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2009-01-01 ATO-001
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ATOC comments on rail improvements and January fares changes


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ATOC
Association of Train Operating Companies



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ATOC

ATOC comments on rail improvements and January fares changes
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date
1 January 2009
source ATOC
type Press release



Commenting on the rail fares changes that come into effect on 2nd January, Michael Roberts, Chief Executive of the Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC), said:

“It is important to be clear about the facts. Average rises for regulated fares are 6 per cent and for unregulated fares, 7 per cent. For many season ticket holders on commuter routes highlighted by Passenger Focus, for example, that amounts to an increase of about £1 or £2 a day. Also, about 80 per cent of fares are discounted or price-capped.”

Commuting by rail is also considerably less expensive than commuting by car (see note 1 below) – even allowing for falling petrol prices - and journey times are usually quicker too.

He continued: “In fact, the service offered to passengers is improving all the time thanks to the investment made possible by fares revenues. This year an extra 265,000 trains will be run and £800 million is being spent by operators on trains and station improvements for passengers

“Not only that, punctuality is now at record levels – above 90 per cent - and passenger satisfaction is also high with 80 per cent being very satisfied or satisfied. All of which has taken place at a time when record numbers of passengers are travelling, with an additional one million journeys a week made in 2008.”
Not all fares are rising – nearly 15% of fares remain the same or are falling - and more than 80% of rail journeys are made using either a price-regulated or discounted ticket. There are many special price deals available for off-peak travel, as well as a wide range of railcards giving discounted rail travel to the young, for senior citizens and for groups of friends and families - all attracting more people than ever to rail.

Additional revenues from fares mean that train companies can deliver better value for taxpayers in line with government policy to ensure passengers pay a greater share of the cost of running the railway by reducing public subsidy. Overall, by 2013/14, train companies will no longer be receiving subsidy from the Exchequer but will be net contributors to the public purse.
- ends -

For further information, please contact the ATOC Press Office on 020 7841 8020

Notes to Editors
1. Cost of Commuting – Rail versus road
Summary – Annual Costs Car - all costs Car cost per day Rail with Annual Season Ticket Train cost per day % Saving for rail over car
Guildford – London £4,519 £19.91 £2,760 £12.16 39%
Tunbridge Wells - London £5,685 £25.04 £3,300 £14.54 42%
Milton Keynes - London £6,794 £29.93 £3,848 £16.95 43%
Brighton - London £6,547 £28.84 £3,572 £15.74 45%
Chelmsford - London £5,965 £26.28 £3,140 £13.83 47%
Edinburgh - Glasgow £6,230 £27.45 £3,024 £13.32 51%
Lichfield - Birmingham £3,732 £16.44 £940 £4.14 75%
Leeds - Manchester £5,832 £25.69 £2,424 £10.68 58%
Bradford - Leeds £3,349 £14.75 £772 £3.40 77%
Cardiff - Bristol £5,832 £25.69 £2,296 £10.11 61%

Assumptions for motoring costs:
Costs are per AA (2008 figures) including fuel (unleaded petrol) at 22nd December 2008 Price - 89.1p/litre
Assumes 227 days commuting per annum (5 days per week, less 25 days annual leave and 8 public holidays)
Distances from AA journey planner - between town/city centres
Total cost (including capital) assumes 80% of car use (mileage) is for commuting
Notes for rail calculations:
Fares are based on 2009 prices (post-January increases)
Assumes annual season tickets are used for 227 days – as for road assumption (see above)
2. Fare revenues and Government grants help fund the multi-billion pound investment programme to increase network capacity which starts in 2009. This includes the £440 million remodelling of Reading station and the £600 million redevelopment of Birmingham New Street station. We will also see the completion of the West Coast Main Line with 30% more services.
3. Investment is the key to better services and train companies are continuing to invest huge sums – like the £4.5 billion on new trains over ten years. In 2008 train companies invested in:
£190 million on new trains for London Midland.
£150 million on refurbishing train fleets across the network.
£1.75 million modernising Chester station.
More frequent on major routes and improved facilities from free broadband to extra commuter parking.
4. The Government in its Rail White Paper of July 2007 made clear that more of the cost of running the railway should be met by passengers and less by taxpayers. Fare increases will also go towards reducing subsidies to some train operators and facilitating premium payments by others to the Department for Transport - an increasing feature of franchise agreements.
5. ATOC announced on behalf of train operators the changes to rail fares on 21st November 2008. The original press release can be found in full on our website complete with average rises per train operator.
About ATOC
The Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC) is the official voice for the passenger rail industry - representing train companies to the government and other opinion formers on transport policy issues. Britain's train operators are working together to change rail travel for the better.
ATOC manages many joint activities for train operators including revenue allocation and settlement, impartial retailing, National Rail Enquiries, Railcard marketing, staff travel arrangements, international products and travel agent licensing.


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