The Labour Party has pledged to cut nationwide rail fares by 33% in a move that could save the average commuter over £1,000 a year. Reading rail passengers currently pay some of the highest fares in the country with the price per mile into London coming in at 31.8 pence.
A recent BBC study has highlighted that UK commuters are spending around 11% of their disposable income on their daily commute.
Labour estimates the policy will cost £1.5 billion per year and would be financed from existing Department for Transport budgets, drawn from Vehicle Excise Duty. Meanwhile, over the weekend it was revealed that rail fares are set to rise an average of 2.7% in 2020.
Privatisation has created one of the most complex, exploitative and expensive ticketing systems in the world which discriminates against part-time workers, discourages rail travel and excludes the young and low paid.
Labour has also pledged to deliver a simple, London-style ticketing system across the nation – with “islands” within which zonal rail fares will apply across all modes of public transport.
Labour’s plans for an integrated railway under public ownership will:
• Cut regulated rail fares by 33% from January 2020, *saving the average
commuter £1097 a year. This is the biggest ever reduction in rail fares, to
tackle the crisis of unaffordability on the railway and give relief to
millions of rail commuters from years of excessive price rises.
• Guarantee fair fares for part-time workers
• Deliver a simple, London-style ticketing system across the nation with a contactless payment system creating zonal rail fares that will apply across all modes of public transport.
• Make rail travel free for those 16 years old and under to encourage
young people to use public transport, tackle generational inequality and
make family holidays more affordable.