UK inflation: Rail fares have risen "three times faster" than wages - but next year will be lowest increase for years

Jessica Morris
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Regulated ticket prices increased by 25 per cent between 2010 and 2015 (Source: Getty)

Next year could the the first time in years that commuters beat the annual rail fare rise, with the rate based on July's inflation data published today.

Economists have previously tipped the inflation measure to be around one per cent for July - the month which regulated rail fares are set by. That would make it the second-lowest rail fare increase since 1996.

But research published this morning shows the cost of train travel has risen nearly three times faster than wages over the past five years. Regulated ticket prices increased by 25 per cent between 2010 and 2015, while average pay rose nine per cent during this period, according to a study by the union TUC.

"Rail fares have rocketed over the last five years, leaving many commuters seriously out of pocket," Frances O'Grady, general secretary at the TUC, said.

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The government has pledged to ensure rail fares rise by no more than the rate of inflation for this parliament.

"We know rail fares put a strain on family finances. That's why today, for fares we can control, we are putting an end to inflation-busting fare increases," Claire Perry, rail minister, said in a statement.

"Thanks to our plans, next year's fares will see some of the lowest increases for decades. And with the economy growing steadily, for the first time in 10 years wage rises are likely to be larger than average fare increases."

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