Exact date rail fares are set to rise 5.9% as passengers face biggest price hike in over a decade

Exact date rail fares are set to rise 5.9% as passengers face biggest price hike in over a decade

MILLIONS of commuters will pay up to 5.9% more for train tickets next year – the biggest increase in more than a decade.

Fares usually go up every year and the government has stepped in to limit them in the face of rising inflation.

Fares will increase for millions of commuters next year


Fares will increase for millions of commuters next yearCredit: PA

The increase affects season tickets for most commuter journeys, some off-peak return tickets for long-distance travel, and flexible tickets for travel in major cities.

Passenger fares usually increase every year according to July inflation figures.

Inflation is a measure of how much the prices of thousands of items and services have increased compared to the previous year.

Inflation was 12.3% in July this year, so this increase is much smaller than it would have been without the cap.

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But the surge means people are still facing a huge increase in costs, and it’s a steeper climb than before.

Rail fares last rose 3.8% in March this year – the biggest jump in almost a decade.

The annual cost of a weekly journey from Oxford to London is £5,756 with a season ticket

That will rise to £6,096 from March next year – £339 more.

A season pass from Tunbridge Wells to London increases by more than £309 to £5,557.

Fares normally go up in January each year but were pushed back to March due to Covid and have now been pushed back again.

Tariffs will officially increase on March 5, 2023, with current tariffs being frozen from January and February.

Railway companies can set the prices for other tickets, which are unregulated fares.

The government says the increase is necessary to support investment and the railway’s financial stability.

Transport Secretary Mark Harper said: “This is the biggest Government intervention on fares to date.

“I limit the increase well below inflation to reduce the impact on passengers.

“It has been a difficult year and the impact of inflation is being felt across the UK economy.

“We don’t want to increase the problem.

“It’s a fair balance between the passengers who use our trains and the taxpayers who help fund them.”

But fair increases in deteriorating services have been criticized.

David Sidebottom, director at Transport Focus, said: “Nobody likes rising prices. In our latest study, less than half of passengers think that rail is currently performing well in providing cheap tickets.

“After months of unreliable services and strike disruptions, it is clear that too many passengers are not getting value for money.

“Capping fares below inflation and delaying until March is welcome and will ease some of the pain, but the need for longer-term fare and ticketing reform must not be forgotten.”

How to save money on your train ticket

Here are some top tips to save you money when traveling by train.

share tickets

If you’re taking a longer train journey, you can save hundreds of pounds by splitting your tickets.

There’s no transfer, and National Rail lets you split your ticket as long as the train stops at the station you bought the tickets for.

One site that will do this for you is Splitticketing.co.uk.

Buy a season ticket

Regular travelers are said to be able to save by purchasing either a 7-day, monthly or annual pass, which allows them to make the journey an unlimited number of times while it’s valid.

If you take the same ride three or more days a week, a 7-day season pass is likely to save you money compared to buying a new one every day.

Use National Rail’s Season Ticket Calculator to see if a season ticket will save you money on your trip.

Book at least 12 weeks in advance

Network Rail publishes its timetable 12 weeks in advance, so ticket companies usually make their fares available at this time.

Just like with plane tickets, the earlier you book, the lower the price you pay for your seat.

You can subscribe to Trainline’s Ticket Alert and it will let you know when cheap advance tickets go on sale for a particular journey.

Also, the National Rail future travel map shows the date you can purchase tickets furthest in advance.

Save money with a Railcard

If you’re a regular traveler, a train ticket should save you a third of the ticket price.

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Just make sure you save more than the Railcard price over the course of a year.

Visit Railcard.co.uk for more information.

Do you have a money problem that needs clarification? Email [email protected]

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