UK rail fares are set to increase by 3.4% on Tuesday 2nd January 2018.
On Tuesday 2nd January 2018 UK rail fares increased again by an average of 3.4%: the biggest price hike seen in the last five years.
The bad news for passengers in the north of England is that they can expect to pay even more as Arriva and TransPennine Express prices have skyrocketed up almost 5%. An increase described by unions as “another kick in the teeth” for British passengers; who now pay the highest travel fares in Europe. Not a very attractive option when trying to encourage people to drive less and use more public transport.
The chief executive of the Rail Delivery Group, Paul Plummer, states: “Alongside investment from the public and private sectors, money from fares is underpinning the partnership railway’s long-term plan to change and improve”. He went on to explain, although it was “a significant increase”, they are “very aware of the pressures on people and the state of the economy”. Well at least they acknowledge they’ve made the prices expensive.
Travellers in Britain are already paying above the odds for what can be described as an often unreliable service of which private profits are often prioritised over public safety. Passengers are increasingly dissatisfied with the service and the frequently overcrowded carriages. The increase will not only affect a large number of people commuting to work but businesses who have employees who rely on trains to get to work-related meetings.
Not to mention the massive impact on passengers who won’t see an increase in the National Minimum and Living wage until April. For the next few months, they will have to make do with the deficit, putting a bigger strain on the already shaky economy.
Individuals who work in the public sector and many other communities who have had their pay and benefits capped or frozen by the government will also undoubtedly struggle with the increase in rail fares.
All passengers want from train companies is a reliable railway, more value for money, and better handling of disruption. Instead, passengers are promised they’ll see investments in new trains and continuous improvements to tracks and signals when in reality, the rail industry fails to meet these promises. It has been reported that one in nine trains was able to meet the rail industry’s punctuality in the past 12 months.
Sadiq Khan, the London mayor, has stated the price increase will infuriate Londoners: “People are rightly fed up. If I can take action with the TfL (Transport for London) and freeze fares while improving services, so should the government. It is about time the government stood up to these underperforming private rail companies”.
Many firms help their people with the financial burden of railway fairs by offering travel loans for those who wish to benefit from the savings made when buying an annual pass, which will result in a significantly lower cost instead of paying a premium on daily or monthly rates.
Employees then simply pay back the price of the pass on a monthly basis, spreading the costs over a much more manageable 12-month period. Not only are you helping to reduce the costs of their commute, but you are also likely to retain that employee because they see you as an employer who cares.
If you have any questions on how you can make internal changes today to help your employees better manage the price hikes, please contact a member of the HPC team: