Published: Wed, August 16, 2017
Medicine | By Earnest Bishop

Rail fares to go up again next year

Rail fares to go up again next year

RPI has been used for many years as a base for annual increases in government-regulated fares, which include most season tickets as well as Saver fares on intercity services.

Commuters face a 3.6 per cent hike in rail fares from January, but ScotRail passengers travelling outside rush hours will see a smaller rise.

"The Tories' failure on our railways means passengers have faced truly staggering fare rises, some of over £2,500, since 2010 with fares having increased twice as much as wages", Shadow Transport Secretary Andy McDonald said.

TUC research also found United Kingdom commuters spend as much as six times of their salary on rail fares than other European passengers.

'We have always fairly balanced the cost of this investment between the taxpayer and the passenger'.

An analysis by the Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) showed that rail fares have risen by around 32% in eight years, while average weekly earnings have only grown by 16%.

The figures mean an annual ScotRail season ticket between Edinburgh and Glasgow, which now costs £3820, will rise to around £3957.

The figures were revealed just one day before commuters are told how much fares will rise by from the new year.

He said: "Rail users in Scotland will undoubtedly be looking to the immediate future where they'll expect the Scottish Government to take over the ScotRail franchise or pave the way for nationalisation".

Erith and Thamesmead MP Teresa Pearce condemned the move, with the Labour MP saying, "These new rail fare rises are staggering with passengers continuously being asked to pay more and more while services continue to suffer with the same problems of overcrowding, delays and cancellations".

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The BBC reports train fares will rise by 3.6% as of January 2018, but you can bet your bottom dollar your salary won't increase at the same rate.

A Dewsbury to Huddersfield season ticket will cost £858 next year, up £30, and the cost of Leeds-Bradford travel will increase by £37 to £1,053.

Regulated rail fares make up around half of all tickets and include season tickets, standard and saver return fares.

TRAIN fares are caluclated using the RPI rate of inflation measure which is announced in August each year.

The Treasury also defended the use of the discredited RPI as a benchmark for passenger rail fare increases - something that has been widely criticised by economists and statisticians - on the grounds that the index is still used to determine the growth of some charges imposed on train companies by the state-owned Network Rail.

'Commuters do not give value for money a high satisfaction score'.

However, Paul Plummer, chief executive of the Rail Delivery Group, said: "Money from fares pays to run and improve the railway".

"Southeastern remains committed to making journeys better for passengers and has invested over £70m to improve train services and station facilities".

With the Retail Price Index figures released yesterday, commuters are up in arms at the news that rail prices are set to rise by up to 3.6% as of January.

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