As commuters brace themselves for steep rail fare rises next week, Campaign for Better Transport has discovered some UK commuters are paying three and a half times more for their season ticket than their European neighbours.
The news comes despite the government concessions in the Autumn Spending review to cap regulated fare increases to inflation plus one per cent in January.
Initial allowances would have seen rail operates raise prices by inflation plus three per cent.
However, the transport charity discovered the sample UK ticket cost three and a half times more than the most expensive European one, and almost ten times (9.7) more than the cheapest one.
Campaign for Better Transport compared the cost of an annual season ticket into five major European capitals.
The cost of an annual season ticket, including multi-modal travel on each city’s underground system, from a commuter town approximately 23 miles from the capital:
- Woking to London, £3,268.
- Ballancourt-sur-Essonne to Paris, £924.66.
- Strausberg to Berlin, £705.85.
- Collado-Villalba to Madrid, £653.74.
- Velletri to Rome, £336.17.
Sophie Allain, Campaign for Better Transport’s public transport campaigner, said: “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.
“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.”
Campaign for Better Transport is taking part in a day of commuter action on January 3rd when people will be tweeting, texting or calling George Osborne to show their anger at fare rises.