Train fares to rise by average of 2.3%

train tickets

The increase covers both regulated fares, which includes season tickets, and unregulated fares, such as off-peak leisure tickets, reports the BBC.

The rise in regulated fares had already been capped at July’s Retail Prices Index inflation rate of 1.9 per cent. Unregulated fares face no cap.

Some unregulated fares will therefore rise by considerably more than 2.3 per cent.

Overall inflation, as measured by the latest Consumer Prices Index (CPI), is 0.9 per cent.

Campaigners argued some passengers were being “priced off” the railways.

Lianna Etkind of the Campaign for Better Transport said: “The train operating companies and the government need to work closely together to provide fairer, simpler and cheaper fares making sure people are always sold the cheapest ticket available.

“Between 1995 and 2016 passengers have seen average fares increase by 23.5 per cent and much more needs to be done by train operators and the government to give them a truly affordable railway.”

Around 40 per cent of rail journeys have regulated fares, and 60 per cent are unregulated.

The pace of fare increases has slowed a little in recent years, but it follows a decade’s worth of steeper rises which began in 2004.

It’s all because successive governments have changed the way they split the bill for running the service, so that passengers pay more and other taxpayers pay less.

About 70 per cent of the total network cost is met from ticket sales now. It used to be about 50 per cent.

Ministers are spending record amounts upgrading the service, which is creaking under huge demand for train travel that no-one saw coming.

But it hasn’t stopped punctuality levels falling well below target.

The Rail Delivery Group, which represents train operators and Network Rail, said the industry was working to simplify fares and improve services.

“We understand how passengers feel when fares go up, and we know that in some places they haven’t always got the service they pay for,” said Paul Plummer, chief executive of the Rail Delivery Group.

“Around 97p in every pound passengers pay goes back into running and improving services.”

The increases cover fares in England, Scotland and Wales. Northern Ireland is treated separately.