Next year’s average increase in rail fares has been revealed.
Here the PA news agency looks at nine key questions around the controversial issue:
– Why does the cost of train travel increase every year?
It has been the policy of successive governments to switch the burden of funding the railways from taxpayers to passengers.
– How much more expensive have train fares become?
Office of Rail and Road figures show that between January 1995 – around the time the network was privatised – and January 2019, average fares increased in real terms by 21%.
– When is the next increase?
Fares become more expensive on January 2 2020.
– Who decides how much they go up by?
Increases in about 45% of fares are regulated by the UK, Scottish and Welsh Governments. The rest are decided by train companies.
– Which fares are regulated?
Season tickets on most commuter routes, some off-peak return tickets on long-distance journeys, and tickets for travel around major cities at any time.
– How is the cap on the rise in these fares calculated?
Rises are pegged to the July Retail Prices Index (RPI) measure of inflation, which was 2.8%. This is apart from off-peak regulated fares in Scotland, which can increase by RPI minus 1%.
– Where does the money go?
The Rail Delivery Group says 98p of every £1 spent on train fares goes towards running and maintaining services.
– Is there any way of avoiding the fare rise?
Savvy commuters will renew their season tickets in the days before the increase.
– Any other tips on limiting the cost of train travel?
Passengers can save money by getting a railcard, travelling off-peak and booking in advance, although these options are not available for many journeys, particularly those made by commuters.