Rail fares are set to rise by 3.5% due to rising inflation measures.
Increased fares include season tickets, single tickets around major cities, and off-peak inter-city return tickets. However under a “flex” rule, train companies can raise fares by 2% above the average, as long as the overall average stays at RPI plus 1%. With this is mind some fares could increase by 5.5% next year. This year the government capped fare rises to keep them in line with inflation, however it is not known whether the same will happen in 2015.
Passenger Focus, which represents rail users, wants the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, to consider blocking the full rise. The organisation hope those in power will intervene to ensure that train fares do not rise above the rate of
inflation. The Department for Transport has defended the planned rise. So far, the 3.5% rise applies only to fares in England. In Scotland, there will be no rise in off-peak fares in 2015, which have been frozen since January 2013. Peak fares will rise by 2.5% – the same as the July inflation rate. The Welsh government has yet to make a decision – but it usually mirrors the rise in England.