Rising Rail Rates

Rail fares have risen by 3.4%, causing uproar among many commuters with no realistic commuting alternative. Price rises are capped at inflation; however, with the reference RPI figures at high levels due to the sterling driven correction, the increases are more severe than most years. Whilst only c.10% of people commute using the train, this figure is much higher in the crowded South East and in the UK’s major cities. A sentiment against car parking, combined with rising congestion in city centres is only likely to increase this figure. Commuting long distances to work tends to be a pursuit of well paid, highly skilled workers, who want to draw city salaries, whilst living in semi-rural environmental amenity. According to the TUC, commuting accounts for 13% of average London salaries, whilst similar commutes costs 2% in France and 3% in Italy. With both the time and cost increasing against continental counterparts and smaller UK towns where driving to work is the norm, commuting time and house pricing remain central challenges in the war for talent.