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Breaking: Labour will cut rail fares by a third to save commuters £1,000+ a year

Labour announces biggest ever rail fares cut of 33% in move that will save the average commuter over £1000 per year

On Monday, Labour will announce the biggest ever cuts to rail fares in England. The move comes after the government announced that rail fares are set to rise again by an average of 2.7% next year.

Fares have risen by 40% since the Tories took office in 2010 – more than double the rate of wage growth:

Labour’s plans for an integrated railway under public ownership will:

  • cut regulated rail fares by 33% from January 2020, saving the average commuter £1097 a year
  • guarantee fair fares for part-time workers
  • deliver a simple, London-style ticketing system across the nation
  • make rail travel free for those 16 years old and under

Most commuter fares including peak time fares and season tickets are regulated fares, which make up almost half of all tickets sold – and these will be reduced by 33%, the biggest ever reduction in rail fares.

The measure is needed to tackle the crisis of soaring, unaffordable rail prices and give relief to millions of rail commuters who have endured years of excessive price rises.

Help for part-time workers

Labour will also guarantee fair fares for part time workers – currently hugely disadvantaged – by ensuring that workers who commute fewer than 5 days a week pay no more per journey than full-time workers who use weekly season tickets – meaning part-time workers will see their fares cut by more than a third, too.

Labour will also reform and simplify fares and ticketing – replacing the current system with a simple, London-style ticketing system across the nation, with contactless payments and zonal rail fares that will apply across all modes of public transport. There will also be an option to ‘pay as you go’ with a daily cap on the maximum price a traveller pays.

Free for under-16s

Rail travel will be made free for those aged 16 years and younger to encourage young people to use public transport, tackle generational inequality and make family holidays more affordable.

Great for economy and environment

Labour’s publicly-owned, integrated railway plan will ensure easy and affordable access to sustainable public transport to boost economic growth and reduce road traffic to ease congestion, reduce air pollution and lower climate emissions.

Ending the rail rip-off and taking back control

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said:

Travelling by train is my favourite way of getting around the country but for too long a fragmented and privatised rail system has ripped-off passengers.

Taking back control of our railways is the only way to bring down fares and create a railway network that is fit for the future.

Labour will bring about real change on the railways because we are on the side of passengers.

Simple and clear

The Tory-created hodge-podge of systems and providers has created an astonishingly complicated system for any UK rail user to navigate, with a staggering 55 million fares – that’s almost 3,400 different fares per kilometre of UK rail track.

Shadow Transport Secretary Andy McDonald added:

Privatisation has created one of the most complex, exploitative and expensive ticketing systems in the world. Labour will scrap the bewildering and outdated fares and ticketing system that discriminates against part-time workers, discourages rail travel and excludes the young and low paid.

Labour is on the side of passengers which is why we will introduce a simpler, fairer and more affordable system for all, integrated with other forms of public transport. Rail passengers who want to save hundreds or thousands of pounds next year need to vote Labour on 12th December. Labour will deliver a railway in public ownership for the many, not the few.

Decisions on whether to fund rail fare reductions in Scotland and Wales are a matter for the devolved governments, but this policy clears the way for Scotland and Wales to follow suit if they wish. In the meantime the fare reduction will apply to rail journeys wholly or partly within England.

The fragmented nature of the privatised railway frustrates the coordinated reform required to implement reform of fares and ticketing and integration across public transport, so the Labour government will work with local transport authorities to define ‘islands’ within which zonal rail fares apply across all modes of public transport, with an affordable daily price cap.

Longer distance rail journeys will form ‘bridges’ between the islands, for trips where passengers need to know the price in advance to judge whether to flex their journey time to get off-peak rates. Fares for these journeys will become simple and transparent, with mainly distance-related, ‘single-leg’ pricing, where the return price is always the combined outward and return leg prices. Apart from higher ‘peak’ prices other complexities will be wiped out.

Labour will reduce the cost of single peak fares to 1/10th the cost of a whole week season ticket, so part-time workers will no longer incur higher per journey costs than full-time workers.

Labour forecasts indicate that £1.5 billion per year will be spent on this policy, based on regulated fare revenue data from Office of Rail and Road and single/weekly season price ratios from the National Fares Manual.

This funding will come from existing Deoartment for Transport (DfT) budgets, drawn from Vehicle Excise Duty (VED).

VED is forecast by the Office for Budget Responsibility to raise £6.5 bn in the 2019-20 financial year. The Tories plan to grab this money to fund major new road-building projects from 2020, whilst excluding repair of potholes and other road maintenance.

Labour will expand this hypothecation of VED to form a sustainable transport fund for rail and other sustainable modes of travel and to address the pothole backlog. If this money were to be spent on road building it would increase traffic, congestion and carbon emissions, the opposite of what is needed to reach the UK’s commitment to climate targets and to clean up polluted air.

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  1. Brilliant!
    And as they ask how will you pay for it?
    Funny Tories always find billions for war and bombing other countries (which makes the situation actually worse) and they have spent £435b for quantitative easing since 2010, the electronic printing of money, which has only kept the economy static so I am sure we can find the money for such important public services from similar sources.
    Labour like any business will invest to grow but we are backed by the insurance of a rock solid stable state and this will create jobs and this and things like the immediate 5% increase in public sector pay WILL PUT MORE POUNDS IN PEOPLES POCKETS so they can buy commodities which will further boost the economy.
    What Labour is planning has to an extent been piloted by socialists in Portugal and it has been a success!

  2. It’s a fantastic policy, a real 1945 moment. There will be outrage from the shareholders of course but in a wealth redistribution it’s bound to happen. It’s the first time in 75 years that the British upper classes have been asked to cooperate in a wealth redistribution from the wealthy to the poor; they aren’t used to it!

  3. This policy might even catch a few torys from the commuter belt around the M25who yearly suffer from shell shock from the yearly price rises and appalling conditions of our privatised rail companys.Yes a direct attack inside the Tory heartlands is what we need and the repercussions will be greater than many think.I have seen the misery on the faces of the most committed torys when they turn up on the journey to London in the bleak mid winter as they say.Heart warming news for anyone who has been subjected to the privatisation of British Rail.!

    1. RIP off RAIL FARES‼️ The direct basic stuff that affects EVERYONE. No affordable housing, Drugs by the Helicopter and Yacht loads coming into our country. Why does Boris Johnson not stop and search the 1% that can afford yachts and helicopters and £millions consingment of drugs❓ STOP & SEARCH your 1% chums JohnJob‼️ Stop & Search your self declared COKE & DOPE heads MICKY & your DICKY DAVE.

      PIF-FELLER JOHNSON, Stop & Search your “beyond reproach” PRINCE ANDREW too‼️‼️ Then you might expose industrial child trafficking and paedophilia of THE ONE PERCENT ‼️‼️‼️

      Homelessness, Food-banks that shame everyone EXCEPT shameless S H A M E L E S S
      N A S T Y P A R T Y
      conning conservatives led by UNRELIABLE JohnJob, Security Danger JohnJob, Privatiser of TERRORIST TAGGING JohnJob, PROTECTOR of Prince Andrew, Hider of RUSSIAN DOSSIER JohnJob PIF PIF BORIS CONSON JOHNSON‼️‼️‼️

  4. Rail fare increases are about ther only thing still linked to RPI inflation.
    What housing costs do rail companies have.

    Labour need to get this plan onto a leaflet and hand them to commuters. Should be very effective and need not count as local expenditure.

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