Thursday 8 March 2012

Thursday, March 08, 2012 Posted by Jake 2 comments Labels: , ,
Posted by Jake on Thursday, March 08, 2012 with 2 comments | Labels: , ,

Sophie Allain, Campaign for Better Transport's public transport campaigner

The Government launched its rail fares review today with the potential to be the biggest shake-up of our fares system for decades. With rail fares a hot topic across the country affecting the pockets of hundreds of thousands of people, the chance to have a say on fares will be irresistible for many. The Government has said it wants to hear from passengers and has allowed an extended period of time for the consultation.
To help people respond easily we’ve produced a simplified form on our website which people can use to take part in the review and send their views to the Government. We’re also encouraging people on twitter to tweet their views using #farefail.

They are several things up for discussion in the review, but the main issues for passengers are likely to be surrounding tickets and staffing. It’s no secret that rail fares have become hugely expensive having soared by up to 200 per cent since 1995. As part of the review, the Government will look at allowing train companies to increase some peak fares, in order to reduce demand for the busiest trains. A poll we conducted showed this is deeply unpopular with passengers with 63 per cent believing that raising fares on the busiest trains at a higher rate than other services is unfair for all passengers, even if it meant lower fares on some less busy services.

With fare rises of inflation plus 3 per cent for the next two years, fares will already be 24 per cent higher in 2015 than they were in 2011. Proposals for ‘peak peak’ tickets would mean some passengers seeing even steeper increases. Whilst the Government has committed to ending inflation-busting fare increases “at the earliest opportunity”, no one seems to want to put a date on that.

So after many months of waiting to have our say, we need to make sure that this opportunity to improve the fares system is not wasted. Please do take part in the review and have your voice heard. If you need inspiration, here’s a list of ideas we think would improve train fares and tickets:
  •          The cost of train tickets in the UK is soaring year on year and fares must start coming down.
  •          Instead of hitting commuters at the busiest times with an additional fare hike to manage demand we need more capacity and more flexible working patterns.
  •          Stop making people feel like criminals when they catch the wrong train, let them top up their fare instead.
  •          Introduce a part-time season ticket for part-time workers.
  •          Put a cap on walk-on fares so we don't end up with a discount airline ticketing system where you have to book in advance and fare prices change by the minute.


  1. Cheaper now to do return trip to London from Leeds in a 4.3 gas guzzler & pay congestion charge than it is to take train.

    1. Just booked advance tickets, no cheap return option available had to get two singles that I need to cancel now due to family problems. The tickets are non-refundable. If I change the dates dor the same two journeys I am to be charged £10 for each seperate journey, it is administration costs you see. If I change my dates where the tickets are more expensive I have to pay the difference. If the dates are on cheaper tickets, I don't gain there either, it all goes for the train companies, any gains to be had go into their pockets every time. A complete one sided rip off by greedy operators running a so called public service!


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