A campaign organised by rail unions and the Trades Unions Congress claims that passengers in Britain spend up to six times as much as their European counterparts on rail fares.
Action for Rail (AfR) claims that a UK worker on an average salary would spend 13% of their monthly wages on a £357.90 monthly season ticket from Chelmsford to London.
Passengers making similar journeys in Italy, Spain and Germany would spend 2%, 3% and 4% of their salaries, says AfR. In France the equivalent figure is 10% of the average salary.
AfR blames rail privatisation for the disparity, although its research does not take into account how much of an individual’s tax in the European countries surveyed is used to subsidise rail fares.
Action for Rail price comparisons
From To Distance (miles) Monthly season ticket £ Monthly median earnings -full time % of monthly median earnings
UK Chelmsford London 29 £358 £2,745 13%
Germany Eberswalde Berlin 31 £95 £2,452 4%
France Etampes Paris 29 £234 £2,422 10%
Italy Cerveteri Ladispoli Rome 29 £37 £1,929 2%
Spain Arenys de Mar Barcelona 27 £56 £1,805 3%