Lincoln train services prices could rise by 4.1%

The cost of the average train ticket to and from Lincoln is expected to rise from 2014 by 4.1%, 1% above the latest inflation figure.

According to the July 2013 Retail Price Index (RPI), the current figure of inflation in the country is at 3.1%.

This figure determines the cost of train fares in the country from January 2014, and it is expected the average ticket will rise 4.1%.

Regulated fares, which includes season tickets, anytime single tickets, and off-peak inter-city return tickets, are usually charged above the rate of inflation to pay for investment in services.

For example, an off-peak return between Lincoln and Nottingham (bought in advance) will cost £16.76 from January 2, 2014. At present, this costs £16.10.

To get to Newark Castlegate after work today with an Anytime Single fare from Lincoln costs £4.70. Next year, you may pay 20p extra.

Train operators can also charge up to 5% above the 4.1% to invest in such services, but must be balanced with a price reduction or lower increase in another form of ticket.

Michael Roberts, Chief Executive of the Association of Train Operating Companies, said: “Government determines how the average season ticket price rise is set each year.

“Since 2004, it has been government policy to allow regulated fares to rise above inflation in order to support investment in more trains, better stations and faster services.

“This is helping to drive passenger satisfaction to near record levels while seeking to reduce taxpayers’ contribution towards the cost of running the railways.

“In order to help limit future fare rises, the rail industry is working with the government to find ways of providing services even more efficiently, building on the progress that has already been made.”

Unaffordable commute?

However, a number of unions and the public are concerned about the potential cost of train fares, arguing the costs are rising faster than average weekly earnings.

In turn, this can make travelling to work more unaffordable, particularly for season ticket holders.

Unions gathered at some of the country’s busiest stations on August 13 to protest the projected price rise, while those on Twitter tweeted their frustrations to the Transport Secretary with the hashtag “#farefail“.

Trades Union Congress General Secretary Frances O’Grady said: “Every year hard-pressed rail commuters have to hand over an ever greater share of their earnings just to get to and from work.

“Wage-busting fare rises are not even going on much needed service improvements either. Instead, passenger and public subsidies are lining the pockets of the shareholders of private rail companies.

“You only have to look at the nationalised East Coast mainline to see that public ownership of the railways not only works, it provides a better deal for passengers and taxpayers alike.

“Ministers must put evidence before ideology, halt the privatisation of the East Coast mainline and look at bringing our railways back into public ownership.”

Mick Whelan, General Secretary of ASLEF, the train drivers’ union, said: “ASLEF condemns soaring fares for passengers – just one of the increased costs of privatisation we are all suffering – which is driving more and more people into transport poverty.

“The increased costs of travel, and the inability of some people now to afford to travel, contrasts very sharply with the increased profits made by the privatised train operating companies, and the money they are taking out of Britain’s railways, which should, of course, be a public service in the public sector.”