Watchdog urges end to rail fares lottery

Watchdog urges end to rail fares lottery

04 June 2019

London’s independent passenger watchdog has reiterated its calls for urgent reform of National Rail fares as a new poll released by the rail industry today shows that passengers want the Government to prioritise rail fares reform.

London TravelWatch Chair, Arthur Leathley commented: 'This latest poll confirms what we have been saying for some time - the fares system needs urgent reform. We have recently updated our research and this confirms the absurd anomalies between different locations around London, with many commuters paying up to £35 a week more than others – for the same length of journey. Passengers urgently need flexible fares which reflect the modern world and the reality of performance rather than the current opaque system where fares levels are nothing more than a lottery.'

Table 1: Commuter fares anomalies

Station

Distance to London Terminus

Weekly season ticket price 2019 £

Operator(s)

Passengers using station each year (millions) 2017/18

Hemel Hempstead

21

95.80

LNWR

1.96

Harlow Town

22

93.30

Greater Anglia

1.9

Amersham

23.5

91.50

Chiltern / London Underground

1.9

Sevenoaks

21

90.20

Southeastern

4.15

Gatwick Airport

26.75

84.30

GTR

20.3

Woking

24.5

83.70

Southwestern Railway

7.64

Shenfield

20.25

78.70

TfL Rail / Greater Anglia

3.87

Welwyn Garden City

20

75.40

GTR

2.96

Redhill

21

70.70

GTR

3.55

Slough

18.5

67.80

Great Western

5.54

Staines

19

67.40

South Western

2.75

Grays

19.5

61.20

c2c

4.05

Oxted

20

58.90

GTR

1.57

London TravelWatch recently responded to the Government’s consultation on extending Pay As You Go fares. The proposals would tackle the many inconsistencies in fares and ticketing in outer London and the wider commuter area that we have previously highlighted and have the potential to benefit 227m passenger journeys a year. There is also potential to tackle some of the issues in the forthcoming Williams Review and London TravelWatch’s recent submission included several recommendations aimed at increasing accountability and value for money.

 

Further information

  • London TravelWatch is the operating name for the London Transport Users Committee. We are the official watchdog representing the interests of transport users in and around London, and independent of the transport operators and government. London TravelWatch is sponsored and funded by the London Assembly, part of the Greater London Authority.
  • Follow London TravelWatch on Twitter and You Tube.
  • For more information, please contact the London TravelWatch press office on 020 3176 5941 or 07734 055494.
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