Rail season tickets to rise by up to 2.5% Government announces

An Abellio Greater Anglia train at Colchester

An Abellio Greater Anglia train at Colchester - Credit: Archant

The cost of a rail season ticket could rise by up to 2.5% from January 2 the Government has announced today.

Although the January 2015 rise for regulated fares is capped unregulated fares, such as off-peak leisure tickets, can go up by as much as the train companies like.

Industry body the Rail Delivery Group, announcing the new fares today, said the average rise for all fares would be 2.2% – the lowest average rise for five years.

Michael Roberts, director general, said: “Money from fares goes towards running and maintaining the railway. This benefits not just passengers and businesses but communities across the country, by improving journeys, creating employment and helping to boost the economy.

“Over the next five years, Network Rail is spending on average £27million a day on a better railway, alongside commitments made by train companies to improve services. That will mean more seats, better stations and improved journeys.

“For every £1 spent on fares, 97p goes on track, train, staff and other costs while 3p goes in profits earned by train companies.

“The industry is continuing to work together to get more for every pound we invest to enable government to make fares decisions which work best for passengers.”

Most Read

However many season ticket holders will find their average rise will be greater than their annual pay rise.

Mick Cash, general secretary of the RMT transport union, said: “The scandal of Britain’s great rail fares rip off is that today’s hike is far outstripping average pay increases and it will once again hit those at the sharp end of the austerity clampdown the hardest.

“After two decades of privatisation the British people pay some of the highest fares in Europe to travel on clapped-out, understaffed and overcrowded services while the private train companies are laughing all the way to the bank. Today’s fares announcement just fuels that scandal.”

Manuel Cortes, leader of the TSSA rail union, added: “It is time to stop this annual persecution of passengers with year-on-year hikes in fares. We have seen fares jump by as much as 245% on key routes since privatisation 20 years ago.

“It is now cheaper for a family of four to fly to Iceland to see Father Christmas – £224 – than it is for one person to buy an any-time walk on return rail fare from London to Manchester at £321.”

More to follow on the impact locally.

Are you affected? Is this rise above your pay increase or does it push you over a landmark price? Let us know at newsroom@archant.co.uk.