Rail fares to rise by 6% on average in 2013
Commuters face rail fare increases of 6% next year, the Government has confirmed. The planned fare rise of 3% plus inflation will be reinstated, after it was limited to 1% this year.
In the face of this, train operating companies are considering opposing the rise with a campaign. In an internal ATOC document, they discuss the merits of calling for retention of the current 1% increase.
The document suggests this could “undermine the perception that train companies want ever higher fare rises to boost profits”, “position ourselves on the side of the passengers” and “highlight the role the Government plays in setting fares”.
The Government is seeking to cut taxpayer subsidy to the rail industry and insists their long-term ambition is to reduce fares.
Shadow transport secretary Maria Eagle said: “If ministers go ahead with their plan to allow train companies again to hike rail fares by as much as 11% in January it will show how out of touch they are with the cost of living crisis facing families.
“When even the NAO has questioned whether hiking fares benefits the taxpayer or just the private train companies, Ministers should listen to Labour’s call for a 1% above inflation cap on fare rises strictly applied across all routes.”
A DfT spokesperson said: “The current agreed regulated fares policy is as set out in the 2011 comprehensive spending review – a rise in 2012 of RPI+1% and RPI+3% for 2013 and 2014, returning to RPI+1% thereafter.
“Over the long term we are committed to reducing the cost of the railways and ending the era of above-inflation fare increases.”
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