NR Rail Fair

The UK’s Rail Delivery Group (RDG) has announced that rail fares in the country will be increased by an average of 1.1% next year.

It is the smallest annual increase since January 2010 and covers all national rail fares.

Starting today, passengers can check the new fares, which will come into effect on 2 January and buy tickets online.

The average rise for regulated fares, about half of the total and which include season tickets, is limited to no more than 1% as it is linked to July’s rate of retail price index (RPI) inflation.

"As an industry, we are working closer together to deliver better stations, more trains and improved services."

According to National Rail, unregulated fares, such as off-peak leisure tickets, can be increased by any amount the train companies decide as they have greater freedom to set the prices.

This year, the average rise in rail fare was 2.2%, compared with a 2.8% increase last year and 3.9% in 2013.

The average rise of the fares will apply in England, Wales and Scotland, while Northern Ireland is treated separately.

RDG CEO Paul Plummer said: "We know that nobody likes to pay more to travel by train, especially to get to work, and at 1.1% this is the smallest average increase in fares for six years.

"On average, 97p in every pound from fares is spent on trains, staff and other running costs. With passenger numbers doubling in the last 20 years, money from fares now almost covers the railway’s day-to-day operating costs.

"This allows government to focus its funding on building a bigger, better network when the railway is becoming increasingly important at driving economic growth, underpinning jobs, and connecting friends and families.

"As an industry, we are working closer together to deliver better stations, more trains and improved services, and to get more out of every pound we spend."

Network Rail noted that for every £1 of a customer’s fare, 26p goes towards investment in the rail network itself and 22p is for maintaining track and trains.

Image: Fares now almost cover operating costs. Photo: courtesy of Network Rail.