Image: Flickr / Elliot Brown

Rail fares rise amidst cost of living crisis

Amidst the ongoing cost of living crisis, the price of regulated rail fares have increased by up to 5.9%.

This price increase is higher than last year’s increase of 4.8%, and the highest annual rise since a 6.1% rise in 2021, but still remains below inflation levels.

Regulated rail fares, which are directly influenced by the government, account for about 45% of the total. This includes the price of most season tickets, as well as travel cards, and some off-peak returns.

One commuter interviewed by The BBC said that the fares represented an “extortionate” price given the poor services in comparison to European rail. This commuter also stated that these prices are despite the trains in England being “not always on time, most of the time they’re cancelled, delayed”.

Such increases reflect the broader trend of inflation across the economy, in which privately regulated rail fares have experienced a more significant increase compared to those set by the government.

An open return journey from Coventry to London, for example, will cost travelers approximately £99.20, with journeys from Coventry to Bristol reaching prices of £144.70.

In the case of Edinburgh, where a passenger departing from Coventry might pay £349.00 for an open return, travelling by plane presents the cheaper alternative, at £101 for a return ticket.

Students at Warwick contacted by The Boar have reported making changes in their travel decisions in response to these increases. For instance, one student spoke of “increased travel time… [due to efforts] to take the bus more”, whilst another mentioned not being able to “go home and see family as often” due to increased costs.

With Warwick students returning home from university for the holidays this week, these increases pose a further challenge to students’ personal finances at a time when many are already cutting back on spending due to the cost of living crisis.


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