The Green Party has advocated for a halt in the increase of rail fares, just ahead of the government’s impending decision on whether to raise fares in alignment with inflation come January 2024.
Drawing a comparison between the historical escalations in rail fares and the suspension of fuel duty hikes for drivers, a representative from the Green Party has pressed the government to take measures that curb the financial burden of public transportation, particularly during a period marked by escalating costs that are placing a strain on numerous households.
Councillor Matt Edwards, Leader of the Green Group on Bradford Council and the party’s national spokesperson on Transport has said,
“Rail commuters are facing potentially record rises in fares in January in the midst of a cost of living crisis which is putting significant strain on household budgets.
“Rail fares in England already increased by 5.9% earlier this year and the government is about to decide if they will go up even more next January. Whilst rail fares have been increasing year on year, the government has chosen to freeze fuel duty since 2011.
“The UK already has to pay some of the most expensive tickets in Europe whilst we also have to deal with significant delays on many lines – particularly in the North of England. Add in the potential closure of hundreds of rail ticket offices it is clear the government really is short-changing those who commute by public transport.
“Freezing rail fares is just the first thing the government can do to make it easier and more affordable to get around by public transport. Giving people better public transport options will take cars off the road, reducing congestion for those that don’t have the option. It will also help reduce air pollution and help reduce carbon emissions. It’s a win-win really.”