Only six per cent?

28 December 2011

The Government’s welcome decision to row back from the planned RPI plus three per cent rises took the really nasty bite out of these rises. However, many passengers have little choice but to get the train and pay up. The spotlight will really be on train operating companies to deliver their promises about overcrowding and performance. We passengers are paying our fair share and we want and deserve better.

2011 saw the industry’s inefficiencies highlighted in a number of reports. The current policy of moving costs from the taxpayer onto the fare payer will go totally sour if the whole industry and Government does not wring better value for money out of its spending – why should passengers go on paying for a fractured inefficient industry?

From the examples we have looked at it appears that many train companies exercised some restraint when considering unregulated fare rises although we have looked at year on year rises – some fares go up during the year as well as at the end.

Unregulated fares have not been hit in the same way as in previous years. Whether this is because train companies felt the limits have finally been reached or that passengers who have a choice might baulk at paying these fares during grim economic times does not matter – let’s hope this policy continues in the following months. Those forward looking train companies that offer direct debit schemes for season tickets are also to be congratulated – spreading the cost of what are still relatively good value buys will make sense for some passengers.

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