Train fares in Britain will rise by an average of 1.1%
London - AFP
Train fares in Britain will rise by an average of 1.1 percent in January, the lowest annual increase since 2010, the rail industry body said Friday.
The new ticket prices will take effect from January 2, the Rail Delivery Group (RDG) announced, and compare with a 2.2 percent increase in 2015 and 2.8 percent last year.
The average rise for regulated fares -- about half of the total and which include season tickets -- is limited to no more than one percent as it is linked to July's rate of Retail Price Index (RPI) inflation.
But unregulated fares, such as off-peak leisure tickets, can go up by any amount the train companies decide.
The average rise for all fares will apply to England, Wales, and Scotland, while Northern Ireland is treated separately.
"We know that nobody likes to pay more to travel by train, especially to get to work, and at 1.1 per cent this is the smallest average increase in fares for six years," said Paul Plummer, chief executive of the RDG, which represents train operators and Network Rail.
"On average 97p in every pound from fares is spent on trains, staff and other running costs. With passenger numbers doubling in the last 20 years, money from fares now almost covers the railway's day-to-day operating costs."
Martin Abrams from pressure group the Campaign for Better Transport said fares in Britain have increased by more than 25 percent in total over the past five years.
"To avoid pricing people off the railways, the train operating companies and the government need to work closely together to provide fairer, simpler and cheaper fares through flexible ticketing and making sure people are always sold the cheapest ticket available," Abrams said.
David Sidebottom, passenger director at watchdog Transport Focus, said passengers would be relieved that regulated fares are capped at inflation.
But he added: "Fares are still going up overall, on the back of years of above-inflation increases.
"Now that passengers are paying more than ever before, it is absolutely critical that the industry delivers a more reliable day-to-day railway and starts to offer more flexible ticketing products."