Train companies have confirmed that rail fares will go up on average by 3.1% next year, lower than July’s RPI measure of inflation. This is the fourth time in the last six years that fares have been held below inflation.
For every £1 paid in fares, 98p goes towards running the railway, meaning fares are crucial to underpinning investment in 7,000 new carriages and hundreds more trains refurbished like new to support 6,400 extra services a week by 2021. Together with major upgrades to infrastructure, this will mean more seats on more comfortable, reliable and frequent trains. Customers are already seeing the benefits of this with both Liverpool Lime Street and London Bridge stations opening after major redevelopment, and with new trains on the network including in the West of England and Scotland.
The average overall increase includes all national rail fares and will come into effect on 2nd January 2019. Individual fares can be viewed on the National Rail Enquiries website and tickets for 2019 can be bought online and at ticket offices now.
Paul Plummer, Chief Executive of the Rail Delivery Group, which brings together train companies and Network Rail, said:
“Nobody wants to pay more to travel, especially those who experienced significant disruption earlier this year.
“Money from fares is underpinning the improvements to the railway that passengers want and which ultimately help boost the wider economy. That means more seats, extra services and better connections right across the country.”
Successive governments have decided that farepayers should cover a greater proportion of the cost of running the railway, freeing up taxpayer funding for record levels of investment in infrastructure to improve journeys and support economic growth. Governments directly influence changes to around 45% of fares which are regulated, including season tickets.
The rest are influenced by a range of factors including the payments train companies make to governments.
Rail companies are working together to offer even better value for money to people where possible with the 26-30 Railcard set to launch on the 2nd January.
The rail industry launched a consultation this summer to gather views on how to make the fares system simpler and easier for customers and we are using the feedback from the consultation, almost 20,000 responses, to develop proposals to government for reform. The next step is to publish our proposals and engage with government with the aim of bringing the system up to date.