Large fare increases in Northern England has led to rail passengers having to budget more money for travel. Apparently, this news came after rail companies in the area decided to introduce peak evening fares.
This new rule is going to affect people in parts of Yorkshire and Greater Manchester. These passengers will no longer be able to buy off-peak return tickets for travel times between 4 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. For those who do not know, off-peak tickets are usually around 50 percent cheaper than buying tickets during peak hours.
George Osborne, the chancellor, was able to soften this huge blow a little bit by announcing that there will be regulations on rising fares as of January. This means that he has withdrawn the right for rail companies to increase fares on individual routes. It also means that fare increases are going to be capped at just 2.5 percent in 2015.
Many passengers have already seen the cost of rail travel increase. For example, a return ticket from Rochdale to Wigan is around £11 during peak hours, compared to the £4.20 that this return ticket costs during off-peak hours. In total, that is an increase of around 162 percent.
Many rail operators, including Northern Rail, have been pressed by the Department for Transport to raise their own extra revenue. This is being done because the government is looking to cut subsidies for rail companies. The best way for Northern Rail, for example, to increase its revenue is to charge higher fees on its more than 2,500 daily routes.
Rail prices are set to rise all over the country; it’s not just England that will be dealing with these peak-hour increases in the long term. Passengers of all ages will likely be paying more for their tickets in the years to come. The government is doing what it can to distance itself from rail and make rail operators cover more of their own costs.
The biggest problem is that rail companies say that passengers are at their max. Northern Rail, for instance, says that most passengers are not willing to pay more. Many of these passengers are already upset with the amount of money that they have to pay for a season ticket. Seeing these prices increase because of the inclusion of peak hours will put the tickets outside of their comfort range.
However, Northern Rail is doing its best to show people that higher ticket prices will be good. For example, higher fares will ensure that there are fewer crowds on commuter trains. This is particularly true for crowding that occurs during peak hours.