Travel: Costs

Department for Transport written question – answered on 23rd February 2015.

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Photo of Alison McGovern Alison McGovern Shadow Minister (Education)

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what estimate he has made of the change in real terms of the cost of travelling by (a) private car, (b) bus, (c) train and (d) domestic air flight between (i) 2000 and 2010 and (ii) 2010 and 2014.

Photo of Robert Goodwill Robert Goodwill Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)

The Department for Transport published statistics on travel costs, based on data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), in the Transport Statistics Great Britain compendium.

Data from the independent ONS suggests that:

(i) Between 2000 and 2010 the real cost of motoring, including the purchase of a vehicle, declined by 8%, bus and coach fares increased by 20% and rail fares increased by 15% in real terms.

(ii) Between 2010 and 2014 the real cost of motoring, including the purchase of a vehicle, decreased by 5%, bus and coach fares increased by 2% and rail fares increased by 6% in real terms.

(iii) The costs of travelling by air are not available from ONS data. However information is available based on fare data from the Civil Aviation Authority. The real cost of the average UK one-way air fare, including taxes and charges, covering domestic flights from 2000 to 2010 declined by 41% and from 2010 to 2013 declined by 4%, reflecting a range of factors including increased competition between airlines. Estimates for 2014 are not yet available.

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John Byng
Posted on 24 Feb 2015 2:22 pm (Report this annotation)

So in spite of the benefit to the public good of encouraging bus and rail use they have been allowed to grow relatively more expensive while car and air travel has grown cheaper. Is the Dept for Transport asleep? I can understand that they want to reduce support for public transport in order to balance the books but they seem to be overlooking the possibility of increasing fuel tax for cars and APD for air travel as well or even instead.