Rail fares increase by an average of 3.1% as of today, despite punctuality falling to a 13-year low.
In what is being described as “another kick in the wallet” for passengers, the cost of many rail season tickets has risen by more than £100.
However, the rail industry has insisted there are legitimate reasons for the annual price hike.
Some examples of changes to annual season ticket prices include:
:: Brighton → London increasing £148 to £4,844
:: Gloucester → Birmingham increasing £130 to £4,238
:: Manchester → Liverpool increasing £100 to £3,252
Analysis by the Press Association has shown that one in seven trains was delayed by at least five minutes in 2018 – the worst performance since September 2005.
Extreme weather, errors in the launch of new timetables, industrial action and signalling failures were among the factors responsible.
The rail fare changes are not bad news for everyone, with Transport Secretary Chris Grayling announcing that child fares will be extended to 16 and 17-year-olds by September.
Meanwhile, a railcard for 26 to 30-year-olds is being rolled out nationally from lunchtime.
Mr Grayling added that the government is investing “record” amounts in the rail network to help passengers get the “frequent, affordable and reliable journeys they deserve” – but Labour has claimed the fare increases are “an affront to everyone who has had to endure years of chaos on Britain’s railways”.
Labour research suggests fares have risen nearly three times faster than wages, with the party calling for prices to be frozen on the worst-performing routes.
Research by Transport Focus suggests 45% are satisfied with the value for money of rail tickets – with the watchdog questioning when the £10bn of fares contributed by passengers will be translated into more reliable services.
Robert Nisbet, regional director of industry body the Rail Delivery Group, acknowledged “nobody wants to pay more for their journey to work” but insisted money from fares is being used to “build the better railway customers want”.
Rail union leaders, politicians and campaigners are going to protest against the increasing cost of rail travel outside stations across the country.