Regulated rail ticket fares in England and Wales have increased 5.9%, the biggest rise in over a decade, even as the country grapples with service disruption amid strikes.

This marks the largest hike since 2012, when fares increased by 6%.

Typically, regulated fare hikes are pegged to the Retail Price Index measure of inflation for the previous July, which stood at 12.3% last year.

However, this year’s hike was linked to July’s average earnings growth, which was 5.9%. Last year, the fares were increased by 4.8%.

UK rail minister Huw Merriman said: “I understand it has been a difficult year and people are feeling the pinch which is why – through the biggest ever government intervention – we capped the rise well below inflation and delayed it coming into force.”

Britain’s rail sector has recently faced a chaotic time with labour shortage, extreme weather, and infrastructure lapses.

How well do you really know your competitors?

Access the most comprehensive Company Profiles on the market, powered by GlobalData. Save hours of research. Gain competitive edge.

Company Profile – free sample

Thank you!

Your download email will arrive shortly

Not ready to buy yet? Download a free sample

We are confident about the unique quality of our Company Profiles. However, we want you to make the most beneficial decision for your business, so we offer a free sample that you can download by submitting the below form

By GlobalData
Visit our Privacy Policy for more information about our services, how we may use, process and share your personal data, including information of your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications. Our services are intended for corporate subscribers and you warrant that the email address submitted is your corporate email address.

A spokesman for Rail Delivery Group that represents train operators called the decision ‘understandable.

“The Government’s decision to hold fares down below current inflation is understandable. It is important that fares are set at a level that is appropriate for both the industry and its customers,” the spokesman noted.

A statutory watchdog for transport passengers, Transport Focus, however, said that travellers are not getting a value for money service amid poor service due to frequent walk-outs.

Transport Focus CEO Anthony Smith said: “Capping fares below inflation and the delay until March have gone some way to help ease the pain, but the need for more fundamental reform of fares and ticketing must not be forgotten.”