Commuters protest at train stations at news UK fares 6 times what they are in Europe

Protests are being held at train stations throughout London this morning calling for lower train fares

Click to follow
The Independent Online

British commuters who travel by train are spending up to six times as much of their salaries on railway fares as passengers on public train lines in Europe, a study has found.

Action for Rail, a campaign by rail unions and the TUC, say that whilst some UK commuters are spending 13 per cent of their monthly pay packets on rail travel, commuters in Italy pay just 2 per cent.

The research was published to highlight protests at more than 60 railway stations by campaigners and rail workers to mark the return to work after the festive break, with fares having increased at the weekend.

The analysis looked at a UK worker on an average salary who is spending 13% of their monthly wages on a £357.90 monthly season ticket from Chelmsford to London.

By contrast, the average amount of salary going on a monthly season ticket for a similar journey is 2% in Italy, 3% in Spain and 4% in Germany.

The research has been published to highlight protests at more than 60 railway stations by campaigners and rail workers, against fare hike which have come into force at the weekend.


TUC general secretary Frances O'Grady said: "It's hardly surprising that UK passengers think rail travel is bad value for money. They are shelling out far more of their income on rail fares than their counterparts in Europe.

"Years of failed privatisation have left us with exorbitant ticket prices, overcrowded trains and ageing infrastructure. Ministers need to wake up to this reality instead of allowing train companies to milk the system at taxpayers' and commuters' expense."

Mick Whelan, general secretary of train diver union Aslef said: "Taking the railways back into public hands is a popular policy. The vast majority of voters - Conservative included - are fed up with paying sky-high fares so the privatised train companies can take their slice. Commuters travelling into London from Kent and Sussex know their £5,000 a year season tickets would be much cheaper under public ownership."

With additional reporting by PA