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Brace yourselves, rail passengers: fares in the UK are likely to rise massively next year

Rail fares in England could go up by nine percent next year

Charmaine Wong
Written by
Charmaine Wong

In March of this year, train ticket price rises in the UK were capped at 5.9 percent, which sure seemed expensive – but things could’ve been much worse. The cap was dubbed the ‘biggest-ever government intervention’, aiming to protect passengers from the cost-of-living crisis.

However, this means that next year could see much, much larger price increases. Here is everything you need to know about price hikes on UK rail networks in 2024. 

How much are rail fares increasing in 2024?

The good news is that the government has promised to limit the amount rail fares will increase in 2024. The less-good news is that they’ve said nine percent is the maximum amount of increase. Which is a heck of a lot more than this year’s price hike.  

Rail fares typically come into effect in January and usually rise in line with the Retail Price Index (RPI) rate of inflation as it was the previous July. According to the Office of National Statistics, RPI in the UK in July 2023 was nine percent – meaning that prices next year could increase by the same amount. If rail tickets rise by a full nine percent, the Telegraph calculated that some rail route season tickets could rise above £8,000 per year for the first time. 

Of course, it isn’t yet known for sure exactly what the price rise will be. It may well be capped or instead increase according to wage growth. In that case, we’d still get a hike of 7.8 percent, which was the UK’s pay growth rate between April and June 2023.

Here’s to hoping we get another decent rail ticket price cap in seven months or so, eh? 

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