Rail commuters could see fares rocket by 3.5 per cent in 2019 despite timetable chaos

The exact rise will be determined by the rate of inflation — which the Department for Transport uses to decide how much prices can go up by.

The July retail prices index will be revealed on Wednesday by the Office for National Statistics.

It is widely tipped to be 3.5 per cent — which, if put on train fares, would bump up the annual cost of getting to work by £150 a year.

A Campaign for Better Transport spokesman urged the Government to "commit to a fares freeze".

He said: "Given the mess surrounding the new timetable, the lack of improvements and the failure to deliver compensation, the Government cannot go on telling passengers that fare increases are justified."

Manuel Cortes, general secretary of the Transport Salaried Staffs' Association, told the Press Association that services are in "free fall".

He said: "Justice for passengers means dropping the annual rip-off rise and also simplifying the Byzantine fare structure which privatisation has imposed.

"Better still, end this costly farce. Put passengers before profits by bringing our railways back into public ownership."

The DfT said fare rises were “unwelcome” but needed.

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