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From March 2022, rail fares will rise by 3.8%, including season tickets on most commuter routes. The fare rises are founded on the Retail Prices Index (RPI) measure of inflation in July. Normally, the fares are increased by the formula of plus 1%, which occurred this year when the figure was standing at 2.6%.
This rise will lead to increases in the cost of annual season tickets, such as Brighton to London, and Liverpool to Manchester. Both of these tickets will go up by over £100.
Rail minister, Chris Heaton-Harris has noted that this increase will ensure a “fair balance”, where investment into the railways will align with protecting passengers from the highest RPI in years. The delay in changing the fares has also offered the chance for passengers to save money by renewing their fares at last year’s price.
This price rise raises questions of whether passengers will respond appropriately. With the costs of living increasing, it is likely many consumers will be disappointed at the increasing prices, especially as individuals start to return to the office when restrictions are lifted.
Inflation has risen by 5.1% in the last 12 months, which is the highest level in 10 years. This had prompted the Bank of England to increase the UK interest rate for the first time in three years.
Despite the rise in fares allowing maintenance of the railways, such as improving the service and innovating rail ticket retailing, there is concern that this price lift will affect millions of passengers on low incomes.
The rising inflation, in amalgamation with the oil and gas crisis, raises questions of whether this fare increase is doing more harm than good for passengers.
By Harleen Kaur, BeComAware Ambassador
All BeComAware content is reviewed and approved by industry professionals.
Retail Price Index (RPI) Definition (investopedia.com)
Rail fares to rise at fastest pace for nine years – BBC News