RAIL commuters will face inflation-busting hikes in ticket prices next year, which could see some fares rise by as much as 13 per cent, following the release of latest inflation figures yesterday.
Under the revised scheme, which was set out in the Treasury’s spending review last October, regulated fares such as season tickets will rise by three per cent on top of July’s retail price index (RPI) inflation rate of five per cent over the next three years.
The formula for fare increases was previously restricted to the RPI figure plus just one per cent.
Transport Secretary Philip Hammond (pictured right) said he recognised that the decision had not been popular, but was necessary to help the government fund rail improvements.
He said the money raised would go towards funding 2,700 new rail carriages and London’s Crossrail and Thameslink projects.
“Due to the scale of the deficit, these investments would simply have not been possible without the difficult decision we have made to increase rail fares,” he said.
Train companies will also be allowed to increase fares on certain routes by five per cent as long as the average increase across the operator does not exceed RPI plus three per cent. This means that some commuters may be forced to pay an extra 13 per cent for their journey.
Shadow transport secretary Maria Eagle criticised the move saying the government is “totally out of touch” with the cost of living crisis facing commuters.
David Mapp, commercial director at the Association of Train Operating Companies said: “Increasing the money raised from fares will mean that taxpayers contribute less to the running of the railways.”