Biggest Rail Fare Increase For Six Years

30 November 2018, 08:27 | Updated: 30 November 2018, 08:32

Train on tracks

Britain's rail fares will increase by an average of 3.1% on January 2nd, the rail industry has announced.

According to Office of Rail and Road data, it will be the largest rise since January 2013.
 
Many long-distance commuters will see the annual cost of getting to work increase by more than £100.
 
Paul Plummer, chief executive of industry body the Rail Delivery Group (RDG), said: "Nobody wants to pay more to travel, especially those who experienced significant disruption earlier this year.
 
Money from fares is underpinning the improvements to the railway that passengers want and which ultimately help boost the wider economy.
 
That means more seats, extra services and better connections right across the country."
 
There have been calls for prices to be frozen following chaos caused by the implementation of new timetables in May.
 
Shadow transport secretary Andy McDonald claimed the increase shows "a Government and rail industry out of touch with passenger concerns".
 
Fewer than half (45%) of passengers are satisfied with the value for money of train tickets, according to a survey by watchdog Transport Focus.
 
The organisation's chief executive, Anthony Smith, said: "Many passengers, still reeling from summer timetable chaos and frustrated by 'autumn' disruption, won't believe fares are going up again.
 
Until day-to-day reliability returns - with fewer significant delays and cancellations - passenger trust won't begin to recover."
 
There have been calls for prices to be frozen following chaos caused by the implementation of new timetables in May.
 
Train punctuality slipped to a 12-year low in the summer and 14% of services failed to meet the industry's punctuality target in the 12 months to November 10.
 
That means one in seven trains arrived at terminating stations more than five minutes late for commuter services or 10 minutes late for long-distance journeys.
 
Rail, Maritime and Transport union general secretary Mick Cash said: "Whatever way (Transport Secretary) Chris Grayling tries to dress this up, this latest fare hike is another kick in the teeth for passengers on Britain's rip-off privatised railways."
 
On Thursday the Office of Rail and Road launched formal action against Network Rail.
 
The rail regulator ordered the Government-owned company to improve its management of Britain's rail infrastructure or face the possibility of fines and being sued by train companies for lost revenue.