CBT demands rail freeze to stimulate rail return

Campaigners have urged a rail fares freeze, in response to the Department for Transport’s announcement that it has delayed a decision on next year’s rail fare increases.

The annual increase in regulated fares is usually linked to the previous July’s Retail Prices Index measure of inflation. This year’s RPI, announced to be 3.8% by the Office for National Statistics on August 18, suggested that fares could rise by 4.8% - the largest increase in a decade.

However, given the pressure upon the Government to freeze fares in order to stimulate rail travel in the emerging ‘work from home’ era, it has decided on a postponement until an unspecified later date. 

Campaign for Better Transport Chief Executive Paul Tuohy said: “We welcome the news that the Government is reconsidering the annual RPI-linked fare rise to help encourage more people back to public transport. 

“The railway is crucial to the economy and will play a key role in a green economic recovery, so we want to see rail passengers given the same break as drivers have had with the fuel duty freeze. 

“We’re urging the Government to freeze fares for next year to help increase passenger numbers and boost the economy, as well as reducing carbon emissions, air pollution and congestion.”

To read the full story, see RAIL 939.

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