Rail fares set to rise by 3.5% next year
RAIL commuters are being warned to expect rail faires to rise by 3.5% next year. This would increase the annual cost of getting to work for many long-distance travellers by more than £150.
The exact figure though, will be confirmed on Wednesday this week when the July Retail Prices Index (RPI) is released by the Office for National Statistics.
However, economists both predict the figure will rise by 3.5%.
The Department for Transport (DfT) uses July’s RPI to determine the annual increase in regulated train fares, which comes into force every January.
Regulated fares include season tickets on commuter routes, some off-peak returns on long journeys and Anytime tickets around major cities.
A Campaign for Better Transport spokesman urged the Government to “commit to a fares freeze”. He said: “Given a lack of improvements and the failure to deliver compensation, the Government cannot go on saying that fare increases are justified.”
In January the governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, said RPI has “no merit”, adding that “virtually everyone recognises” the alternative Consumer Prices Index (CPI). Rail campaigners want CPI to be used to determine regulated fare increases, as it is generally lower than RPI.