Commuting by train in and out of London is about to increase by £300 per year

Commuters, we’ve got (even more) bad news. While the Government has pledged to cap next year’s increase on rail fares, those who travelling to and from London by train could still see an eye-watering £300 rise in season ticket prices. 

On Wednesday (August 16), the RPI – that’s the Retail Price Index, a measure of consumer inflation – was announced for July, which is the typical marker used to calculate annual rail fare increases. Though it wasn’t as high as last year’s 12.3 percent jump, the rate still went up by nine percent. 

Apparently, the Department for Transport has said it will not increase fares for next year by as much as the RPI rate, and it claims it will again delay the increase from January to March ‘to protect passengers from cost of living pressures.’ 

However, according to the Campaign for Better Transport, if this year’s 5.9 percent increase is repeated in 2024 (which was instead based on the UK’s average pay growth) the average cost of a season ticket across 40 commuter towns could rise from £5,052 to £5,350.  

In fact, 27 rail season tickets to the capital would exceed above £5,000 and ten would cost more than £6,000. Those who commute from Southampton would be hardest hit, as that season ticket would exceed the whopping figure of £7,200. 

Transport for London is in a funding agreement with the Government, so it either aligns its increase for tube and bus fares with the rate decided upon by the DfT, or by four percent, depending on whichever is higher. The final decision on that is up to the Mayor of London. 

‘Both the Mayor and TfL are committed to keeping public transport as accessible and affordable as possible, and no final decisions on the fares package for 2024 have been made,’ said a spokesperson for TfL

Motorists were granted a freeze on fuel duty, and the Green Party and Liberal Democrats are calling for the same to happen to rail fares. However, John Glen, Treasury Chief Secretary, rejected these calls. 

Ed Davey, the Lib Dem leader, said: ‘It would be scandalous to see these prices rise not only in the middle of the cost of living crisis, but also as the Government plans to close thousands of ticket offices.’

We don’t know yet exactly what the increase will be, and we likely won’t know ’til nearer the end of the year. Watch this space for updates.

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