To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether he is taking steps to prevent continual fare increases in public transport; and if he will make a statement.
In regard to rail, the Government regulates around one third of all rail fares to protect passengers that rely on trains to get to work from high fare rises. Since 2014, these regulated fares have been capped at inflation.
We want fares to be linked to the more commonly used CPI measure of inflation in the future but, to be sustainable, income and costs to the rail industry, including staffing costs, must change in parallel. The Secretary of State has therefore written to the rail industry and the unions, asking for their help to move rail from RPI to CPI, to reduce costs so that savings can be passed on to passengers.
In regard to buses, in order to mitigate fare increases the Government provides £250 million to support bus services through the Bus Service Operators Grant, with £43 million paid directly to local authorities. In real terms, annual total net support for bus services since 2010/11 has averaged 23 percent more than in the 1996/97 to 2009/10 period.