Fares must be repriced to deliver value for money, remove the anomalies which lead to split-ticketing and encourage more people to choose the train - particularly for travel to the workplace. Many people have discovered that they can work from home at least part of the time; we believe the trend away from 5 day commuting is now 'embedded' for many types of work. Flexible, clearly explained, smart ticket options which support this trend without encouraging a Tuesday – Thursday peak are essential.
We are disappointed that the March 2021 fare rises are inflation busting - both in the decision to continue to use RPI (rather than CPI) and in the decision to add an extra 1% to the rise - resulting in a total increase of 1.6% above the generally preferred measure of inflation (CPI). Our December 2020 press release condemns these inflation-busting rail fare increases.
Meanwhile the flexi-seasons announced in June 2021 are a step in the right direction, but perhaps not quite flexi enough.
Better value fares, new ticketing options and aggressive marketing initiatives are needed to attract passengers back to rail after COVID-19. South Western Railway passenger won £5,500 in Touch Smartcard prize draw. Image by South Western Railway.
Easier fares for all – a Railfuture campaign successThe Rail Delivery Group’s ‘Easier fares for all’ proposal released on 18 February 2019 has taken on board all the key points on fares and ticketing that Railfuture has been campaigning for - clearly explained, value for money fares and tickets which offer a choice of flexibility in time and routes to allow passengers to make an informed decision, and smart ticketing which benefits the passenger.
Lower fare risesRailfuture recognises that fares normally have to rise each year (2020 is an exception) but considers that fares should not take an increasing share of passengers’ income. Therefore fares should rise in line with CPI (Consumer Price Index), the government’s preferred measure of inflation, not RPI (Retail Price Index). The rail industry must contain its costs so that financial support from the taxpayer does not increase.
In a further campaign success on 15 August 2018, Secretary of State for Transport Chris Grayling said that CPI could be used in place of RPI for the calculation of future ticket price rises, and wrote letters to unions and the Rail Delivery Group calling for the rail industry to contain its costs so that there is no additional burden on taxpayers.
Clearer ticketsOn 10 August 2018 the Rail Delivery Group announced that unnecessary rail industry jargon has been removed from tickets, making them easier for passengers to understand - a success for our campaign.
- A new type of train ticket for the return to the office
- Rail campaigners condemn inflation-busting rail fare increases
- Time for a rail fare freeze
- Another decade of misery for rail passengers
- Rail passengers rewarded with yet another kick in the wallet
- Budget: Unhappy New Year for rail passengers
- Has the government succeeded in pricing people off the railways?
- Rail fare rises show undeniable bias against the rail traveller
- Fare increase misery for rail passengers
- Rail fares increase
- Action plan for ticketing
- Inflation and fare rises
- Rail prices increasingly divorced from reality
- Inflation figures
- Rail fare price freeze looks good, but…
- More pain for rail passengers
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