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Train fares to rise next year despite service chaos

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Rail fares are expected to go up by 3.5% from January despite the ongoing new timetable fiasco, which has left thousands of passengers stranded.

The price increase is set to be confirmed on Wednesday when July’s inflation figures are published.

The Retail Prices Index is used to set regulated fares and it is expected to go up by 3.5%.

This year rail fares increased by 3.6% – the biggest rise since 2013.

In May, a new rail timetable caused widespread chaos in the north of England and on various London commuter lines, with many operators still unable to run the new timetable.

The Campaign for Better Transport is calling on the government to freeze fares and use the Consumer Price Index (CPI) to calculate annual fare increases as RPI “over estimates real inflation so consistently that the Office of National Statistics stopped using it as a measure in 2013”.

Alex Hayman, director of public markets at Which? said: “Price rises will be yet more bad news for passengers, many of whom have endured a summer of chaos, including cancellations, delays, overcrowding and poor service from train companies.

“For passengers to genuinely feel they are getting value for money and a rail system that works for them, train companies must improve the reliability and safety of their services, and pay out compensation quickly and hassle-free where it is owed.”

Related: How to offset the cost of train price hikes

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