UK Train Fares Rise By 1.6% as People Head Back to Work

Train Station

Passengers traveling through rail face a 1.6% increase in season ticket prices. This rise in prices comes as people are returning back to their workplaces and are starting to commute.

However, the implementation of an increase in prices will be from January 2021. Adding as much as £100 ($132) to the cost of a typical annual season ticket.

Every year the prices of rail increases in the country. It rises in line with the previous July’s retail prices index (RPI), which came into light on Wednesday by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Price Control

However, the government of the UK, Scotland, and Wales control price increases for nearly half of all rail fares. It also includes season tickets on most commuter routes. It also controls the prices of tickets for passengers who travel around the country’s major cities.

The Office of Rail and Road reported that the fares set by the officials went up by 2.7% this year. Broadly in line with the 2.8% RPI figure from July 2019.

However, this increase in fares comes as people in the UK are returning back to work. Despite a passenger watchdog asking to reduce prices, it has still increased in the country.

The group has said that if the rail service does not decrease its prices. Demand for rail will drop due to the coronavirus pandemic and rise in prices yet again in January.

Chief executive Anthony Smith has said that the UK needs a rail fares system that fits “the way we live and travel now.”

According to the current system, the rail passengers purchase annual season tickets, more in line with one “designed for city gents in the last century,” he said.

Noting that Transport Focus research indicated that almost two in three former rail commuters expected to continue working from home. Smith said the government “must go above and beyond a fares freeze” and prompt rail firms to introduce lower fares, bundles, and flexible season tickets.

However, according to transport ministry figures the car use has returned to normal levels. Whereas rail service usage is still more than a third lower than what it was prior to the pandemic.

The increase in the RPI comes as there is an increase in fuel prices. Unexpectedly pushed the headline inflation rate, known as the consumer price index, to 1% in July. As businesses across the UK continued to emerge from the country’s sweeping coronavirus lockdown.

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