COP26: “They cut air passenger duty for polluting aeroplanes, have frozen fuel duty for motorists again and again, but if you want to take the green option and travel by train, the government punishes you with eye-watering fare increases” said Chris Page, chair of Railfuture “It really is crazy that at a time when there is a real need to reduce our carbon usage, all the good news is for the more polluting choices. All rail wants is for it to be treated fairly as we go about reducing carbon usage in transport. Surely the time is right for a fares freeze, which would match the gift to car users and air travellers. Anything else would go totally against the goals of COP26” The Climate Train - image from Avanti West Coast
Railfuture believes that there should be no inflationary fare rise in 2022. This is to match the announcements in the Autumn 2021 Budget on Wednesday 27 October: Fuel Excise Duty was frozen – for the eleventh year in succession, and Air Passenger Duty was cut by 50% for domestic flights from April 2023 (from £13 to £6.50).
We've issued a Press Release to highlight the need to treat rail fairly and in step with other transport options:
- “What a treat for the two most polluting modes of transport - no attempt to encourage either a switch to a more carbon efficient mode or to a more efficient car (i.e. a battery one). The evidence is clear that rail is the most carbon efficient way of getting around”.
- And linking the decision to COP26 Transport day (on 10 November): “We’re hoping to see announcements that will show the Government is serious about making best use of the highly carbon efficient rail network. These should include an end to inflationary rail fare rise for 2022 or at the very least at or below CPI inflation".
Back in July this year we commented on the calculation basis of any 2022 inflationary increase - continuing to use RPI as the basis really would rub salt into the wound.
- Ecopassenger.org shows that for London to Glasgow, a train user will cause 32.2kg of carbon dioxide, a car user 90.6kg and by air it is 120.3kg (see worked example).
- Fuel Duty freeze for 11 years: Consumers Association / Which website.
- A table of potential commuter fare rises & Inflation history (CPI vs RPI).