UK rail commuters pay 10 times more than Europeans
As most commuters are all too aware in January train fares are set to rise by an average of 6%. Now, to add to train user's misery new data shows that British rail commuters pay almost ten times more for their season tickets than their European counterparts.
The figures from the Campaign for Better Transport (CBT) show that the price of train journeys of around 21-24 miles in the UK are up to 10 times higher than in some other countries.
For example, the price of a 2011 season ticket from Woking in Surrey to London, including travel on the London Underground, is £3,268. But a similar 22-mile journey from Velletri to Rome, costs just £336.17, according to CBT figures.
In France an annual season ticket for the 24-mile journey from Ballancourt-sur-Essonne to Paris costs £924.66.
A season ticket for the 21-mile Strausberg to Berlin route is £705.85, while the 22-mile Collado-Villalba to Madrid journey costs Spaniards £653.74.
"We knew we had some of the most expensive rail fares in Europe, if not the world, but even we were shocked by how much more the UK ticket was in comparison to our European counterparts," says Sophie Allain, spokesperson for the CBT.
"When the cost of season tickets is so much higher than other European capitals, the government's fare rises are starting to affect the UK's competitiveness. That's why if the Government is serious about promoting economic growth it must also look at reducing planned fare rises in 2013 and 2014 as part of a policy to cut fares and make public transport truly affordable."
The CBT is taking part in a day of commuter action on 3 January when people will be tweeting, texting or calling George Osbourne to protest against the fare rises. To find out more visit farefail.org.