Rail companies and the government are justifying the price increase based on inflation levels, rail unions demanding pay rises and future investments. The rail fare increase leaves consumers even more frustrated than before. On January 2nd passengers protested at London’s Kings Cross railway station during the morning commute, as an example of their frustration at the rail fare rises. Followed by June 2018 timetable changes, passengers have experienced train cancellations and delays in even greater number than the previous years.
Network rail have stated that the fare rises have and will be invested back to the network; however, the network remains unreliable with a big amount of cancellations and delays raising concerns about where the money is actually being invested.
Government regulates only half of all rail fares while the rest are set at commercial rates. Regulated fares are meant to rise based on the levels of inflation or the Retail Prices Index (RPI). Government regulation on rail industry has to be increased in order for consumers to regain their trust of the rail industry.
For further reading please visit: Passenger Rail in the United Kingdom, Network Rail Limited – Strategy, SWOT and Corporate Finance Report, Network Rail Ltd – Company Profile & SWOT Analysis