Rail fares set to rocket 28% in next four years
Government plans to increase rail fares in the next four years could see some rail ticket costs go up by nearly a third, claims a new campaign.
Campaign for Better Transport's Fair Fares Now says some season ticket holders could see their season ticket go up by £1,500 in the next few years.
It is petitioning the government against planned price hikes, arguing they are unfair on passengers.
Rail fares are likely to increase significantly within the next year. New government rules allow rail companies to increase ticket costs by 3% above the retail prices index, which is currently 5%.
Fares in England and Wales are therefore expected to increase by 8% and by 6% in Scotland, according to the Office for Budget Responsibility.
An 8% increase to an annual season ticket that cost £4,000 would add an extra £320 to the final price.
Alexandra Woodsworth, spoeksperson for Better Transport's Fair Fares Now, calls the fare hikes "astronomical" and says ministers have been quick to help motorists with rising fuel prices but haven' shown the same assistance to train travelers.
"This is a deeply unfair blow to rail commuters and others who rely on public transport. Everyone is struggling with rising costs, not just drivers."
"The government is reviewing its policy on train fares at the moment and our campaign this summer will show just how many people oppose their punitive fare hikes," she adds.
To sign Fair Fares Now petition go to bettertransport.org.uk/fairfares.
The campaign website also have a fare calculator where commuters can type in their fare details to find out how much their journey costs could increase by.
Office for Budget Responsibility
Formed in May 2010, the OBR makes an independent assessment of the public finances and the economy, the public sector balance sheet and the long-term sustainability of the public finances. The OBR has four man priorities: to produce two forecasts a year for the economy and public finances, to judge the progress the government has made towards meetings its fiscal targets, to assess the long-term sustainability of the public finances and to scrutinise the Treasury’s costing of Budget measures.