It is likely that rail fares will rise by an average of 6.2% in England next year, but a degree of flexibility about how train companies apply this hike means that your ticket price could rise by as much as 11.2%. Here's how a 6.2% rise would affect some season tickets:
- Reading to London - £3,800 up to £4,036
- Edinburgh to Glasgow - £3,380 up to £3,590
- Preston to Manchester - £2,496 up to £2,651
- Northampton to London - £4,756 up to £5,051
- Brighton to London - £4,020 up to £4,269
- York to Leeds - £1,972 up to £2,094
The Guardian has published this advice on finding the cheaper rail tickets in light of price hikes expected next year. See the full article here.
- Buy a ticket that suits your lifestyle. Season tickets in particular can be very flexible.
- Replace your annual season ticket before the end of the year.
- Buy early. Cheap advance tickets are often released 12 weeks before.
- Get off-peak tickets by travelling after 9:30am and 6:44pm.
- The Trainline website runs an alert system for advance tickets.
The CEO of the Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC) has told ITV News that the rules which allow train companies to raise some fares by as much as 11.2% are the result of Government policy.
Under a process called "flexing" train companies can control price rises on different tickets as long as the average rise is below a cap.
Michael Roberts said the Government had a policy to maximise the revenue it receives from train companies and reduce the burden on the taxpayer.
The Chancellor has the power to cancel the rise in rail fares next year - he reduced the amount they would increase by this year - but that is not to say that he will.
A source at the Department for Transport said "we have to be realistic about pressure on the Treasury" to reduce the national deficit.
Under the current plan for an average price rise of 6.2%, a season ticket between Sheffield and London will cost £2,172 while a season ticket between London and Northampton will rise to £5,050.
The former transport secretary Lord Adonis has tweeted in response to today's news that rail fares could rise by an average of 6.2% in England, and by as much as 11% on certain tickets.
As Transport Sec I ended right of train companies to raise individual fares above the max average. Coalition reversed this - big mistake.
Julian Huppert, co-chairman of the Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Party Committee on Transport, has blamed the current high price of rail tickets in the UK on the previous Labour Government. He said:
– Julian Huppert, liberal democrats
The coalition is, quite rightly, investing more in our railways than any Government since the Victorian era in an effort to sort out the mess we inherited. But we can't just pass on the cost to commuters. Liberal Democrats in the coalition, along with the Transport Secretary, managed to negotiate an RPI-plus-1% fare rise for 2012, much lower than planned by some Conservatives. But people are struggling to make ends meet against a backdrop of wage freezes and rising utility bills.
Bob Crow, the head of the Rail, Maritime and Transport Union, is calling on the Government to nationalise the rail network in response to the prospect of a 6.2% rise in average rail fares next year.
Unions and transport campaigners are outraged at the prospect of a 6.2% hike in average ticket prices in England, with some prices potentially rising by as much as 11%.
Shock inflation rise a body blow to workers and rail users http://t.co/UBrQ2TB1
Fares to rise by a shocking 6.2% on average. Don't let trains become a rich man's toy. Trains should be for all. http://t.co/7QnQemer
The independent advice website moneyfacts.co.uk has given the following advice for savers trying to beat the increase in CPI inflation announced today:
- Basic rate taxpayers need to find a savings account paying at least 3.25% per annum, of which there are about 227 to choose from.
- Higher rate taxpayers need to find an account paying at least 4.30%. There is only one such account on the market at present.
The Labour party has said that it would cap rail fare rises at one percent above the PRI rate of inflation. It is currently capped at three percent in England. Maria Eagle MP, the shadow transport secretary, said:
– Maria Eagle, shadow transport secretary
Labour would be putting passengers first by banning train companies from increasing fares above a strict cap of one per cent above inflation across all routes. So while commuters could pay up to eleven per cent more every year under the Tories and Liberal Democrats, fares would rise by no more than one per cent above inflation under Labour.