Rail fares to rise by 5.9% from January

 

Atoc's Michael Roberts: "People are voting with their feet and their wallets increasingly to travel by train"

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Train fares will rise by an average of 5.9% in January 2012, the Association of Train Operating Companies has said.

In his Autumn Statement last month, Chancellor George Osborne capped fare increases at 6%, instead of the expected 8%.

Fare rises are linked to July's inflation, as measured by the Retail Prices Index, which stood at 5%.

Atoc said the fare increase would be used to pay for "new trains, faster services and better stations".

"The long standing government approach to sustaining rail investment is to cut the contribution from taxpayers and increase the share paid for by passengers," said the group's chief executive Michael Roberts.

Currently, passengers contribute about £6.5bn to the running of the railways, with taxpayers picking up the remaining £4bn.

Policy change

The fare increases apply in England, Scotland and Wales, and take effect from Monday 2 January.

About half of all fares are set by the government formula of RPI inflation in July, plus 1%. RPI is currently running at 5.2%.

Campaigner Sophie Allain: "We already have the most expensive rail fares in Europe"

In last year's Spending Review, the government said it wanted to increase this to RPI plus 3%, but last month the chancellor said he would not be implementing this change.

The average increase covers regulated fares such as season tickets for most commuter journeys, and off-peak fares on most intercity trains, Atoc said.

Unregulated tickets include advance tickets and business fares at peak times. Atoc said these fares were "heavily influenced" by government policy.

The increase of 5.9% applies to both regulated and unregulated fares. The fact it is an average means some fares will rise by more than this figure, and some will rise by less.

Customers wanting to know the precise details of fare increases relevant to them should go to National Rail Enquiries to see the difference in cost between a ticket now and the same ticket after 2 January, Atoc said.

'Rich toy'

The Labour party criticised the government for allowing fare rises that could be more than 5.9%.

"It's clear that many commuters are facing a fares fiddle thanks to the government's decision to allow train companies to average out the revised fare cap across a range of tickets, meaning many tickets will rise by a shocking 9% in the new year," said Maria Eagle, shadow transport secretary.

In September, the then transport secretary Philip Hammond described UK rail fares as so expensive that trains had become a "rich man's toy".

Atoc said rail journey numbers had increased by 5% in the first nine months of this year, with demand now as high as it has ever been in peacetime since the 1920s.

Percentage train fare increases since 1992 against RPI inflation rate
 

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  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 188.

    I have little choice, over £6k to commute to work by train, same cost by car and takes twice as long as train.

    Trains are rarely on time with an average daily delay around 20-25 minutes, filthy with grime encrusted windows you are barely able to see out of, seats that would best be graced by oily overalls (the overalls would still get dirty) and regular overcrowding.

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 187.

    Ive had no pay rise for 5 years. (Private sector middle manager/professional). Utility bills are outrageous, Petrol/Diesel, just plain stupid and now rail fares. Well its getting to the point where I cannot afford to live. God help this country at the mercy of the greedy. Yet like sheep we will do nothing. Something has to give here, enough is enough!

  • rate this
    +18

    Comment number 186.

    The railway network symbolises the UK. An overpriced, backward, inefficient rip-off, run by 'businessmen' who can't manage to deliver a product matching the quality achieved in other, comparable, countries but who still do very nicely out of it themselves while ordinary citizens take the pain.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 185.

    My season ticket cost £4,120.00 this year. Next year it will cost £4,372.00. This is a 6.12% increase. How is this "capped at 6%" ?

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 184.

    I'm a recent graduate found some jobs that are great. Unfortunately I cannot afford a car to get to them, because insurance prices and fuel is horrendously expensive. Train prices have increased to the extent that commuting to almost any job daily would cost so much, that I would end up earning far less than the minimum wage per hour, What choice do I have!?

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 183.

    same trains, same overcrowded carriages for the last 10 years on my line. Just what improvements have i been paying for? none. And how could there be when each company only gets 2 years at it? Why should they give a damn when the licence will be removed from them. Come back in 4 years when the 15 year licences are up for grabs and we might, just might, see change. Until then we will be stung.

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 182.

    173BBC iD
    164Dancin Pagan The Mad Kiltie
    Does anyone still believe the nonsense pedalled by the Tories about privatisation being more cost efficient
    -
    The Labour governments between 1997 and 2010 believed it.
    That is what happens when you sell your soul for a chance of power.
    -
    As the Libdems are now discovering! Labour wasted a golden opportunity to introduce pragmatic reform of public services.

  • rate this
    +5

    Comment number 181.

    Mind you these parasite tory companies probably think we all are getting 49% pay increases like some that could be mentioned. Free market dictatorship is what we have in Britain. Oh lets get tough though mmmm try doing the right thing and getting tough with the rip off cultrue of privatisation.

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 180.

    i'm liking this, where can i get myself a train set!

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 179.

    We really need to have a re-think about travel policy in this country.

    I don't use the train because its expensive, unreliable, inconvenient. time consuming and often crowded.

    As a result I have to use my car, I'd rather not drive to work but because my job is a 40 mile road trip I must because there are no viable alternatives.

    Win win for the government in terms of revenue income?

  • Comment number 178.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 177.

    Most European countries have coped with the rise of private car ownership without destroying their mass transport systems.
    The false dichotomy of 'subsiding' trains and buses as against ' investing' in roads, does not operate except in the UK. Neither does the dogma of the 'economic' fare, the truth is mass public transport is paid for through taxation, national and local.

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 176.

    Time to buy a car me thinks.

    Oh, don't bleat about Global warming. If it was that bad our Government would have an effective (outside M25) transport policy, right!!!

  • rate this
    +42

    Comment number 175.

    This is utterly ridiculous. I have seen no sign of improvement on any station whatsoever. Through not being able to drive due to an injury,I regularly visit my sons (in newcaslte) which has proved to be more of an occasion now, and not a regular occurence which is disheartening. I am deeply offended that this has now become a 'rich mans' transport. Utterly repulsed by the way this country works.

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 174.

    The best thing I ever did was my motorbike test. Sure it can be cold traveling in the winter months, but it costs me far less than trains ever did.

    When I was a teenager I remember traveling all around the country on trains and loved it. Now when I've looked at the prices they're astronomical. Even worse if you go anywhere with 2 of you upwards. It's far cheaper to take your own transport.

  • rate this
    +5

    Comment number 173.

    164. Dancin Pagan The Mad Kiltie

    Does anyone still believe the nonsense pedalled by the Tories about privatisation being more cost efficient

    --

    The Labour governments between 1997 and 2010 believed it.

    That is what happens when you sell your soul for a chance of power.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 172.

    @#170 I know fantastic that,i hope you dont have to get a last minute ticket if a relative dies somewhere else in the UK.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 171.

    53.treacle_01
    4 Minutes ago
    @40.helo thar
    The government should subsidise train travel more.
    ---

    What you really mean is that the taxpayer should subsidise train travel more.

    Yes, it's called investment in vital infrastucture to provide a viable public transport network.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 170.

    re 14 : Have you actually looked at ADVANCE fares? I'm 145 miles from London and I can buy a ticket for as little as £7.95 if I book 12 weeks in advance

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 169.

    Some of the unregulated fares (i.e. the peak rate business fares and special fares) are out of control. The cost of a ticket from Reading to London peak is £43. It's a 20 minute journey. The season ticket is nearly £4k. Also, it is unfairly weighed a ticket from Reading to Chertsey costs £16.50, the same journey, at the same time, but starting at Chertsey costs £9.10. Unfair.

 

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