Train fares are expected to rise by 3.5 per cent from January – as trust in rail companies has fallen following the chaotic timetable shift earlier this year.
Economists are predicting that the Retail Prices Index measure of inflation – the number used by the Department for Transport to set rail fare increases – will have risen 3.5 per cent in July. The figures will be published on Wednesday.
It follows a 3.6 per cent rise at the start of this year, the highest rise in five years, and has bolstered campaigners’ calls for the government to freeze fares and start using the Consumer Prices Index, which excludes mortgage repayments and tends to be lower as a result.
And it comes as a survey by consumer body Which? revealed the train industry was the UK’s second least-trusted consumer industry. Just 23 per cent of users trust the service, down six percentage points since last summer.
Consumer satisfaction with train operators had fallen to 72 per cent from 62 per cent a decade ago.
“In fact, this makes train travel one of the least-trusted consumer industries, beaten to last place only by car dealers,” Which said.
In May, an overhaul of rail timetables led to widespread rail disruption with passengers of numerous operators including Northern, Thameslink, Southern and Great Northern all affected by widespread cancellations, reduced services and smaller trains.