COMMONS

Rail fare increases are 'unwelcome' says Chair

train on the tracks
30 November 2018

It was announced today that rail fares are to rise by 3.1% in January 2019 despite frequent delays and disruptions to services and high passenger dissatisfaction.

Reaction from Chair of the Transport Committee, Lilian Greenwood MP:

“After the year passengers have had, any increase in rail fares is going to be unwelcome. But a 3.1% hike in prices represents a real kick in the teeth. About one in five users of the railway suffered weeks of chaotic services after the badly botched timetable change in May and for some passengers, the pain persists. Overall performance is at its lowest ebb for several years, and on a downward trend.
 
“A fares system in which there is such a disconnect between quality of service and price is quite clearly broken. Most people have experienced years of wage stagnation, or real-terms reductions in their pay, and are struggling to make ends meet. A 3.1% increase in train fares therefore seems doubly unjust. For some long-distance commuters, the annual cost of getting to work could increase by more than £100.
 
“The Government and rail industry need to get a grip on this and the Williams Rail Review must make it a priority. We must have a fairer rail fares regime as a matter of urgency. We’ll be publishing our report on the rail timetabling crisis next week, including our ideas about how those worst affected could be protected from fares rises in 2019 and more broadly, how passengers’ trust in the railways can be restored.”

Further information

Image: PA/Gareth Fuller

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