How rail fares could rise despite the promised freeze

Published: 10th Apr 2015

The Conservatives have promised to continue the current freeze in regulated rail fares for the next five years.

This means that while those rail fares will still increase, they won't rise any faster than the Retail Price Index (RPI) measure of inflation.

The RPI is statistically flawed, does not meet international standards, and is consequently no longer a National Statistic. The bad news for rail users is that it shows consistently higher inflation than the official headline measure of inflation (the Consumer Price Index or CPI).

So while fares might not rise faster than the RPI, they may well rise faster than the CPI—a real terms rise after all.

The House of Commons Library says that about 45% of rail fares are regulated. Regulated fares include season tickets for most commuter journeys, and off-peak fares on most journeys between major cities.

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