You are here: Home - Household Bills - News -

Rail fares to rise by 3.1% in January

Written by: Danielle Levy
UK rail fares will rise by an average of 3.1% in January, spelling bad news for millions of commuters.

The Rail Delivery Group said the fare increase would come into effect on 2 January 2019 – a move that will add hundreds of pounds to annual season tickets.

For example, the cost of a season ticket from Swindon to London, including tube travel, will rise from £9,448 to £9,741 next year following the increase.

“Commuters already paying high costs on popular routes will face further hikes, for example the commute from Oxford to London, including a London travelcard, will breach the £6,000 mark – rising from £5,932 to £6,116, while the commute from Macclesfield to Manchester will exceed £2,600– rising by £79 a year to £2,626,” explained Laura Suter, personal finance analyst at investment platform AJ Bell.

While the fare increase is lower than the 3.4% rise which was introduced in January 2018, it follows a year of delays and timetable chaos.

Andy McDonald, Labour MP and shadow secretary of state for transport, commented: “This increase is a real slap in the face to long suffering rail passengers. Given the chaos on our railways since the last price hike, Chris Grayling should be delivering a fares freeze on those appalling services which should be funded by the train operators.”

The rise in prices is determined by July’s retail prices index (RPI) inflation reading, rather than the consumer prices index (CPI), which is typically lower. AJ Bell’s Suter points out that the Office for National Statistics has branded the RPI measure of inflation “flawed” with “serious shortcomings” and does not recommend it being used.

“It remains baffling as to why the government continues to clobber everyone with price hikes based on an inaccurate measure,” Suter added.

She also pointed to the inconsistency of using CPI for state pension increases, tax credits and public sector final salary schemes, while RPI is used for price hikes on rail fares and setting interest rates for student loans.

“This hypocrisy was highlighted in the past few weeks, when the government revealed it was cutting the interest for savers with NS&I’s Index-linked Savings Certificates, by switching the index linking to CPI inflation, from RPI. The move will hit around half a million savers, and could see their interest cut by around 1%,” she added.

There are 0 Comment(s)

If you wish to comment without signing in, click your cursor in the top box and tick the 'Sign in as a guest' box at the bottom.

Your right to a refund if travel is affected by train strikes

There have been a wave of train strikes in the past six months, and for anyone travelling today Friday 3 Febru...

Could you save money with a social broadband tariff?

Two-thirds of low-income households are unaware they could be saving on broadband, according to Uswitch.

How to help others and donate to food banks this winter

This winter is expected to be the most challenging yet for the food bank network as soaring costs push more pe...

What will happen if rates change

How your finances will be impacted by a rise in interest rates.

Regular Savings Calculator

Small regular contributions can build up nicely over time.

Online Savings Calculator

Work out how your online savings can build over time.

DIY investors: 10 common mistakes to avoid

For those without the help and experience of an adviser, here are 10 common DIY investor mistakes to avoid.

Mortgage down-valuations: Tips to avoid pulling out of a house sale

Down-valuations are on the rise. So, what does it mean for home buyers, and what can you do?

Five tips for surviving a bear market mauling

The S&P 500 has slipped into bear market territory and for UK investors, the FTSE 250 is also on the edge. Her...

Money Tips of the Week