Rail fares to increase by 1.6% in 2021 as inflation rises following lockdown ease


RAIL passengers in England, Scotland, and Wales are set to be hit with ticket price hikes of 1.6% next year as inflation has risen to its highest level in four months.

The retail prices index (RPI) measure of inflation, which is used to determine rail fares, rose from 1.1% in the year to June to 1.6% in the year to July.

Rail fares are set to rise next year as increases are linked to inflation

Inflation has risen in the year to July as lockdown measures eased

Elsewhere, the consumer prices index including housing costs (CPIH) rose from 0.6% to 1.1%, while the consumer prices index (CPI), which excludes housing costs, rose from 1.1% to 1.6%.

The largest factor pushing up costs was rising prices for recreation and culture as many businesses, including pubs and restaurants, started reopening their doors again in July after lockdown.

Petrol and diesel prices also soared by their largest monthly increase in almost ten years due to a rebound in global oil prices, says the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Rising clothing, furniture and household goods prices also pushed up inflation.

Jonathan Athow, deputy national statistician for economic statistics at the ONS, said: “Inflation has risen, in part, due to the largest monthly pump price increase in nearly a decade, as international oil prices rose from their lows earlier this year.”

What does inflation mean for rail fares?

What’s known as regulated rail fares usually increase every January in England, Scotland, and Wales in line with July’s RPI figure.

These are fares regulated by the government and they include season tickets on most commuter routes, some off-peak return tickets on long-distance journeys, and tickets for travel around major cities at any time.

Fare increases are usually confirmed later in the year, but there is speculation ministers are considering delaying the 2021 rise due to low passenger numbers.

Last year, fares in England rose by a much larger 2.8%.

More to follow…

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