Rail season ticket fares to rise by almost 2% next year

Stock East Anglian train picture.

Stock East Anglian train picture. - Credit: Archant

Commuters will have to pay an average of 1.9% more for their rail season tickets next year following today’s publication of new inflation figures.

Regulated rail fares, which include season tickets and off-peak InterCity tickets, can only go up by an average of the RPI figure for July which was published today.

The exact fares for 2017 will not be announced until December, but commuters now know that the average rise will be this month’s inflation rate.

The TUC is organising a day of action today highlighting claims that rail fares have risen more than twice as fast as wages over the last six years.

It says rail fares have gone up by 25% since 2010 but wages have only seen an average increase of 12%.


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TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said: “Rail passengers are paying more and getting even less.

“Fares go up while trains remain overcrowded, stations are unstaffed, and rail companies cut the guards who ensure journeys run smoothly and safely.

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“It’s time for rail services to be publicly owned, saving money for passengers and taxpayers alike.

“Instead of increasing fares and cutting staff, we should be building an accessible, reliable train service that Britain can be proud of.”

A spokeswoman for Abellio Greater Anglia said that the company was unable to comment because its average fares were set by the government’s rules.

There had been above-inflation fare rises a few years ago, but the government is now committed to only allowing increases at the inflation rate.

The present government pledged there could be no above-inflation increases for regulated rail fares during the current parliament.

This year fares went up by an average of 1.1%, which was the RPI increase in July last year.

Paul Plummer, chief executive at the Rail Delivery Group, representing train operators and Network Rail, said:

“Nobody wants to pay more to travel to work and at the moment in some areas people aren’t getting the service they are paying for, and we know how frustrating that is.

“But increases to regulated fares are set by government. For every pound paid in fares, 97p goes back into running and improving services and it’s the rail industry’s job to make sure that money is spent well.

“Money from fares helps to sustain investment in a modernised railway, which is crucial with rail not having been this important to our nation’s prosperity since the Victorian era.

“Passenger numbers have doubled in two decades, in many places our railway is full and we know passengers and the country need better services.”

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