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In a cost-of-living crisis, England’s government commits to raise rail tickets below inflation.

The Department of Transport asserts that it is taking decisive action by not increasing regulated ticket prices by the retail pricing index (RPI) for July, which was 11.8% in June. However, this commitment only applies to around 45% of fares.

The government has announced that certain train fares will increase next year by less than the rate of inflation to help travelers cope with the rising cost of living.

Rail
In a cost-of-living crisis, england's government commits to raise rail tickets below inflation.

The price hike for England, which was implemented annually in January before the coronavirus pandemic, will similarly be delayed until March to reduce the burden on “struggling households,” according to the Department of Transport.

The annual rise in train fares is determined using the retail prices index (RPI) from July of the previous year.

The standard calculation is RPI plus 1 percent.

RPI in June was 11.8%, but ahead of Wednesday’s announcement of the rate for 2023, the DfT has indicated that it will not increase fares by as much as the July amount, but it is unclear by how much.

In a cost-of-living crisis, england's government commits to raise rail tickets below inflation.
In a cost-of-living crisis, england's government commits to raise rail tickets below inflation.

A DfT spokesperson stated, “The government is taking urgent measures to mitigate the impact of inflation on rail fares amid the cost of living crisis and will not increase fares by as much as the RPI figure for July.”

“We are also deferring the hike until March 2023 and temporarily suspending fares for the entire months of January and February so that passengers can travel at a lesser cost while we continue to assist suffering households.”

However, it still leaves travelers facing high price increases when other household costs, such as electricity bills, rocket upward.

The commitment only covers about 45 percent of government-regulated train fares.

This comprises season tickets for the majority of commuter journeys, off-peak return tickets for long-distance travel, and anytime tickets within large cities.

This year witnessed the greatest increase in rail rates in nearly a decade, with a 3.8% increase in England and Wales, adding over £100 to the price of many annual season tickets.

With the rapid shift to home working, the COVID-19 issue precipitated a precipitous decline in the number of rail passengers, which has yet to recover.

It comes as rail sector executives and the Aslef union are poised to resume official discussions in the coming days after a walkout on Saturday disrupted huge portions of the UK’s rail network once again.

The RMT and TSSA unions are planning additional walkouts on the 18th and 20th of August over pay and working conditions, while the London Underground and London bus drivers will engage in strike action on the 19th.

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