30 July 2016 – CLIMATE CHANGE – WHO PAYS? (Tom Parkin)
Zero Carbon Evesham is a community based project to improve the roads, soil, air and rivers in and around the Vale of Evesham.
Although house building is needed to relieve Britain of its astounding shortage of affordable homes, traffic and other issues created from building work are becoming a strain on Evesham’s roads and environment.
Zero Carbon Evesham is about sharing expertise and ideas as to create a more sustainable and affordable way of living within the local area.
For more information on the project in its early stages of development, please contact me using the form on this website, my facebook page (tomparkin.org) or twitter (@tompjparkin).
Areas for the project to examine:
- EVESHAM STATION AND THE REDOUBLING OF THE TRACK: After Charlbury, Evesham station is the busiest served by Great Western Rail’s (GWR) Cotswold Line services.  To lower congestion, trains must be able to move quickly and efficiently through the station. Although redoubling parts of the line as helped ease congestion further down the track, trains are often still required to wait at Evesham and Charlbury.
In 2014, the government announced that it was planning to redouble the whole line between Oxford and Worcester between 2019 and 2024. The EZCP should oversee this agreement and ensure it is carried forward by upcoming budgets and works primarily for travelers.
- COST OF TRAIN TRAVEL: Redoubling the Cotswold line alone will not solve Evesham’s congestion issue. Next year, train fares are expected to rise by 1.9%, meaning travel costs by track will have increased at DOUBLE the rate of real wages since 2010 . Earlier this year, regulated fares went up by 1%. This is unacceptable. The UK has the most expensive rail networks in Europe. Not only is the network severely underfunded by central government, but it is fragmented and shoddily regulated.
One reason for such a dramatic rise in train fares is the way in which the government measures inflation.
Usually, there are two methods – Consumer Prices Index (CPI) and Retail Prices Index (RPI). At present, the government regulates ticket prices using RPI, a system which often overestimates the general rise in inflation. Unlike CPI, RPI doesn’t take into account the fact that many consumers change suppliers when their favorite products become too expensive. This is thought to be the cause for a gap between the overall inflation estimates of the two systems.
It therefore, makes sense for the government to alter its assessment of rail prices by swapping the RPI for the CPI. This would make rail travel more appealing, affordable and a good alternative to using ever busier roads.
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