UK commuters spend five times more on rail fares than European counterparts

British commuters face fresh rail fare increases as they return to work today (Tuesday), now spending up to 5 times as much of their salary on season tickets as passengers on the continent, according to new TUC research. Someone on an average salary travelling from Chelmsford to London will have to fork out 13 percent of their pay for season tickets (£381 a month). By contrast, comparable commutes would cost a mere 2 percent of the average salary in France, 3 percent in Italy, 4 percent in Germany, and 5 percent in Spain and Belgium. Meanwhile, the TUC claims that wages are set to grow by only 2.6 percent in 2018, while season tickets will go up by 3.6 percent – over a third faster than wages.

TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said: “Another year, another price increase. Many commuters will look with envy to their continental cousins, who enjoy reasonably-priced journeys to work. Employers can help out by offering zero-interest season ticket loans, or offering more flexible work hours and locations. But ultimately the government need to take our railways back into public hands. That will stop hundreds of millions being siphoned off by private rail firms, and allow us to put passengers first.”