0939 GMT November 13, 2019
A rail campaign group described the latest fares rise as ‘another kick in the wallet’ for passengers, metro.co.uk reported.
The rail industry insists the ‘vast majority’ of revenue from fares covers the day-to-day costs of running the railway.
One in seven trains were delayed by at least five minutes in the past 12 months as a series of major issues have plagued the railway.
Analysis of historical data revealed this is the worst performance since September 2005.
Extreme weather, errors in the launch of new timetables, strikes and signalling failures are among the causes.
The 3.1 percent average fare rise is the second highest since January 2013.
Examples of increases in annual season tickets include £148 for Brighton to London (from £4,696 to £4,844), £130 for Gloucester to Birmingham (from £4,108 to £4,238), and £100 for Manchester to Liverpool (from £3,152 to £3,252).
The annual cost from Prime Minister Theresa May’s constituency of Maidenhead to London has increased by £96 (from £3,092 to £3,188).
Transport Secretary Chris Grayling marked the increase in fares by announcing that a new railcard to extend child fares to 16 and 17 year olds will be available in time for the new academic year in September.
Grayling claimed the Government’s ‘record investment’ in the rail network will help passengers get the ‘frequent, affordable and reliable journeys they deserve’
Labor analysis of more than 180 routes suggests an average commuter is paying £2,980 for their annual season ticket, up £786 from 2010, which was the year the Conservatives came to power as part of a coalition government.
The research also indicates that fares have risen nearly three times faster than wages.
Shadow transport secretary Andy McDonald claimed the latest increases are ‘an affront to everyone who has had to endure years of chaos on Britain’s railways’.
Labour has pledged to return the railways to public ownership and called for prices to be frozen on the worst performing routes.
Rail union leaders, politicians and campaigners will protest against the increasing cost of rail travel outside stations across the country.
Rail, Maritime and Transport union general secretary Mick Cash said fare payers are being ‘battered by the toxic combination of gross mismanagement and profiteering’.
Fewer than half of passengers are satisfied with the value for money of train tickets, according to a survey by watchdog Transport Focus.
Its chief executive Anthony Smith said ‘the rail industry cannot be short of funding’ as passengers contribute £10 billion a year in fares.
He added: ‘When will this translate into more reliable services that are better value for money?’.
Bruce Williamson, from campaign group Railfuture said: ‘After a terrible year of timetable chaos, passengers are being rewarded with yet another kick in the wallet.’
Increases in around 45 percent of fares, including season tickets, are regulated by the UK, Scottish and Welsh governments.
They are predominantly capped at July’s RPI inflation figure, which was 3.2 per cent. Other fare rises are decided by train companies.
It has been the policy of successive governments to re-balance the funding of the railways between passengers and taxpayers.
This has resulted in a reduction in the relative contribution of taxpayers, and an increase in fares.
Office of Rail and Road figures for 2017/18 show revenue from fares and other passenger charges reached £9.7 billion.
Net government support to the industry over the same period totalled £6.4 billion (excluding Network Rail loans). Almost a third of this was HS2 funding.
The Department for Transport has commissioned former British Airways chief executive Keith Williams to carry out a root and branch review of Britain’s railway, including fares.