Campaign for Better Transport have launched a national petition against ‘unfair rail fares’.
Fair Fares Now is a national campaign from the sustainable transport charity.
As well as the petition, a summer of protests at 40 key commuter stations will see MPs meeting local campaigners and hearing first-hand from passengers in their constituency struggling with transport costs.
With the Government currently reviewing the whole rail fares structure, the petition aims to let ministers know how unpopular and damaging year-on-year fare hikes are.
It calls on the Government to reverse its decision to raise fares by 28% over the next three years in favour of more affordable, straightforward tickets that provide good value for money and encourage people to choose the train.
Campaigners point out that rail fares, which are linked to inflation, will rise far more than the Government had bargained for due to unexpectedly high inflation rates.
Alexandra Woodsworth, Campaign for Better Transport’s public transport campaigner, said:
“Ministers have rushed to provide help for motorists to cope with rising fuel prices, but they are hitting train travellers with astronomical fare hikes.
“This is a deeply unfair blow to rail commuters and others who rely on public transport. Everyone is struggling with rising costs, not just drivers.
“The Government is reviewing its policy on train fares at the moment and our campaign this summer will show how just how many people oppose their punitive fare hikes.”
Responding to the campaign, an ATOC spokesperson said:
“We understand that these are tough times for many people but the Government has decided that taxpayers should pay less and passengers more towards the overall cost of the running of the railways.
“The Government is working with the rail industry to cut costs, but in the meantime it is allowing fares to rise to ensure that investment in extra trains, better stations and faster services can continue.”