Bad News For Some Passengers: Individual Fare Increases Released


Passenger Focus has warned that New Year rail fares increases are set to shock some passengers. Today train companies in England and Scotland announced an average fare increase of 3.9 per cent. However, Anthony Smith said: “The passenger going to buy their ticket on a cold January morning won’t be paying an ‘average fare’; they will be paying a fare that may have gone up by more than that.”

While the independent watchdog welcomed the restraint shown on increases to season ticket prices, it seems that this has not been extended to the cost of other types of ticket. Smith said: “It's disappointing that the restraint shown on season ticket prices has not been extended to all Off-peak and Anytime fares. In the current economic climate, already hard-pressed passengers who face these rises will feel the pinch.”

Although the Government announced that it would limit the rise in regulated fares in England to the inflation figure plus one per cent, rather than the three per cent that was previously proposed, train companies still have flexibility to increase some fares beyond that. The level of increase on non-regulated fares is entirely at the discretion of operators.

Our randomly-selected range of return fares throws up some instances of high increases, as well as many in the region of four per cent. The table shows the annual increase – some fares may have gone up in the interim.

At a glance - some of the biggest increases:

Off-peak return

• London – Plymouth on First Great Western: was £103, now £111.50 (8.3 per cent)
• Birmingham – London on Chiltern will go up from £25 to £27.50 (10 per cent)

Anytime Return

• London – Norwich on Greater Anglia will go up from £98.60 to £107.70 (9.2 per cent)

The table (click here) shows changes to the cost of tickets for randomly-selected journeys (individual and season tickets).

The increases come at a time when just 42 per cent of passengers are satisfied with the value for money of their ticket (see the detailed research here).