The decision to charge rail commuters more, despite a year of chaos, has been criticised this morning.
Campaign for Better Transport has criticised the Government’s decision to press ahead with a rail fare rise of 3.2 per cent today (January 2), in spite of a year of chaos with delays, cancellations and overcrowding on many lines.
Following the chaos caused by the flawed implementation of new timetables on the railways in May 2018, passengers faced severe disruption for many months, and the promised improvements in services that were used to justify the fare increases last January (2018) haven’t materialised for many.
Darren Shirley, Chief Executive of Campaign for Better Transport, said: “Rail passengers suffered atrocious service in 2018 and today’s 3.2 per cent fare rise will only add to their misery.
“The Government’s decision to press ahead with this fare rise despite a year of delays, cancellations and overcrowding, shows a total disregard for passengers and may leave many wondering what they are paying for.
“The review of the railways currently underway must prioritise passengers’ needs and recommend a fundamental reform of the fares system and how fares are set.”
The Government continues to use July’s Retail Price Index (RPI) figure to set the following January’s fare increase, despite RPI being obsolete and no longer an official measure of inflation. Campaign for Better Transport has been calling for the Government to use the Consumer Price Index (CPI) to set fare increases since 2013, which would have meant regulated fares, things like season tickets and standard returns, rising by 2.5 per cent today. Despite having indicated it will do so, the Government has yet to make the change leaving passengers paying more this year.