Transport User Voice – Passengers face biggest rail fares rise for five years

31 August 2017

With some rail passengers set to see their fares increase by a possible 3.6 per cent from January next year, we have launched a new passenger ticketing guide to help beat that rise.

Our surveys tell us that more than half of passengers feel they are not getting value for money and are now set to face the biggest fare rise for five years. Passengers tell us time and time again that they find train fares complicated and confusing.

That’s why we’ve launched a new guide for passengers Rail fares: top tips for getting a good deal. The guide provides practical ways to help passengers get the best deal. From what ticket to buy, when the best time to buy tickets is and where to buy, the guide provides a comprehensive summary on how to navigate your way through the system.

So how you can get the best deal? Anthony Smith, chief executive of Transport Focus, has some sure fire ways on how to make savings:

1. Get organised early: sign up to ticket alerts to get first chance of buying the cheapest tickets 12 weeks or more in advance

2. Split your ticket: combining two or more tickets for a journey may save you money – but check out the small print first

3. Look for special offers: always check the website of the train company you are travelling on for any special offers. If in doubt look at National Rail website to find out who runs the service.

You can explore all our top tips on how to find the best fare at

Calling for a fairer deal for passengers

Passengers tell us they are fed up with getting poor value for money so we’ve been calling on the Government for a fairer deal for passengers.

Responding to the announcement of the inflation figure David Sidebottom, Transport Focus director, said:

“Yet again, passengers, now majority funders of the railway, face fare rises next January. Commuters do not give value for money on their railways a high satisfaction score – just one third according to our latest survey. So while performance remains patchy and with pay and wages not keeping pace with inflation, they will feel rightly aggrieved if they are paying much higher rises next January.

We also queried the use of the RPI measure to determine fare increases: “Why is the Government not using its preferred measure of inflation: the one that is used to determine wages and pension increases, and one which is often lower than RPI? Why not use the Consumer Prices Index for rail fares too? Passengers deserve a fairer deal.”

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