‘Commuter train tax’ now up to 8.7p per passenger per mile’

As rail commuters face further fare increases in the New Year ‘South West Trains passengers are paying 8.7p a mile to George Osborne’s Treasury on every journey they make’, according to a new analysis by Southampton Labour MP John Denham.

They and other London commutersSouthampton_Central_railway_station_MMB_12_444020_444003 from the South East and East Anglia are making combined payments to the Government of over £1bn a year.

Even when public subsidies to Network Rail are taken into account, London area commuters generally make higher payments and get less taxpayer support than rail travellers in other parts of the country.

Mr Denham has said:

‘A massive unfairness has developed in railway funding. London commuters face the highest fares, spend the highest proportion of their incomes on getting to work, and have the lowest levels of satisfaction with the value for money they get’.

‘London commuters can be forgiven for feeling they are paying over the odds to subsidise railways compared to passengers in other parts of Britain.’

Mr Denham said that passenger payments to the Treasury by London commuters had quadrupled since the Coalition came to power.

‘For London commuters, fares are now a massive factor in the cost of living standards. With many passengers spending up to a quarter of their income on train fares, it is time to review how the system works with the aim of capping and then reducing the commuter train tax’ said Mr Denham

A season ticket to London Waterloo from Southampton Central in John Denham’s constituency now costs just over £5000 per year.

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