Fares normally rise by RPI every January but after COVID an increase is likely to deter more people from travelling, resulting in lower overall revenue, so there should be a zero increase for 2021. Fares must also be repriced to deliver value for money and remove the anomalies which lead to split-ticketing.

Many people have discovered that they can work from home so the trend away from 5 day commuting will accelerate. Flexible, clearly explained smart ticket options which support this trend without encouraging a Tuesday – Thursday peak, and which integrate with other forms of public transport, are needed.

Fairer fares in future?

Author: Steve Wright - Published At: Tue 28 of Jul, 2020 12:32 BST - (1397 Reads)
Better value fares, new ticketing options and aggressive marketing initiatives are needed to attract passengers back to rail after COVID-19. South Western Railway passenger won £5,500 in Touch Smartcard prize draw. Image by South Western Railway.

Easier fares for all – a Railfuture campaign success

The Rail Delivery Group’s ‘Easier fares for all’ proposal released on 18 February 2019 has taken on board all the key points on fares and ticketing that Railfuture has been campaigning for - clearly explained, value for money fares and tickets which offer a choice of flexibility in time and routes to allow passengers to make an informed decision, and smart ticketing which benefits the passenger.

Lower fare rises

Railfuture recognises that fares normally have to rise each year (2020 is an exception) but considers that fares should not take an increasing share of passengers’ income. Therefore fares should rise in line with CPI (Consumer Price Index), the government’s preferred measure of inflation, not RPI (Retail Price Index). The rail industry must contain its costs so that financial support from the taxpayer does not increase.

In a further campaign success on 15 August 2018, Secretary of State for Transport Chris Grayling said that CPI could be used in place of RPI for the calculation of future ticket price rises, and wrote letters to unions and the Rail Delivery Group calling for the rail industry to contain its costs so that there is no additional burden on taxpayers.

Clearer tickets

On 10 August 2018 the Rail Delivery Group announced that unnecessary rail industry jargon has been removed from tickets, making them easier for passengers to understand - a success for our campaign.

Fare value and choice

Author: Chris Page - Published At: Tue 29 of May, 2018 19:26 BST - (4247 Reads)
Some people are deterred from travelling by train by the complexity of buying a ticket and the perception that fares are expensive, whilst some passengers are unclear whether they have the best deal so feel ripped off. Image: Play the ticket maze game to reach the Oyster!

Clearer not simpler fares

Author: Chris Page - Published At: Wed 22 of Feb, 2017 18:20 GMT - (5971 Reads)
Radical fare changes proposed by the Rail Delivery Group risk reducing choice and flexibility for passengers. What is needed are clearly explained fares which offer choice, not simplistic ticketing which removes flexibility. In London, the adjacent termini of St Pancras and King’s Cross offer alternative routes to Sheffield, giving holders of ‘any permitted route’ tickets the flexibility to choose either.

Delay repay losers

Author: Jerry Alderson - Published At: Fri 12 of Feb, 2016 20:42 GMT - (8399 Reads)
Britain is perceived to have high rail fares in comparison to other European countries. However, the entire package needs to be considered and few people appreciate some of the ’freebies’ that the fare buys, including a generous refund policy when trains are delayed. Unfortunately some people have abused this – fraudulently – for financial gain, as a news article in the London Evening Standard showed on 11th February 2016 (see photo and headline above).

Fares Complexity

Author: Paul Hollinghurst - Published At: Wed 08 of Jul, 2015 20:34 BST - (5795 Reads)
Railfuture is concerned about the complexity of fares, which are way beyond the abilities of the general public – and even some railway staff – to fully understand. This is a big problem as substantial savings can be made by knowing the ‘best’ ticket to buy. (Photo: Some of the tickets from Paul Hollinghurst’s railway journeys.)

Fare Increase Viewpoint

Author: Jerry Alderson - Published At: Mon 25 of Aug, 2014 16:29 BST - (13628 Reads)
Graphic from the BBC web-site on day that RPI figures were published showing the relationship between rail fare increases in Britain (although actually the England-only increases for the last couple of years) and UK inflation over the last 26 years. The negative RPI on 2009 was caused by a huge drop in mortgage interest rates (which are excluded from CPI calculations).

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