Rail fares in Wales and England ales will increase by 2.6 percent on Monday, the first time the government has opted to put up prices above RPI inflation since 2013, in a move that has been mooted for further pricing middle income earners out of rail travel and undermining the government’s green credentials.
The government said the additional 1 percent rise over inflation came on the back of extraordinary public spending to prop up rail services during the pandemic when revenues fell away.
Increases in around half of fares, including season tickets on most commuter routes, are regulated by the British, Scottish and Welsh governments, media reports said.
Passengers in Wales face a similar increase, whereas the Scottish government is implementing smaller rises of 1.6 percent and 0.6 percent for peak and off-peak travel respectively, the report said.
Examples of potential fare hikes include a Brighton-London annual season ticket going up by 129 pounds (USD180) to 5,109 pounds (USD7,154) and a Manchester-Glasgow off-peak return increasing by 2.30 pounds (USD3) to 90.60 pounds (USD126), said the Evening Standard newspaper.
Fare hikes in England have mirrored RPI since January 2014, but the Department for Transport (DfT) axed the policy due to the "unprecedented taxpayer support" handed to the rail industry during the Covid-19 pandemic.