The Department for Transport announced that the rate of regulation for rail tickets in England will increase by as much as 5.9% starting next March.
According to the transport secretary, the rise will be capped at a level below inflation “to help minimize the impact on passengers”.
Mark Harper stated, “This is a fair compromise between the passengers who use the trains and the taxpayers that help pay for them.”
Officially, the fare will rise on 5th March 2023.
Prior to the Covid pandemic in 2007, fares were increased in January of each year based on the Retail Prices Index (RPI) measure for inflation from July.
The usual formula is RPI plus 1.
The government stated that rail fare increases in 2023 will be limited to 5.9%. This is well below the July RPI figure at 12.3%.
As last year, the government also freezes fares in January and February so that passengers have extra time to purchase tickets at current prices.
Harper called it “the largest government intervention ever in rail fares”.
Transport Focus, an independent watchdog, warned that there is more to be done to make passengers’ experiences on the railways better.
David Sidebottom, the director of the company, stated, “After months and unreliable service, it’s evident that too many customers are not getting a value-for-money service.”
“Capping fares at or below inflation and delaying until March are welcome steps to ease the pain. But reforming fares and ticketing for the longer-term is a must.
Regulated fares include season tickets for most commuter routes, as well as off-peak return tickets for long distance trips and tickets to major cities.