New year wishes

30 December 2015

Passengers returning to work on Monday may well find their fares have gone up. In some parts of the country, given rail performance has been so dire, passengers will be amazed there are any fare rises at all.

While the fare increases aren’t as bad as in previous years – a 1.1 per cent rise for Government set ‘regulated’ fares as well as the fares train companies can set themselves – no-one buys an ‘average’ ticket. Have a look at our table for some examples of changes.

In some parts of the country compensation arrangements are covered by the older so-called ‘charter arrangements’. These automatically peg some prices if performance has been bad in a particular period. Great Western Thames Valley passengers will find their ticket prices reduced as a result.

In other parts of the country passengers may be covered by automatic ‘delay repay’ schemes which do refunds if particular trains are late – a much more targeted approach. Other passengers have to apply for delay repay – please do it! It sends a direct message to the train companies and Network Rail that performance has just not been good enough.

Passengers are now paying their part in the railways – rail revenue is heading towards £9bn a year. The rail industry must now keep its side of the promise: deliver on the basics. More trains on time, less cancellations and trains the right length. It does not sound much to ask for in the New Year, does it?

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