In a bid to promote less carbon-intensive methods of transport and ensure that the rail and bus networks are accessible, the Green Party has revealed plans to cut fares by 10%.
The plans come just after train fares were hiked for the 11th consecutive year, with average day fares rising by 2.2%. Research has suggested that rail ticket prices are increasing at four times the rate of wages, putting pressure on travellers using public transport.
The Green Party pledge, which will be included in its general election manifesto, announces plans for an average 10% cut in rail and bus fares, paid for be increasing public investment in fares by £1.8 billion a year. The cost of this, which would amount to around £9 billion over the course of the next parliament, would be met by scrapping the majority of the government’s £15 billion new road building programme.
Green Party leader Natalie Bennett said, “The privatisation of the railways has been a huge disservice to passengers – driving up prices will creating a race to the bottom in service provision. It has left us with a rail network that is fragmented, costly, understaffed and under-invested – and the public are shouldering the burden.”
She continued that the Green Party believes that public service “should be run in the interests of those that use them, not the minority who happen to own them”. The planned investment in public transport would not only help the public travel between communities and work but also relieve the “national reliance on carbon-intensive forms of transport”, Bennett added.
Photo: Marc Johnson via Flickr