Time to end rail fare rises based on RPI

14 August 2019

Commenting on the predicted rail fare increases in January 2020 set to follow from July’s rate of Retail Prices Index inflation published today, David Sidebottom, Director at  Transport Focus, said:

“After a year of more stable – but still patchy – rail performance many rail passengers will be mystified that rail fares should be going up at all, let alone by 2.8 per cent next January.

“The National Rail Passenger Survey shows that less than one third (30%) of rail commuters are satisfied with the value for money of their ticket. Transport Focus believes it’s time for a fairer, clearer fares formula based on calculations that use the Consumer Prices Index, rather than the discredited Retail Price Index.”

“After recent disruption and a lot of misery over last winter, rail operators still have a great deal to improve. To help focus their efforts it is vital that passengers ‘make delay pay’ by claiming every time for any compensation they are due.



Queries: Contact Hannah.Pearce@transportfocus.org.uk or call the press office on 0300 123 2170


Notes to editors

July’s rate of Retail Prices Index inflation, which is used to set the cap on annual rail season ticket price increases in Britain, was 2.8% (down from 3.0% in June), the Office for National Statistics said. The rate of CPI in July was 2.1% (up from 2.0% in June).

RPI over-estimates real inflation so consistently that it’s lost its status as a National Statistic in 2013. The Office for National Statistics discourages its use.

Nationally, less than half of passengers (47%) are satisfied their ticket offers value for money, according to the Spring 2019 wave of the National Rail Passenger Survey. This falls to 30% among commuters.

For information on eligibility and how to claim for train delays visit the Transport Focus’s Make Delay Pay campaign website .

The Make Delay Pay campaign aims to raise passenger awareness of compensation for delayed and cancelled train journeys, persuade more rail users to claim what they are entitled to, and ensure train operators streamline the claims process through easier online and automated systems.

Transport Focus (and passengers) also wants to see train companies taking steps to run live trials to test the new and smarter single leg, split and flexible ticketing ideas proposed by the rail industry in Easier Fares for All, a report published in response to last year’s public consultation on rail fares reform



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