Rail fares rise twice as fast as pay (and are set to go up another 4%)
RAIL fares have risen at twice the rate wages have since 2010, research shows.
Standard fares have shot up by nearly a third – 32 per cent – while average weekly earnings increased by only 16 per cent.
An annual season ticket from Chelmsford in Essex to London now costs £4,000 – a fifth of the starting salary for a nurse or police officer – the Rail, Maritime and Transport union says.
The figures were revealed today, the day before commuters are told how much fares will rise next year. The increase is expected to be nearly 4 per cent.
The Government raises prices each January in line with the previous July’s Retail Price Index (RPI) measure of inflation, which will be announced by the Office for National Statistics tomorrow. However many pay rises are based on the change in Consumer Prices Index, which is lower. And millions of workers get even less.
The RPI for this July is expected to be around 3.9 per cent, leading to the highest increase in rail fares since 2012.
RMT general secretary Mick Cash said it was ‘a toxic combination of fare rises easily outstripping wages’. He accused rail firms of ‘pocketing the profits while passengers are paying more for less’.
Separate research suggests that UK commuters spend up to six times as much of their salary on rail fares as passengers in other European countries.