Monday, April 19News For London

UK rail passengers face the biggest rail fare rise in five years

Britain train fares will rise by an average of 3 per cent from January next year.

All the fares on journeys in 2018 have been published, the biggest increase since 2013, including season tickets and off-peak leisure tickets.
Passengers in the north of England will face an even greater increase, with Northern putting fares up by 4.7 per cent and TransPennine Express fares rising by 4.6 per cent.
The Rail Delivery Group admitted it is a “significant” rise and unions describe the increase as “another kick in the teeth” for all passengers in UK.

[Photo: Jasmine Zhao]
Reasons for the rail increase
The main reason why rail fares will rise so high  is that the pace of the rail system improvement has not kept up with the increasing number of rail passengers in the UK.
During the last 14 years, the number of passengers travelling to London by train has nearly doubled. Kings Cross rail station even experienced a 70 per cent increase in the number of travelling passengers. The current rail transport system, which is burdened by heavy pressure and could be overwhelmed at any time, requires more trains, stations and more routes.

[Photo: Jasmine Zhao]

The Rail Delivery Group promised that over 97% of fare income will go back into improving and running the railway.


[Video: Jasmine Zhao]


Paul Plummer, the chief executive of the Rail Delivery Group, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “It is a significant increase and obviously we’ re very aware of the pressures on people and the state of the economy. Alongside investment from the public and private sectors, money from fares is underpinning the partnership railway’ s long-term plan to change and improve.”

[Source: National Rail]
We can see from the picture provided by National Rail that 26 per cent of the rail system revenue will be used for the rail network improvement and only 3 per cent will turn into train company’s profits.
The Rail Delivery Group also promised that rail services all around the UK will be improved in the next 18 months, and there will be more trains and better services. Routes that will benefit include Crossrail, Thameslink, Edinburgh to Glasgow, the Great West and Waterloo, as well as the South-west. Some areas in the Midlandx and the North will also be upgraded.

[Video: Jasmine Zhao]

Response from passengers

Many passengers responded angrily to the news of fare rise.


[Video: Jasmine Zhao]

On the one hand, many people have seen their season tickets going up much more than their salary, and it is harder for them to afford the rail fare than before. On the other hand, many passengers did not feel a significant improvement in rail services after the previous round of fare increases. What the Rail Delivery Group promised this time did not convince them totally.


[Source: National Rail]

Rail fares you need to know for next year

Journey Train operator Ticket type Ticket prices in 2017 Ticket prices in 2018
London-Cardiff Great Western Off-peak £96.10 £104.50
London-Derby East Midlands Trains Anytime fare £182.00 £194.50
London- Exeter Great Western Off-peak £107.50 £117.00
London-Slough Great Western Off-peak Day £9.60 £10.50
Bristol- Edinburgh CrossCountry Anytime £376.00 £393.20


[Video: Jasmine Zhao]

Tips for your future travel
With British rail fares increasing next January, it is better for travelers to get to know ways of saving money to buy tickets, especially for those passengers who travel frequently.
1. Book in advance
In general, there will be some cheap seats which can help you save up to 80% of the fees if you book in the 12 weeks before the date of travel. For example, the rail fare from London to Edinburgh can be about 100 pounds cheaper than normal prices.
2. Compare prices in several booking websites
Most train station ticket machines do not sell group tickets and discount tickets, so it’s cheaper to buy tickets online. In addition, some train organizations may have discounts on certain routes, so do compare the prices on different websites before buying tickets.
3. Try a transshipment
If there isn’t a discount ticket to the city you’re visiting, try a transshipment in a city you are going to pass through. For example, booking a ticket from Liverpool to Crewe and then from Crewe to London could be cheaper than buying direct tickets from Liverpool to London.
4. Buy off-peak tickets
If you’re not in a hurry, choose a morning or evening ticket and the price will be relatively cheap.
5. Use the Young Person Card
Young people or full-time students between the ages of 16 and 25 can use the Young Person Card to save a third of the ticket price when buying rail tickets.