Will rail fares continue to increase every year until a point UK cant afford to travel

Discussion in 'Fares Advice & Policy' started by fosterails, 3 Dec 2018.

  1. fosterails

    fosterails New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Joined:
    8 Nov 2018
    Every year around this time the government/rail delivery group announce that rail fares will increase in the new year so will this happen every year until as such time that rail travel will be so expensive no one can afford it anymore
     
  2. Registered users do not see these banners - join or log in today!

    Rail Forums

     
  3. Bertie the bus

    Bertie the bus Member

    Messages:
    816
    Joined:
    15 Aug 2014
    The price of things goes up year after year. It is called inflation. The bread I buy has gone up from 50p to 53p to 55p in the last year.

    It always amazes me how every year people get so shocked and outraged that rail fares increase. Just like everything else does.
     
  4. Ianno87

    Ianno87 Established Member

    Messages:
    3,296
    Joined:
    3 May 2015
    The BBC ran a good graph that showed that Rail fares inflation for the last few years has run roughly in line with average wage growth. So the level of relative affordability has remained about the same.
     
  5. Railwaysceptic

    Railwaysceptic Member

    Messages:
    299
    Joined:
    6 Nov 2017
    It'll probably continue until we have a major cultural change and go back to concentrating on keeping costs down. That was the culture until John Major's fragmentation of the railways and was a total obsession with Civil Servants. Since the pseudo-privatisation of the railways, there has been a 100% change in attitude and a total abandonment of the principle that capacity costs money. Civil Servants now spray tax-payers' money around like confetti and no attempt is made to contain costs with the result that we have an expensive railway that requires very high fares plus a huge subsidy from the tax-payer.
     
  6. gordonthemoron

    gordonthemoron Established Member

    Messages:
    5,735
    Joined:
    4 Sep 2006
    Location:
    Milton Keynes
    surely, eventually ticket income will cover all railway expenditure so the requirements for eye watering far increases will diminish?
     
  7. Ianno87

    Ianno87 Established Member

    Messages:
    3,296
    Joined:
    3 May 2015
    Railway expenditure will continue to increase (inflation and all that), so fares would still have to increase to cover that too.
     
  8. fosterails

    fosterails New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Joined:
    8 Nov 2018
    is there an alternative to commute to work as there is no cheap way or ways to bypass the system
     
  9. cholsey-choose

    cholsey-choose Member

    Messages:
    137
    Joined:
    28 Feb 2017
    Agreed that you need increases every year -- the costs the railways face every year certainly go up.

    But I do wonder if continuing fare rises will make people less willing to commute long distances, softening demand.
     
  10. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

    Messages:
    31,361
    Joined:
    20 Oct 2014
    Location:
    Up and down the south WCML (mostly)
    If it got *too* expensive, commuter coach services would start becoming viable again. Or people would live nearer work, which would be no bad thing (and work would have to move out of expensive places like London, again no bad thing). Or more remote working.
     
  11. cholsey-choose

    cholsey-choose Member

    Messages:
    137
    Joined:
    28 Feb 2017
    I will say one thing, once my daily off-peak commute fare reached the psychological barrier of £5 a day, I did start cycling far more often.
     
  12. mrcheek

    mrcheek Established Member

    Messages:
    1,089
    Joined:
    11 Sep 2007
    future increases will largely depend upon basic economics.

    Fares keep going up, but so do passenger numbers (apart from 2017-18. but apparently that was a blip and they are now rising again).

    If passenger numbers started to fall continuously, then I assume the government would re-think the policy. But despite all the media criticism every single year (actually, 3 times a year. Once when the inflation rate is released for the appropriate month, then again when the fare increases are announced, then again when the increase actually happens!), passenger numbers are still strong.

    The policy is of course that passengers are expected to pay an increased share every year. But even in a theoretical situation, if fares got so high that they funded the entire cost of the railways (how many years would this take?!?!), fares could still keep rising, with the extra money being paid back to the government in premiums. Give it a thousand years, and maybe the railways will eventually pay back their entire cost for past, present and future!
     
