Last train home

August 26, 2011, 8:14 PM GMT+0

Nearly four out of five British people think that the train fares in Britain are generally bad value, our poll has discovered, while two in five class fares as ‘very bad value’.

Train fares are increasing as the Government cuts subsidies as part of its plans to reduce the deficit, but nearly half of respondents think that the rail subsidies should be maintained, even if it means cutting funding elsewhere.

  • 79% of British people think that generally speaking train fares in Britain are bad value
  • Just 14% believe that train fares are good value
  • Londoners and people in the rest of the South are most likely to think fares are bad value 84%, compared to 74% of people in the Midlands/Wales and the North
  • 47% of people think that the Government should maintain rail subsidies to keep down increases in train fares, even if it means finding other cuts
  • While 24% say that the Government is right to cut rail subsidies as part of reducing the deficit, even if it means higher increases in train fares
  • Londoners are most likely to think the Government should maintain subsidies, with 55% in favour compared to 43% of people in Scotland

The poll comes following the news that a drop in Government subsidies will see rail commuters in England and Wales hit with average ticket rises of around 8% next year. It has been reported that some tickets may even rise by 15%.

‘Difficult decisions’

Rail Minister Theresa Villiers said earlier this month that ‘difficult decisions’ had to be made in order to deal with the budget deficit, and that rail fares help the Government to ‘deliver much-needed improvements on the rail network’.

However, last week campaigners protested at London's Waterloo station about the price rises.

‘Burst the bubble’

Alexandra Woodsworth from the Campaign for Better Transport criticised the costs, saying ‘affordable rail travel is vital for passengers, for the environment and for our workforce. These massive fare rises will be a disaster for people already struggling with rising costs, and risk pricing those on lower incomes out of jobs in our major cities.

‘The country simply can't afford fare rises on such a punitive scale,’ she said.