Fare increase announcement

Fare increase announcement

14 August 2018

RMT Press Office:

On eve of fare increase announcement RMT reveals that British passengers are paying more than ten times the French equivalent.

On the eve of the rail fare rise announcement rail union RMT has revealed that despite timetable chaos and service and staff cuts rail fares are massively more as expensive compared to Europe and rising twice as fast as UK wages.

A commuter in France pays £268, just 1% of their average annual salary for a season ticket from Ballancourt-sur-Essonne to Paris and yet a commuter from Cheshunt to London pays £3200 for a comparable journey which is 10% of the average salary in the UK. That is because fares have increased at twice the speed of wages since 2010, according to updated research by rail union RMT.

The analysis revealed on the eve of the Government announcement on the latest fare hike, shows that rail fares have risen by around 32% in nine years, while average weekly earnings have only grown by 16% using the Retail Price Index measure (RPI). Even if fares were pegged at the more modest Consumer Price Index (CPI) measure as many commentators have called for, fares would have still risen 36% faster than wages over the same time period.

Our rip off railways mean for example that commuting from Gravesend to London on the high speed Javelin service where annual season ticket currently costs £5828 is 18% of average annual earnings, more than twice the percentage of annual earnings paid by a German commuter on an high speed ICE service going from Dusseldorf to Cologne (£2976 or 8% of average earnings). After the latest rise the UK commuter will be paying nearly a fifth of their salary on an annual season ticket.

First thing tomorrow from London to Bristol will cost a passenger £99 but an Italian doing a comparable journey to Bologna from Milan will pay only a third of the price at £34.

RMT has calculated that if private profiteering was removed from the industry passengers could enjoy both a fare reduction and adequate numbers of rail staff being employed to help passengers at stations and on trains with information, security, safety and accessibility.

To bring this shameful state of affairs to the public’s attention rail workers will be protesting at the stations around the country on Wednesday August 15th (see below). They will be warning that passengers are paying “more for less” because even as fares rise timetables are in chaos, rail engineering work is being delayed or cancelled, skilled railway jobs are being lost and staff are being cut on trains, stations and ticket offices.

The events, will include photo and media opportunities with banners calling for reduced fares, public ownership and protection of jobs.

RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said:

“Despite all the timetable chaos and service and staff cuts our rail fares are up to 5 times more than fares in Europe and are rising twice as fast as wages. That is nothing short of a scandal.

“Even if fares were pegged at the more modest CPI these latest increases would still massively outstrip wages leaving the British passenger to pay through the nose to travel on rammed out and unreliable services. Meanwhile the rail companies, the majority of whom are foreign state owned , are using the British transport system as a cash-cow to hold down their own domestic fares. That is a nonsense and must be stopped.

“It’s is no wonder that passengers numbers are falling when they are paying more and more for less and less. The rail industry is in crisis and RMT is arguing for a massive cash injection paid for by ending the profiteering on our railway. This would mean passengers could enjoy both fare cuts and safe levels of staffing. This latest kick in the teeth for passengers is another nail in the coffin for privatisation and it is now a question of when not if our railways are nationalised.”


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Tagged with: rail fares, rail privatisation, tory government