Latest Rail News

02.04.14

Have rail fares really been rising? Yes they have!

Since British Rail was privatised 20 years ago rail fares have ‘more than trebled’, according to independent research carried out for the Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association (TSSA).

The largest hike has been seen on the West Coast Main Line, where a walk-on return fare from London to Manchester has increased by 245% since 1 April 1994. First Great Western also showed a 245% increase on the return fare from London to Bristol.

The report also suggests that since privatisation 20 years ago, fares have generally gone up between 151% and 245%.

Manuel Cortes, general secretary of the TSSA, said: “This proves what every passenger knows in their bones. The private rail industry has been ripping us all off for the past 20 years.

“Fares on the most popular routes have more than trebled, rising three times faster than the rate of inflation.”

The industry would contend that purely looking at walk-on fare prices ignores the plethora of cheaper options available, especially Advance fares. These tickets – while inflexible and non-amendable – can offer good value, if purchased far enough ahead of the travel date.

Having to buy in advance and commit to a particular train at a particular times suits the industry far more than the passenger, of course. Advance tickets certainly make the journey to the station more 'exciting'; knowing that if you're one minute late for your train, it's too late to change your ticket, and you'll have to shell out massively for a replacement at a non-discounted rate.

Tell us what you think – have your say below or email opinion@railtechnologymagazine.com

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