United Kingdom rail fare rise biggest for five years

Marco Green
December 5, 2017

As if constant delays weren't bad enough, rail passengers are set to be hit by the largest fares hike in five years.

Over here, where we invented them but have grown gradually worse at doing them, the Rail Delivery Group is trying to paint this as good news because the rise could have been as high as 3.6 per cent under inflation-pegging rules, so phewie!

The rail price rises take effect from January 2nd, so might actually help if this year's resolution is about cycling to work more.

The announcement has not been met favourably - Transport Focus, the passenger watchdog, described the increase as a "chill wind" blowing down the platforms to affect passengers whose incomes were stagnating or falling.

However, the move was slammed as "another kick in the teeth" for passengers by the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union, at a time when people's spending power is already facing a squeeze with the average wage growth failing to keep up with the pace of price increases.

General secretary Mick Cash said: "For public sector workers and many others in our communities who have had their pay and benefits capped or frozen by this Government, these fare increases are another twist of the economic knife".

The RDG said more than 97p in every pound from fares goes back into improving and running the railway.

Paul Plummer, chief executive of Rail Delivery Group, told BBC...

Fewer than half (47 per cent) of passengers are satisfied with the value for money of train tickets, according to Transport Focus.

But with a reported one in nine trains failing to meet the rail industry's punctuality target over the past year, commuters are feeling more disgruntled than ever.

RDG chief executive Paul Plummer said: "Government controls increases to nearly half of fares, including season tickets, with the rest heavily influenced by the payments train companies make to government".

The raise, which is slightly below the regulated fares increase of 3.6% set by the government, will cover all national rail fares, including season and off-peak tickets.

North-east MSP Liam Kerr, of the Conservatives, said: "Passengers will find it hard to stomach this increase for rail travel in Scotland at a time when they are regularly forced to endure delays or reduced capacity on carriages".

The rail industry has announced the hike today.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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