Commuters and day-trippers set to suffer from the biggest rail price hike in five years.
As the clock strikes midnight on 1 January 2018, it is not only bringing in the New Year but also new rail fare prices – the greatest rise in five years.
The Rail Delivery Group announced that from Monday 2 January 2018, an average 3.4 per cent rise in train fares will be seen by commuters all over Britain.
Whether you are purchasing anything from a season ticket to a super off-peak one way, you will suffer from this fare increase.
Though this inflation has dropped from the government’s previously proposed 3.6 per cent which was suggested in August 2017, it has still left passengers and unions raging as it is over the 3 per cent inflation figure it should be, according to the most recent Consumer Prices Index.
Rosemary Jagger, of Halifax, is disappointed with the news as her son will not be able to visit home from studying in Birmingham as regularly: “It’s going to have a massive impact on our family life.”
General Secretary of the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers, Mick Cash, said the rise in train fares is “another kick in the teeth for British passengers” and demonstrates how “private profit comes before public safety”.
“Increases are another twist of the economic knife while the private train companies are laughing all the way to the bank.”
Government support to the rail industry has dropped an extortionate 43.7 per cent since 2006-2007, leaving the passengers of the train line to top up the lost costs.
Last year saw the highest amount of trains being cancelled or significantly late (3.8 per cent) since 2002-2003, so it is disappointing for commuters to have to pay extra to be able to travel whilst seeing no improvement in their journey experience.
The majority of the trains and train lines are Victorian and are in desperate need of refurbishment, especially with the increasing number of passengers travelling on them every day.
Last year “represented the highest number of passenger journeys recorded since the time series began in 1950,” as stated in the Statistics Compendium.
So with more delays and cancellations but less room on carriages, it’s understandable as to why so many are disappointed for the train fares the New Year will bring.
A Nottingham Trent University student is having to pay £100 to get home this Christmas to only spend a week there, she said: “I haven’t been able to afford to go home once this term and that’s before the increase in fares.”
Already there are many passengers who are part of the ‘£5k commuter club’ – a collective of those who are unfortunate enough to lose £5,000 out of their salary every year just on train travel alone, and with the 3.4 per cent fare increase many more will become a part of this.
However, as of tomorrow the 26-30 railcard trial launches in hope to give discounted fares to a wider variety of people, which is something that has not been available for this age range before.
Defending the decision, The Rail Delivery Group, said: “Over 97 per cent of money from fares goes back into improving and running the railway, underpinning the rail industry’s long-term plan to work together to change and improve services for customers, the economy, communities and people who work in rail.”
Though the train fares are rising for the New Year, you can still buy your tickets for your future travel before the year is up and you will get charged the price that it is currently at, not the increased one.