prices Index is currently close to zero while the Retail Price Index (RPI, a measure that has largely fallen out of favour in official circles) is 1.1%.

“RPI is completely discredited and is rarely used by government except when it comes to jacking up rail fares,” he said.

“These price rises will further increase the gap between our rail fares and those on the continent, making us easily the most expensive place to travel by rail.”

Rail unions also attacked the fare increases, with all blaming privatisation. RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said: “Profiteering and exploitation on Britain's creaking rail network is a national scandal. Passengers are left paying through the nose to travel on unreliable and overcrowded services.”

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  • Mike Dyson - 14/01/2016 12:00

    Can I urge people to take a wider view. Firstly CPI has some significant exclusions that make it great for government to use to show themselves in the best light. RPI is a better indication of how my cost of living is still rising. Secondly, if fares didn't go up, demand would increase and peak hour overcrowding would increase. You can't run more trains without ruining PPM so the oldBR solution of increasing fares to reduce demand has some merits. Better still would be to build more infrastructure but we baulk at knocking down houses. So what about changing working hours to reduce peak demand and giving businesses an incentive to do this?

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