Rail commuters face 3.8% fare increase from March

Rail fares will go up by 3.8% for next year, with the changes coming into force from March, the Government has announced.

Regulated fare hikes will be capped at 3.8% based on the retail price index (RPI) - July 2021 levels - though Londoners could face a 4.8% rise as Transport for London is set to raise fares by RPI plus 1% under its financial bailout agreements with the Department for Transport.

According to figures released by Labour, the announcement means the average commuter faces paying £3,263 for their season ticket - £1,069, or 49% more, than in 2010.

Labour highlighted that the largest increase is projected to be on a season ticket between Birmingham and London Euston, which will have risen by £3,901 since 2010 and will now cost £11,929.

While the biggest percentage increase identified was between Thame Bridge Parkway near Walsall and Nuneaton, where the cost of an annual season ticket will have risen by 69% since 2010, the opposition party said.

Louise Haigh MP, Labour’s shadow transport secretary, said described the price hike as 'brutal and 'a nightmare before Christmas for millions of passengers'.

'Families already facing soaring taxes and bills will now be clobbered with an eye-watering rise in the cost of the daily commute. People up and down this country are paying the price for a cost of living crisis made in Downing Street. Many will wonder what planet ministers are on if they think people can afford this?'

Andy Bagnall, director general of the Rail Delivery Group, which represents private operators, pointed out that last year saw an above inflation increase.

'It is important that fares are set at a level that will encourage more people to travel by train in the future, helping to support a clean and fair recovery from the pandemic,' he said.

'We know the railway must not take more than its fair share from the taxpayer which is why the rail industry is working to create a financially sustainable and more passenger-focussed service that will both keep costs down long-term and attract people back to the train.'

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