Cost of commuting revealed as some train users spend 25% of entire salary getting to and from work

Lowest-paid workers in Birmingham hit hardest by latest revelations in ‘cost of living crisis’

People who commute by train in the UK could be spending up to a quarter of their wages just getting to and from work, new research has shown.

Those in lower pay brackets in Birmingham found their salaries under the heaviest strain, spending 23 per cent of their annual income on train fares, closely followed by commuters in London.

The full impact on workers already beset by what Labour calls a “cost of living crisis” could be even greater, as the figures from consultancy firm Hay Group and reported by Metro are derived before any taxes have been deducted from salaries.

RMT union leader Bob Crow told the newspaper: “This shocking research proves that a combination of rip-off fares and the cost of living crisis is hammering those on low to average pay and should serve as a wake-up call to the politicians.

“RMT will work with passenger groups to end the great transport robbery which is turning rail services into a rich man’s toy.”

Hay Group said there was a huge discrepancy across both regions and pay rates in the impact rail fare rises have on customers.

In Cardiff the lowest-paid rail commuters still only spend around 8 per cent of their salaries on travel, while in Leeds and Edinburgh it is somewhere in between, at 19 per cent and 16 per cent respectively.

The proportionate rates drop sharply as workers go up the career ladder, with senior managers in some cities spending only 2 per cent of their wages on long commutes.

Adam Burden, of Hay Group, told Metro workers were “becoming increasingly concerned that the cost of commuting was rising faster than wages”.

George Osborne announced in the Autumn Statement the decision to scrap an extra 1 per cent fare rise above RPI, which at 3.1 per cent is a higher measure of inflation than the official CPI.

Bruce Williamson, of passenger group Rail Future, said: “Twenty per cent of a salary is an enormous price to pay for the privilege of travelling to work.

“It is time the chancellor stopped squeezing rail commuters by using the higher of the two inflation measures.”

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Account Manager

£20000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This full service social media ...

Recruitment Genius: Data Analyst - Online Marketing

£24000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We are 'Changemakers in retail'...

Austen Lloyd: Senior Residential Conveyancer

Very Competitive: Austen Lloyd: Senior Conveyancer - South West We are see...

Austen Lloyd: Residential / Commercial Property Solicitor

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: DORSET MARKET TOWN - SENIOR PROPERTY SOLICITOR...

Day In a Page

Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there