  13. jon0844

    jon0844 Veteran Member

    Messages:
    23,080
    Joined:
    1 Feb 2009
    Location:
    UK
    The mayor of London promised the fares freeze, meaning a cut in fares year on year in real terms. It is clearly starting to impact on services, although the worst of the cuts will probably bite just as someone new takes over and gets all the blame...
     
  14. cholsey-choose

    cholsey-choose Member

    Messages:
    137
    Joined:
    28 Feb 2017
    Same phenomenon is happening to universities. Tuition fees were frozen at £9k for several years, now £9250.
     
  15. tbtc

    tbtc Veteran Member

    Messages:
    14,880
    Joined:
    16 Dec 2008
    Location:
    Sheffield
    ^^ What Bertie said ^^

    I'm amazed that people still get surprised/ outraged by the fact that the price of something goes up each year in line with the Retail Prices Index - it's so simple/basic yet it gets to many people frothing with anger (the same people, incidentally, who'd presumably expect the purchasing power of their own salary/pension to increase in line with inflation each year?).

    I didn't see the graph, but that ties in with my experiences.

    Sadly it's easy to show the price of something compared to a generation ago to make it sound expensive ("this now costs almost double what it used to" etc), ignoring the fact the prices of most things will roughly double in that time as will wages.

    This is a bigger problem - we seem to have no control over costs in the railway - hence projects routinely going over budget and Network Rail running up huge debts (around fifty billion quid after around fifteen years of operation... they got an easy ride in the early years because BLAME RAILTRACK was a good excuse for turning the taps on and spending money on things but NR has been around for twice as long as Railtrack lasted).

    That's where I'd target my anger (the neverending debts and the lack of control).

    Eye watering?

    It's about three percent - inflation is about three percent - what kind of rise would be acceptable (given that staff will be wanting rises in line with RPI, fuel and infrastructure costs seem to keep going up, Network Rail has already got debts of fifty billion...)?
     
  16. yorkie

    yorkie Administrator Staff Member Administrator

    Messages:
    39,208
    Joined:
    6 Jun 2005
    Location:
    Yorkshire
    Most of my travels to work consist of cycling. When I go further afield, I will use a variety of methods to get cheaper fares.

    This doesn't work for Season tickets, but there are accredited ticket "splitting" sites that reduce the cost of many journeys.
    But fare rises go beyond inflation. Our walk-up fares are higher than they should be, for many journeys, because our policy in this area is not as good as that of many other European countries.
     
  17. BigCj34

    BigCj34 Member

    Messages:
    342
    Joined:
    5 Apr 2016
    Fares did go up significantly under Boris Johnson, so the intention is to amend his predecessors exploits for a few years.
     
  18. jon0844

    jon0844 Veteran Member

    Messages:
    23,080
    Joined:
    1 Feb 2009
    Location:
    UK
    By cutting just about everything? I bet people didn't think they were voting for that.
     
  19. BigCj34

    BigCj34 Member

    Messages:
    342
    Joined:
    5 Apr 2016
    Splitting is great for now and easier than ever, but it is not a user-friendly way to use the railway; foreign visitors are almost certainly not going to know about it. However I do not have confidence any fare reform will introduce through tickets that provide fares as cheap as the split ticketing equivalent.

    While there is an element of logic to inflationary fare increases, it is an insult to commuters who have been plagued by strikes and the mass timetabling problems of the past year. Indeed compensation can be claimed, but still won't be considered enough by many. It is only really justified if the services worked mostly on time.
     
  20. cuccir

    cuccir Established Member

    Messages:
    2,981
    Joined:
    18 Nov 2009
    It's reasonable to complain at the continued use of RPI. The government ditched RPI in favour of CPI in 2013. To quote from the ONS:

    There are various issues with RPI but the main one seems to be that it is too closely tied to house prices, and the rise in house prices doesn't have much direct impact on the amount of cash most people have.

