The government has confirmed that rail fare increases will be capped at an average of four per cent, bbc.co.uk reports.
Train operators have been permitted to raise fares in 2013 by the Retail Prices Index (RPI) inflation – which is three per cent – plus an additional one per cent.
This is lower than the ‘RPI plus three per cent’ that was the government’s original intention. Commuters will therefore pay an average of 4.2 per cent more for their tickets – rather than 6.2 per cent – in the new year.
However, given that there were fare increases this year and more are promised for 2014/2015, the news is little consolation.
Additionally, tube and bus fares are set to increase by the same amount. Fortunately, services like video conferencing facilities mean businesses need not worry too much about the rise in travel costs; given the ease with which they can arrange meetings with colleagues from around the UK.
Anthony Smith, chief executive of consumer group Passenger Focus, told telegraph.co.uk that the cap may come as some relief – but added that “the result is still a big increase in regulated fares.”
He continued to say: “Passengers in the UK already pay some of the highest fares in Europe and our most recent passenger survey showed that just 42 per cent felt they had got value for money on their ticket.”