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Transport Secretary urged to end RPI fare rises as 2.8% increase announced

14 August 2019

The Transport Secretary is being urged to set an end date for RPI linked rail fare rises as passengers learn fares are set to go up by 2.8 per cent next year.

The rise, which is pegged to last month’s Retail Price Index (RPI) figure announced today (14 August), will affect regulated fares, and in particular season tickets, from January 2020 and could mean an increase of £165 for some commuters.

The announcement comes a year after the Government said it would stop using RPI to set future fare rises and switch to CPI instead, but with no date set for the change over, passengers are left paying more again.

Darren Shirley, Chief Executive of Campaign for Better Transport, said: 

“Passengers already pay thousands of pounds to endure overcrowding, delays and cancellations. It’s time to stop the rhetoric on fare increases. The Government should commit to January’s fares rise being linked to CPI and a comprehensive package of rail fare reforms should follow after the Rail Review is complete.”


For further information please contact the press office on 020 3746 2235 or communications@bettertransport.org.uk

Notes to Editors

See examples of season tickets costs for people travelling into London stations

See examples of season ticket costs for people travelling into regional stations

  1. The Government uses the previous July’s Retail Price Index (RPI) figure to set the following year’s regulated fare rises. RPI was 2.8 per cent in July, whereas the Consumer Price Index (CPI) was 2.1 per cent for the same month. Regulated fares account for around 45 per cent of ticket sales; the rest, including things like advance and peak long-distance tickets, can be increased at train companies' discretion. 
  2. Last August the then Transport Secretary, Chris Grayling, said that he wanted to see “lower levels of increases for passengers in future” by switching from using RPI to calculate fare rises to using CPI. The Government has so far given no indication of when it will be making the switch.
  3. Campaign for Better Transport has been calling for the Government to replace RPI with CPI to set fare increases since 2013.
  4. This table shows how much passengers would have paid if CPI had been used to set rail fare increases since 2014 when RPI was dropped as an official measure of inflation.
  5. Campaign for Better Transport operates in England and Wales. We campaign to bring sustainable transport to all and ensure solutions are delivered that improve the wellbeing of communities, quality of life and the environment. Campaign for Better Transport Charitable Trust is a registered charity (1101929).