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Train fares to rise by 2.7%

Paloma Kubiak
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Paloma Kubiak

Train fares are set to rise by an average of 2.7% in the new year, as the Labour leader reveals plans to cut ticket prices by a third.

Rail industry leaders have confirmed the average overall increase in national rail fares will be 2.7% from 2 January 2020.

This applies to unregulated fares such as first class tickets and advance purchase tickets. These tickets aren’t overseen by the government; instead they’re set by train companies.

See’s story on the regulated fares rise: Rail fares to rise by 2.8% next year.

The Rail Delivery Group, which represents train operators and Network Rail, said not all unregulated fares will increase – some may go up, some will stay the same and some will actually reduce in price.

It added this is the third year in a row and the fifth time in the last seven years that fares have been held below inflation.

Paul Plummer, chief executive of the Rail Delivery Group, said: “We understand no one wants to pay more to travel, which is why train companies have for the third year in a row held the average fare increases below inflation while still investing to improve journeys.

“Passengers will benefit from 1,000 extra, improved train carriages and over 1,000 extra weekly services in 2020 and the industry will continue to push for changes to fares regulations to enable a better range of affordable, mix and match fares and reduced overcrowding on some of the busiest routes.”

‘Patchy performance’

Anthony Smith, chief executive of the independent watchdog Transport Focus, said less than half of passengers feel they get value for money.

“After a year of patchy performance passengers just want a consistent day-to-day service they can rely on and a better chance of getting a seat,” he said.

“As fares rise passengers must make their voice heard and call on operators to deliver a better service. Passenger should claim compensation every time they are delayed to help offset the cost of the fares rise and Make Delay Pay.”

Labour pledge to cut rail fares by a third

Meanwhile, the Labour party has announced plans to cut rail fares by a third and simplify ticket prices for part-timers if it wins the election this month.

It also said it wants to make train travel free for under 16s as part of its plans to bring rail fares back into public ownership.