It’s nearly the end of 2022, and you might have thought we must have reached the end of the bad news by now, right? Well, you’d be mistaken, obviously. There’s still a little more doom and gloom to fit in before we hit 2023.
Trains have been really, really expensive lately. We know. But it could be about to get even worse. The Department for Transport has just announced that rail fares are to rise by up to 5.9 percent next year, taking effect from March 5. Apparently, the hike could have been a lot higher: for this year only, the government has stepped in to align the increase with the growth in average earnings, rather than straight up inflation.
But since we’re trying to encourage people to swap flights for rail, campaigners have said that any fare hike is a bad one. Plus, after a year of incredibly unreliable train services and rail strikes across the board, passengers might not be too happy about paying even more for them.
David Sidebottom, director of independent watchdog Transport Focus, said that ‘passengers are not getting a value for money service’ and that ‘the need for reform of fares and ticketing in the longer term must not be forgotten’. Meanwhile, shadow transport secretary Louise Haigh said the hike was a ‘sick joke’. Yikes.
Stay in the loop: sign up to Out There, our free newsletter about all the best stuff to do across the UK.