It’s not just commuters

By | Category: Travel rumblings

The fare increases for 2020 have been announced.  They will rise by an average of 2.7% more for rail tickets from 2 January.

On average, travelling on Transport for Wales will save you 1% in 2020 over what you would pay this year.

As usual, all the media are portraying the increase as bad for commuters. No reference that I have seen has been made on the problems caused to day trippers, holidaymakers and tourists. Maybe they think holidaymakers don’t care.

But those making day trips and holidays in Wales will fare better. Overall there has been a drop of 1% there.

But the increases affect only regulated fares which seem to amount to about 40% of all tickets sold. These tend to be season tickets and those that are sold for rush hour trips. It means that 60% of all fares – the majority –   could cost any amount more and rail companies will make the decision.

Since holidaymakers and day trippers travel outside these times so they may face higher fares than those covered by the 2.7% rise.

The rail companies point to the fact that 98p in every £1 goes into investment to improve the railways. This may be true but travellers are tired of having this same story trotted out year-after-year. If it is true then the rail companies and the Rail Delivery Group have a mammoth task to persuade us that the perception most people have is wrong.

Perception is a difficult subject to alter because it relies little on what the truth really is. Travellers don’t see little improvements and the fact that customer satisfaction ratings as published by the consumer watchdog group, Transport Focus, show that only 47% believe that train fares are good value for money shows the magnitude of the task facing rail companies.

The simple way would be not to raise fares for a few years. But that isn’t going to happen is it?

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