Rail passengers could face price rises above 5% in new year

Cash-strapped commuters will find out today just how much more they will have to fork out for their rail season tickets in the new year, with some travellers facing possible 5.1 per cent rises.

Cash-strapped commuters to face new rail prices

The new fare prices will come into play from January 2.
The new fare prices will come into play from January 2. Credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Cash-strapped commuters will find out today just how much more they will have to fork out for their rail season tickets in the new year, with some travellers facing possible 5.1 per cent rises.

Recent government announcements have meant the annual rise in regulated fares, which include season tickets, will not be so severe for 2014.

But the new price-rise formula, which will kick in on January 2, still allows for average regulated fare increases of 3.1 per cent, with the rise linked to the RPI inflation figure rather than the usually-lower CPI inflation used for Government benefits.

And train companies can use a 2.0 per cent "flex" regulation which lets them put some regulated fares up by 5.1 per cent as long as their overall average does not exceed 3.1 per cent.

The increase for any January is calculated from the RPI rate of inflation figure for the previous July. In July this year the RPI figure was 3.1 per cent.

Read: Railways 'should be nationalised' as fare rises expected

DfT: Fare will not rise by more than inflation rate

Regulated fares will not rise on average by more than the rate of inflation, the Department of Transport has said, as passengers await potential rail fare rises. A spokeswoman for the department added:

The Government understands concerns rail passengers have about the costs of fares and the impact they have on household budgets.

That is why next year, for the first time in a decade, regulated fares will not rise on average by more than the rate of inflation, offering relief for families and the hardworking people.

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Railways 'should be nationalised' as fare rises expected

Next year is set to be another year of racketeering and greed on Britain's privatised railways, the general secretary of transport union the RMT has said, as passengers await a potential 5% rise in rail fares.

RMT general secretary Bob Crow Credit: Sean Dempsey/PA Wire

Bob Crow said: "Passengers will continue to pay the highest fares in Europe to travel on creaking, overcrowded trains where even raw sewage is dumped on the tracks because the private operators will not stump up for tanks and the staff to empty them.

"The only solution, and one that's opposed by all our main political parties, is total renationalisation and the return of our railways to the ethos of public service under complete public control."

'Higher RPI rate' used to calculate rail fare increases

The chief executive of the Campaign for Better Transport has said that he is "disappointed" that the price of season rail fare ticket may see more than a 5% increase

Campaign for Better Transport chief executive Stephen Joseph said:

We're very disappointed that the higher RPI figure is still being used when it comes to passengers having to find money for their annual increase.

Yet when it comes to pensions and other benefits, the lower CPI inflation figure is used.

Read: Passengers await potential 5% rise in rail fares

Passengers await potential 5% rise in rail fares

Some train passengers could face season ticket fare rises of more than 5% under new year increases expected to be announced tomorrow.

Recent Government announcements have meant the annual rise in regulated fares, including season tickets, will not be so severe for 2014.

Some train passengers could face season ticket fare rises of more than 5% . Credit: John Stillwell/PA Wire

But the new price-rise formula, which will kick in on January 2, still allows for average regulated fare increases of 3.1%. And train companies can use a 2.0% "flex" regulation which lets them put some regulated fares up by 5.1% as long as their overall average does not exceed 3.1%.

The increase for any January is calculated from the RPI rate of inflation figure for the previous July. In July this year the RPI figure was 3.1%.