Next year’s rail fares rise will be below inflation, says Government


Next year’s rise in English rail fares will be below inflation, the Government has announced.

The Department for Transport (DfT) said the increase will not be as high as the rise in the Retail Prices Index (RPI) for the 12 months to July.

The July RPI figure has traditionally been used to set the following year’s increase in average train fares.

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But the 2023 increase in ticket prices was based on the lower figure of average earnings growth instead.

Ahead of July’s RPI figure being published on Wednesday, a DfT spokesman said: “Following last year’s biggest-ever Government intervention to cap rail fare increases well below inflation, we’ll continue to protect passengers from cost-of-living pressures and we will not increase next year’s rail fares by as much as the July RPI figure.

“Any increase will also be delayed until March 2024, temporarily freezing fares for passengers to travel at a lower price for the entirety of January and February as the Government continues with its plan to halve inflation.”

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The DfT said further details on next year’s fare changes will be announced at a later date.

Pressure group Campaign for Better Transport called for fares to be unchanged “in recognition of the burden high fares place on rail passengers”.

Chief executive Paul Tuohy said: “The Government should freeze rail fares – as they have done with fuel duty – until the long-promised ticketing reform takes place.” The Scottish and Welsh governments have not announced their policies towards rail fares changes next year.

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