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Passengers taken for a Ticket to Ride

4 February 2013

Top Ten Rail Fares Have Trebled Since Rail Sell Off

Rail fares on the busiest routes have risen three times faster than the cost of living over the past 20 years, the TSSA revealed today.

It published a Top Ten chart of the most expensive city journeys that passengers now face since John Major's Tories voted to sell off the rail network back in 1993.

A walk on single fare from London to Manchester has gone up 208%, to Exeter by 205% and Cardiff by 196%. The cost of living, the RPI, has gone up in the same period by 66%.

"Private rail firms were given a licence to print money in the 1990s and they have been ripping off passengers ever since," said union leader Manuel Cortes.

"This chart demolishes the Tories' claim when they sold off British Rail-namely that fares would get cheaper.*

"Funnily enough, at the time there was a record in the charts called: "Would I Lie To You?". Well, sadly, rail passengers have now found out the answer to that one."

Average rail fares have increased overall by 102.8% since 1995, the year after British Rail was sold to Railtrack.

"What we have seen is little more than legalised daylight robbery on a grand scale," added the union leader.

"Passengers have suffered all the pain while private operators have seen all the gains. Now we are number one in Europe for the highest fares."

Top ten fare increases 1995 2013 %
Any time single to and from London
Manchester £50 £154 208%
Exeter £37.50 £114.50 205%
Cardiff £35 £103.50 196%
Swindon £20 £58.50 193%
Birmingham £28.50 £79 177%
Nottingham £29.50 £78.50 166%
Glasgow £65 £169 160%
Leeds £48 £124.50 159%
Edinburgh £65 £152 134%
Norwich £29 £64.10 121%

Figures supplied to TSSA by leading rail fares expert Barry Doe.

*   John MacGregor, the then Transport Secretary told the House of Commons in February 1993: "I see no reason why fares should increase faster under the new system. In many cases, they will be more flexible and will be reduced."

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