RAIL fares will rise by an average of 3.1 per cent next year, after the chancellor pledged to reduce planned receipts by £80m, keeping increases in line with inflation.
The government had previously planned to cap the average fare at 4.1 per cent, or one per cent above the retail prices index measure of inflation.
“This brings an end to a decade of inflation-busting fare rises and will be welcome news to passengers in England, especially those who rely on the train for work,” said David Sidebottom, passenger director at the Passenger Focus watchdog.
The real-terms freeze follows a similar promise earlier this week from the Mayor of London, who at the time made no mention of a nationwide fare freeze.
Rail operators will still have some flexibility to raise some fares up to two per cent above inflation, providing all the increases on their regulated tickets average out at 3.1 per cent.