Passengers are calling for more reliable services as rail fares increase again in the UK.
New fares which come into effect today could see some commuters facing a rise of more than £100 in the cost for annual passes. The average cost of tickets rose by 2.7% from today.
Fare rises are impacting both anytime tickets, annual season tickets and off-peak ticket rates. Information from watchdog Transport Focus, with many increases for season tickets entering double figures. Some examples of some of the higher annual season ticket increases include;
|Increase on 2018
|Gloucester – Birmingham
|Bournemouth – London
|Peterborough – London
|Kettering – London
Many routes have also seen increases by two figure sums. In Wales, some fares have slightly increased, but others have fallen, such as the annual season ticket from Bangor (Gwynedd) to Llandudno, which has fallen by £96 compared to 2018.
The fare increases come at a time of increased dissatisfaction with the country’s rail network, with less than two-thirds of trains running to time last year.
The increase in around 45% of rail fares is regulated by the governments of the UK, Scotland and Wales, though other rises are decided by train companies.
Bruce Williamson of pressure group Railfuture claimed that fares are “outstripping people’s incomes” and said, “Welcome to another decade of misery for rail passengers.” Meanwhile, Labour’s shadow transport secretary Andy McDonald accused the government of failing to support public transport or tackle climate change. He said;
“Today’s average fare increase means ticket prices have risen by 40% since 2010.
“In contrast, rail fares in Germany were cut by 10% yesterday.”
According to data from Transport Focus, most annual season ticket fares have risen by over 10% since 2014. A season ticket from Swindon to London has risen by £1,072 in that time.
Also on Thursday, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps told the BBC that he had started the process which could see Northern Rail be stripped of its franchise. In an interview on BBC Breakfast, he described the operator’s service as “completely unacceptable”.