Train passengers will be hit by a 3.1% fare rise from 2 January 2019, following a year of rail chaos.
While it’s marginally less than the 3.2% increase that fares could have risen by (based on the ceiling set in line with July’s retail price index figure), many commuters could face forking out at least £100 more than they did in 2018.
If you’re a season-ticket user, it might be worth renewing it before the rise comes into force on 2 January 2019.
Sick of train pain? Support our rail campaign to demand a better service.
Fare rises: how much more will my season ticket cost?
See the table below for a snapshot of what the 3.1% fare could mean in real terms, on some popular commuter routes.
Note that rail companies do have some flexibility to apply higher or lower increases on specific fares (as long as their average fare rise doesn’t exceed 3.1%), so prices might end up slightly higher or lower than these.
More misery for fed-up rail passengers
Alex Hayman, Which? managing director of public markets, reflects: ‘Passengers have suffered horrifically this year from timetable chaos and experienced rail punctuality hitting its lowest level in 12 years and these price hikes will only add to their misery.
‘If the rail system is going to start working for passengers, not just train companies, then value for money needs to be a key part of the upcoming Government review and passengers must receive automatic compensation for delays and cancellations.’
The fare increase was announced by industry body the Rail Delivery Group. It said that 98p out of every £1 spent on fares goes towards running the railway – and will support the target of 7,000 new carriages and hundreds of refurbishments to support 6,400 extra services a week by 2021.
Train compensation: how to claim money back
If you’re one of the many passengers who has suffered from poor rail services this year, make sure you’re clued up on your consumer rights so that you know when to claim for compensation.
Which? Consumer Rights helps you get to grips with your rail rights as quickly and clearly as possible (and even provides you with a template letter to claim compensation, if your train company doesn’t offer compensation under Delay Repay), including:
- How to claim season ticket compensation for train delays and cancellations
- Letter to claim compensation for train problems
Visit our train delays hub on Which? Consumer Rights for our full range of advice.
How to find cheap(er) train tickets
Even though many train journeys will become more expensive in 2019, make sure you’re getting the lowest fares you possibly can when you travel. Here are a few pointers:
- Book in advance: We’ve found Advance tickets for a journey from London King’s Cross to Leeds for £15.50, which is 87% cheaper than the cost of an Anytime single ticket.
- Look for slower routes: While speed is key for some people (especially commuters), a slightly longer route could save you money.
- Split your ticket: Instead of buying one single ticket for your journey, you can sometimes buy multiple tickets to cover its component parts, to save cash.
Head to 10 tips for finding cheap train tickets for more pointers.