    According to Swanlowpark, £1000 in 2012 at RPI is now worth £1187; at CPI is now worth £1121. In other words, it's now about 5.5% lower. So an annual Brighton to London season ticket, for example, would be £222 a year cheaper at this measure.
     
  21. gordonthemoron

    gordonthemoron Established Member

    Messages:
    5,735
    Joined:
    4 Sep 2006
    Location:
    Milton Keynes
    The Tfl fare freeze has not affected price caps though
     
  22. yorkie

    yorkie Administrator Staff Member Administrator

    Messages:
    39,208
    Joined:
    6 Jun 2005
    Location:
    Yorkshire
    I don't think its user unfriendly, but you are right people need to be told about it!
    This really is something for a new thread, but they'd have to introduce a lot of new fares for splitting to not be consistently cheaper on longer distance CrossCountry journeys.
     
  23. swt_passenger

    swt_passenger Veteran Member

    Messages:
    18,215
    Joined:
    7 Apr 2010
    Or day or season travelcard prices, which are under joint control of TfL/DfT. As people discovered last year, when they renewed zonal seasons, there’s a lot of spin involved in this.
     
  24. BigCj34

    BigCj34 Member

    Messages:
    342
    Joined:
    5 Apr 2016
    I don't quite understand how a fare freeze and the hopper fares would create such a budgetary black hole, and surely the hopper fare should even encourage more bus patronage? Have there been cuts from central government which have largely contributed to the deficit?
     
  25. greyman42

    greyman42 On Moderation

    Messages:
    843
    Joined:
    14 Aug 2017
    I see commuter coaches in The City lined up along Queen Victoria St. and the Victoria Embankment waiting to take commuters home. They also pick up at Canary Wharf. I don't know what the fares are but they are luxury coaches and you would be guaranteed a seat, however I do appreciate that in the amount of commuters London has, these are a drop in the ocean.
     
  26. Railwaysceptic

    Railwaysceptic Member

    Messages:
    299
    Joined:
    6 Nov 2017
    Oh, come on! The intention was that an ambitious career politician would win an election by damaging the finances of public transport in London.
     
  27. cholsey-choose

    cholsey-choose Member

    Messages:
    137
    Joined:
    28 Feb 2017
    I wouldn't call Johnson a career politician, he was a journalist too.
     
  28. urpert

    urpert Member

    Messages:
    728
    Joined:
    1 Dec 2015
    Location:
    Zone 4
    Though many of them exist to take commuters home to North Kent, which is currently easier to access by road from Canary Wharf than by rail. Crossrail may have quite an effect on their business model, though it still won’t be a particularly quick rail route to the Medway Towns (where most of those coaches seem to be going).
     
  29. MikeWh

    MikeWh Established Member Senior Fares Advisor

    Messages:
    5,333
    Joined:
    15 Jun 2010
    Location:
    Crayford
    Well quite. The DfT even have some control over the London Overground fares on the lines out of Liverpool Street. It's a mess.
    Yes, TfL has had a funding cut from central government as well.
    Boris wasn't the one contesting an election promising a fares freeze. More seriously there was already a significant difference between commuting fares on TfL set routes compared to NR set routes. The fares freeze has made that worse and there is more to come. Mr Khan may well find his support in South London drops unless he can do something to mitigate the two-tier structure.
     
  30. Railwaysceptic

    Railwaysceptic Member

    Messages:
    299
    Joined:
    6 Nov 2017
    I'm sorry: you have misunderstood what (and whom) I was driving at.
     
  31. RJ

    RJ Established Member

    Messages:
    7,047
    Joined:
    25 Jun 2005
    Location:
    Rail replacement bus cab
    You could work for the railways and get a 75-100% discount on commuting.
     
    Last edited: 4 Dec 2018

Share This Page