This is how much rail fares will increase by in 2019

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Rail fares across Britain are set to increase once again in the New Year, it has been announced. 

Prices will go up by an average of 3.1 per cent on January 2, 2019, the rail industry revealed today. 

Rail fares will increase in 2019 it has been announced. Picture: Ben Birchall/PA Wire

Rail fares will increase in 2019 it has been announced. Picture: Ben Birchall/PA Wire

According to Office of Rail and Road data, it will be the largest rise since January 2013.

Many long-distance commuters will see the annual cost of getting to work increase by more than £100.

Nicholas Anderson, of Melrose Close, Milton, said: ‘The recent announcement of an increase of over 3 per cent on overall rail fares representing an increase of 1 per cent on the official retail price index is an absolute disgrace. 

‘It is in my view no justification to say that it is because of the high cost recently of replacing the ageing superstructure as this should surely be paid for by a contingency fund and reserves which should have been set aside over the years for this purpose. 

‘In truth this situation is caused by inept management who seem incapable of managing railway finances. 

‘We have already the most expensive railway system in Europe and probably the world and this increase should not be tolerated.

‘In contrast in real terms the cost of motoring over the last 10 years has increased well below the inflation rate helped by an overall cost of fuel which in real terms in the UK has actually fallen.

‘If the cost of maintaining the road system can be met without any increased taxes over the years then why cannot the same level of efficiency be applied to rail?  Surely this is essential to our environment and a government rethink should now be on the agenda.’ 

Paul Plummer, chief executive of industry body the Rail Delivery Group (RDG), added: ‘Nobody wants to pay more to travel, especially those who experienced significant disruption earlier this year.

‘Money from fares is underpinning the improvements to the railway that passengers want and which ultimately help boost the wider economy.

‘That means more seats, extra services and better connections right across the country.’ 

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There have been calls for prices to be frozen following chaos caused by the implementation of new timetables in May.

Fewer than half (45 per cent) of passengers are satisfied with the value for money of train tickets, according to a survey by watchdog Transport Focus.

Rail Delivery Group chief executive Paul Plummer said: ‘Nobody wants to pay more to travel, especially those who experienced significant disruption earlier this year.

‘Money from fares is underpinning the improvements to the railway that passengers want and which ultimately help boost the wider economy.

‘That means more seats, extra services and better connections right across the country.’ 

The Rail, Maritime and Transport union have slammed the January fare increase as ‘another kick in the teeth for passengers on Britain's rip-off railways’.

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Anthony Smith, chief executive of watchdog Transport Focus, added: ‘Many passengers, still reeling from summer timetable chaos and frustrated by 'autumn' disruption, won't believe fares are going up again.

‘Until day-to-day reliability returns - with fewer significant delays and cancellations - passenger trust won't begin to recover.

‘Passengers now pour over £10 billion a year into the rail industry alongside significant government investment, so the rail industry cannot be short of funding.

‘When will this translate into a more reliable railway and better value for money for passengers?

‘It's also time for a fairer, clearer fares formula based on a calculation that uses the Consumer Prices Index, rather than the discredited Retail Prices Index.’

Alex Hayman of consumer group Which? said: ‘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.’

Transport Salaried Staffs Association general secretary, Manuel Cortes said it was ‘annual kick-in-the-teeth time’.

Reacting to the rail fares announcement he said: ‘New year rail fare rises are more reliable in Tory Britain than the weather or our beleaguered rail services.

‘Passengers deserve a break from this annual, legalised, privatised rail rip-off.

‘As commuters pack into their overcrowded trains again today they will be at a loss to understand why this government thinks it's OK to carry on having chunky fare hikes dumped on them.

‘After a year of serious systemic disruption as the privatisation model falls apart, a fare freeze would have been appropriate, but once again hard pressed commuters are being milked like cash cows into paying more money for less service - less seats, less staff and too often these days no trains at all.’