Commuters: Costs

Department for Transport written question – answered on 8th November 2021.

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Photo of Robert Halfon Robert Halfon Chair, Education Committee, Chair, Education Committee

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking to reduce (a) the cost of commuting and (b) train fares.

Photo of Chris Heaton-Harris Chris Heaton-Harris Minister of State (Department for Transport)

Passengers deserve punctual and reliable journeys at a fair price, which is why we are investing billions into modernising the network. The new Great British Railways structure also aims to tackle the previous overspecification, gold-plating and disconnected decision making that inhibited improvements for passengers and pushed up costs across the sector, which were ultimately reflected in rising fares.

There are a number of railcards available that offer discounts against most rail fares. We have saved a generation of passengers at least a third off their fares through the 16-17 and 26-30 railcards and went even further in November 2020 by extending these savings to former servicemen and women through a new Veterans Railcard.

We also recognised the need to accommodate more flexible work and travel patterns due to the impact of COVID-19 on commuters. This is why we have introduced flexible season tickets across England this year, tickets launched on 21 June and became available for use on 28 June.

Buses are at the centre of our public transport network, helping to connect people to places of employment. Our Bus Back Better strategy set out that we want to see more low, flat fares in towns and cities, lower point-to-point fares elsewhere, and more daily price capping everywhere. At the Budget we announced £1.2 billion of new dedicated bus funding to deliver improvements in fares, services and infrastructure over this Parliament.

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