Today British commuters woke up with the bitter taste of increased rail fares, with average regulated rail journeys going up in price by 2.2% in 2015.
The increase, the lowest since the Coalition came to power in 2010, comes after 4 years of reduced funding for national railways from central government.
As you can see from the chart below, published by the consulting firm Credo, the share of railways funding paid by commuters and travellers has risen from 54% to 66% between 2009-10 and 2013-14, while the government’s spending on them has dropped by more than £1 billion.
National Rail states on its website that passengers should pay “a bigger portion of the cost of running the railway and taxpayers a smaller share.”
Between 2010 and 2013 the government capped the increases, based on the Retail Price Index of inflation published by the ONS, with an extra 1% added.
On average, season ticket prices have spiked by a fifth in the last 5 years, according to the Campaign for Better Transport, a lobby group.
Caroline Lucas, the Green Party’s only member of parliament, is challenging Labour to renationalise the railway network if they come back in power this spring.
Speaking to the BBC Radio 4 Today program, Secretary for Transport Patrick McLoughlin defended increases as necessary for the government investment in new trains and better stations, like Birmingham’s New Street and London’s St Pancras.
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