Despite the fact they’re already sky high, regulated rail fares are set to increase by 1.9% at the beginning of next year, due to July’s Retail Prices Index (RPI) inflation measure. Lovely.
The announcement comes as research suggests that rail fares have increased at more than double the speed of wages since 2010. The government, meanwhile, claims that wages are rising at a quicker rate than fares, and the rail industry -- surprise, surprise -- is hiding behind its old claim that the lion's share of the money it rakes in (£50 billion at the last count) is being reinvested.
When's the last time your train arrived on time and you managed to get a seat?
Around half of rail fares in England and Wales are regulated and will therefore be affected, including season tickets on a lot of commuter routes. In Scotland, meanwhile, regulated peak-time fares will go up by 1.9%, whereas regulated off-peak fares will rise by 0.9%. Unregulated fares, on the other hand, aren’t subject to government caps and can go up by as much as rail companies wish.
According to the Trades Union Congress (TUC) and the Action for Rail campaign, ticket prices have gone up by 25% over the last six years, while average weekly earnings have grown by just 12% over the same period. There have also been calls from the Campaign for Better Transport for the government switch from RPI to the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) figure, which is already the measure used for pensions.
So much for those post-Brexit dreams of holidaying around the UK. [BBC]