Greens call for rail fare freeze as Government announces below inflationary fare rise
15 August 2023
Following the government announcing it plans to increase rail fares by less than the rate of inflation and will delay fare increases until March 2024, Green Party co-leader Adrian Ramsay has called on the government to go further and freeze rail fares for at least the next year .
Contrasting year on year rail fare rises with the freeze in fuel duty for drivers and cuts to air passenger duty for domestic flights, Ramsay has urged the government to ensure that rail passengers are not penalised for using a more sustainable form of transport.
Adrian Ramsay said:
“This government is moving in completely the wrong direction. Fuel duty has been frozen since 2011, while air passenger duty cuts this year will be a disaster for the climate crisis by encouraging people to fly more.
“This is despite the fact UK rail passengers are already paying more to travel by train  than flying and are faced with some of the most expensive tickets in Europe.
“Emissions from transport are higher than for any other sector of the economy. If the UK is to meet its climate commitments then we need more people choosing trains over cars and planes, and we need more commuters opting for public transport and active travel to get to work.
“Making train travel more expensive, while closing rail ticket offices that support travellers to get the best deal, would underscore the government’s contempt for climate action and the travelling public.
“Pushing up prices at all would make it harder for hard-pressed travellers to make the right decision for pocket and planet.
“That is why I am urging the government to come forward with a plan which will freeze rail fares. This would help address the cost of living crisis while helping to tackle the climate emergency.
“The Green alternative to the continued rundown of our railways is clear – make train travel affordable, safe and easy.
“That means bringing the whole rail system into public ownership, making sure it is always cheaper than the equivalent route by air or road, and encouraging more freight onto rail.
“That’s a win-win for the public and tackling the climate crisis.”
1. The rise in rail fares each January is usually based on the annual increase in Retail Price Index (RPI) measured the previous July. The price cap is usually announced by the Government each December. The government has indicated that next year’s rise will be below inflation and any increase will also be delayed until March 2024. However, the Green Party believe there should be a fare freeze. Next year’s English rail fares rise will be below inflation, says Government
2. Recent research suggests train travel is 35% more expensive than flying, despite the fact that plane journeys on average emit twice the C02 on average (118% more) compared to travelling by train, while fuel duty is frozen