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Economic News

Rail fares to rise by 4.9pc in March

By Josh White

Date: Friday 22 Dec 2023

LONDON (ShareCast) - (Sharecast News) - Rail fare increases are set to rise by 4.9% from early next year, after the Department for Transport announced another cap on ticket price rises.
The rise would be notably lower than the historically used July retail price index (RPI) figure, and down on the 6.4% rise that took place earlier this year.

It will come into effect on 3 March, giving passengers the chance to purchase season tickets at the current rate.

The Department for Transport said future fare changes would now take place in March each year.

In its announcement, the DfT said the rail industry was facing considerable challenges, particularly with changing working and travel patterns, evident by rail revenues reaching just 78% of pre-pandemic levels from July to September when adjusted for inflation.

Over the last year, the government had provided 12bn in support for the railways.

The DfT also noted that the cap on single bus fares in England would be kept at 2 until the end of next year.

"Having met our target of halving inflation across the economy, this is a significant intervention by the government to cap the increase in rail fares below last year's rise," said transport secretary Mark Harper.

"Changed working patterns after the pandemic means that our railways are still losing money and require significant subsidies, so this rise strikes a balance to keep our railways running, while not overburdening passengers.

"We remain committed to supporting the rail sector reform outdated working practices to help put it on a sustainable financial footing."

Reporting by Josh White for Sharecast.com.

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