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Rail fare rise relief

08 October 2012

The prime minister said yesterday that regulated rail fares will rise in the New Year by RPI (3.2 per cent) plus one cent - not the plus three per cent that remains government policy. So, some relief.

However, rises at any rate above inflation will still cause some pain. Also the dreaded fares flexibility is still in operation Train companies can raise fares on individual routes above set figures as long as the overall 'basket' of fares stays within the regulated guideline. So some passengers will still see much higher rises.

We will be keeping a close eye on fares on particular routes.We would also like to see the amount of 'flex' reduced so the pain is shared. And, the sooner the rail industry can get its costs under control the better. Above inflation rises are not much of an encouragement for efficiency.

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