Call on Chris Grayling MP to cap and reduce rail fares across the UK
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I am originally from the North of England and have lived in London for 16 years. I have relied on our national rail services for most of my adult life. Like millions of others I also use public transport in London on a daily basis. I am absolutely appalled at our governments lack of action to make rail fares more fair for the public throughout the whole of the UK. Their inaction to address this issue is making millions of peoples lives increasingly difficult, it is forcing people into cars as it is often a cheaper form of transport, which is then increasing our emission levels and congested road traffic issues. It is making working life much more difficult and at times impossible for many as the cost of rail transport simply can't be covered by a lot of peoples wages and it is separating families and loved ones who simply can no longer afford to travel to see one another should they live in different areas of the country. It makes no sense at all that on occasions it has been cheaper to fly to several destinations in Europe than to get a two hour train journey within our own country.
I am calling for URGENT action. We NEED to be heard we NEED to see change.
I have listed some information below taken from a great organisation which highlights some of the main issues we are facing and offers advice on what action can be taken.
Ticket prices have increased by over 45 per cent in real terms in just 10 years. Such high fares risk pricing people off the trains, with negative consequences for passengers, the environment and the economy. Although the Government has committed itself to fair pricing for rail travel, there has been no clarity as to what is meant by fair fares.
People up and down the UK are being priced off our railways unable to use the train to get to work. Our Government is responsible as it regulates 60% of train fares and these have increased by 25% since 2010. Unregulated train fares can rise even further. Fares keep rising because the Government is cutting its contribution to the railways and making passengers pay more.
The labour market has changed. With over 8 million people working part time and 1.5 million people working on zero hour contracts there is a greater need than ever for more flexible ticketing. Almost 75% of part time workers are women.
Many part-time workers will ask why they too cannot enjoy the rail ticketing savings that full time workers receive. With almost twice as many men working full time as women, the lack of flexible ticketing options currently available is not only a cost of living issue, but has now become a gender equality issue that must be put right quickly. We want to see flexible ticketing for part time workers rolled out across the whole of the UK rail network.
The Government currently use an outdated formula to calculate fares increases. At the moment they use the Retail Price Index (RPI) to calculate annual fare increases rather than the more widely used and recognised Consumer Price Index (CPI)
RPI over-estimates real inflation so consistently that the Office of National Statistics has dropped it as an official measure. Government has already switched to CPI for most things. Doing the same for train fares would have little impact on railway revenues, but it would save passengers money and bring fares into line with things like public sector pensions. The Government could and should do this now.
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