How much will your rail fare to London go up in January’s rises?
- Credit: Archant
Many rail fares – including season tickets and walk-up tickets – are expected to go up by just under 3% in January after the latest inflation figures were published.
Rail fare increases introduced at the start of the year are based on the inflation figure in July - and it was announced today that the Retail Price Index had gone up by 2.8%.
The rise affects season tickets, anytime tickets and off-peak tickets bought on the day of travel. It does not necessarily affect advance-purchase tickets or some offers like super-saver tickets.
If there is a 2.8% rise, it would put about £189 on the cost of an annual season ticket from Ipswich to Liverpool Street - pushing the cost up to £6,945 a year. It would put £147 on a season ticket from Colchester (up to £5,411), £165 on a season ticket from Manningtree (to £6,063), and £195 on a season ticket from Stowmarket (to £7,167).
The cost of an off-peak return ticket to London from Ipswich would go up by £1.20 to £44.70, from Colchester it would go up £1 to £37.60, from Manningtree by £1.10 to £40.50 and from Stowmarket up by £1.30 to £46.20.
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However with these tickets there are cheaper options available by buying in advance or "splitting" tickets and buying Super Savers - especially at weekends.
These are calculations based on a 2.8% rise - rail companies including Greater Anglia will not confirm their fares for next year until the end of the year and they do have a small amount of "wriggle-room" to put prices up slightly above the figure on some routes if they keep them slightly lower on others.
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Greater Anglia was referring queries about the fares to the industry body, the Rail Delivery Group.
Its director Robert Nisbet said: "No one wants to pay more to get to work but by holding rises down to no more than inflation, money from fares will continue to cover almost all of the day-to-day costs of running rail services.
"This means private sector and taxpayer money can go towards improving services for the long term.
"Rail users across the country are already seeing and feeling the benefits of this investment with new trains and more services running across the country.
"People want simpler, better value fares and we want to work with government to deliver our proposals for reforming today's outdated system to make fares easier for all."
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps is "not delighted" about increasing rail fares.
Speaking on BBC Radio 4's Today Programme, Mr Shapps said: "I'm not delighted by it to be perfectly honest, as a train commuter.
"The truth is we do now have a situation where average wages are going up faster than inflation, so if you don't keep this tracking with inflation you are actually effectively putting less money into transport and less money into trains and you won't get them running on time doing that either."
He added: "I'm going to sort this out and, today marks the time when we change the system towards what Keith Williams is going to propose in his review."
Bruce Williamson, spokesman for campaign group Railfuture, said passengers would "groan and whinge" when fares go up again.
He said: "It might be that we've now reached the point where we cannot simply put fares up and expect passengers to take the hit. They will just give up and refuse to pay. They will either find either another job or another form of transport."
Rail Minister Chris Heaton-Harris said: "It's tempting to say fares should never rise, but the truth is that if we stop investing in our railway then we'll never see it improved."