Rail passengers are being hit by another rise in rail ticket prices, from January 2020, in line with inflation which could lead to an increase of £100 for an annual season ticket.
BBC Radio Derby news at five, on 14 August 2019, reported Labour’s Transport Minister, Andy McDonald protesting about today’s rise in rail fares of 2.8%. He claimed that season ticket holders are paying too much at £3000.00 and that they had experienced a 40 per cent increase in fares since 2010.
Rail Delivery Group’s, Robert Nisbet explained that this money will allow the rail industry to cover its day-to-day running costs so that public sector money can work instead to increase capacity which will improve the overall service. In context, he claimed, this rise is in line with wage inflation of 3.9% adding that industry staff costs have increased by 4.8%. If the money came from anywhere else, it would be from the tax-payer rather than the passenger.
“We would be happy to have a conversation with government about aligning rail prices with the consumer price index rather than retail price index – if the government would allow us to move in that direction, we would have to re-negotiate these contracts.”
On the question of whether rail fares provide value for money, Nisbet replied that this is a question for government. He added that we have the least subsidised railway in Western Europe because fare payers take the cost from tax-payers. “We want to make fares easier to understand – I know that passengers have faced unpredictability and for this I would say that I’m sorry and we’re trying to make it better.”
“Our latest punctuality results show that 85% of trains arrived within three minutes, around the country. Passenger watchdogs show a seven year high in customer satisfaction.”
Robert Nisbet is Regional Rail Director of the Rail Delivery Group.