RMT poll reveals negative impact of rail fares rise

RMT poll reveals negative impact of rail fares rise

13 August 2019

RMT Press Office

New RMT polling reveals 70% of rail passengers have been negatively impacted by rising rail fares

Rail union RMT can reveal on the eve of the announcement of the next rail fare increase, that a new poll of rail users from across the UK shows that 7 in 10 passengers have been negatively affected, in various ways, by rising rail fares.

Impacts on passengers include: pressure on monthly finances, being prevented from visiting family and friends, thinking about using other forms of transport for leisure and work and being forced to cut back on other expenses.

Despite ever increasing rail fares, private train companies continue to cut station and on train staffing and close ticket offices in order to extract as much profit as possible from the system. Yet again, when the next fare increase takes effect, from January 2020, passengers will be paying even more, but getting less.

This injustice is further evidenced by additional poll results which show that 60% of rail users think rail fares are either poor or awful value for money and a massive 73% believe that their train company is most motivated by making a profit rather than providing a good service for passengers.

Tomorrow, RMT will be holding protests around the country to call on the new Transport Secretary to put the travelling public rather than private shareholders first and renationalise our railways.

RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said:

“It is a national disgrace that the majority of UK rail passengers say that rising rail fares have forced them to make cut backs elsewhere. Our railways should be run as an affordable and accessible public service and not for private profit.

“Keith Williams has said he will prioritise passengers in his rail review, but unless he recommends renationalisation, it will be clear he is merely giving lip service to the idea of improving our railways for the benefit of passengers.

“These poll results send a clear message to the new Transport Secretary that rail passengers have had enough of being ripped off by the private rail companies’ profiteering. They deserve better.”



Notes for Editors

Rail fare protests will be taking place at the following locations on Wednesday 14th August:


Basingstoke – 1630 - 1830

Birmingham New Street – 0730-0930

Birmingham Snow Hill – 1600-1800

Brighton – from 0700

Bristol Temple Meads – 0800 - 0900

Burton on Trent – 1600-1730 – THURSDAY 15th AUGUST

Cardiff Central – 0800 – 0900

Carlisle – 0630 – 0900

Chester – from 0700

Crewe – 0700 – 0900

Derby – 1600-1800


Edinburgh Waverley, top of Market Street – 0800-0900


Falmer – from 1000

Hazel Grove – 0700 – 0930

Hove – from 1300


Kings Cross – 0730-1000

Kirkcaldy 0630-0830

Lancaster – 1600 - 1800

Leeds City, City Square Entrance – 0700 – 1000

Lewisham – from 0700

Liverpool Lime Street – 0700 – 0930

London Paddington – 0800 - 0900

Manchester Piccadilly – 0730 - 0930

Moorfields Station Merseyrail – 0700 – 0900


Wakefield Westgate – 0730 – 0900

Warrington Central – 0700 - 0900


Worthing – from 1700



Rail passenger survey


A survey of 1000 rail passengers was conducted by Opinium on behalf of the RMT between 14th and 20th June 2019. The sample was comprised of 50 users of the following rail companies: Abellio Greater Anglia; C2C; Chiltern; Cross Country; East Midlands Trains; First transpennine express; Govia Thameslink; Great Northern; Great Western Railway; LNER; Merseyrail; Northern; ScotRail; South Western Railway; Southeastern; Southern; Transport for Wales; Virgin Trains West Coast; West Midlands Rail.


Respondents were asked ‘What impacts of rising rail fares had on you? Please tick all that apply’


30% responded ‘None of these’ and the remaining 70% ticked one or more option, list below.


No. of cases


Made me think about taking other forms of transport for leisure purposes

34 %


Put more pressure on my monthly finances

24 %


Prevented me from visiting the places I want to

24 %


Made me think about taking other forms of transport for work

18 %


Prevented me from visiting friends and family

14 %


Forced me into cutting back on other expenses

13 %


Made me consider getting a new job to avoid using the train

7 %


None of these

30 %




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Tagged with: Rail Fares Poll