The newest rail fare rise, which takes impact on the primary working day of 2019, has pushed the price of intercity journey for some commuters above £1 a mile.

The Anytime standard-class fare for the 24-mile journey between Swindon and Didcot Parkway rises on 2 January by 80p to £24.20, a value of £1.01 for every mile.

The GWR fare is the one possibility for commuters who desire a “walk-up” ticket for the 17-minute journey between 6am and 9am.

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The Heathrow Specific stays Britain’s priciest prepare at £1.70 a mile. However for a major intercity journey to rise above a pound per mile is unprecedented.

The 172-mile journey from Watford Junction to Stockport on Virgin Trains additionally exceeds £1 a mile. The fare rises by £7 to £175.50, representing a fee of £1.02. However a rational traveller would purchase a London-Manchester ticket, which is cheaper but covers the identical journey and extra.

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Anthony Smith, chief government of the unbiased watchdog Transport Focus, mentioned: “This instance underlines the necessity for a radical overhaul of the fares construction. We want part-time season tickets, offers to refill off-peak seats and a contemporary ticketing system to go well with the best way we journey now.” 

A Division for Transport spokesperson mentioned: “These figures don’t keep in mind the complete vary of fares accessible. The UK has a few of the least expensive advance fares in Europe and plenty of of those journeys may be made for a fraction of the value.” 

Rail fares throughout Britain historically rise on the primary working day of January. In 2019 “regulated” fares have elevated by a median of three.1 per cent – fractionally beneath the retail value index (RPI) for July 2018. 

This class contains season tickets within the London space, Anytime fares round main cities and plenty of off-peak returns on long-distance journeys. Different “walk-up” costs sometimes rise by the identical share.

Submit-Christmas trains marred by engineering works and strikes

Mick Whelan, normal secretary of the prepare drivers’ union Aslef, mentioned: “Wages aren’t conserving tempo with inflation and but the prepare firms, and their chum the transport secretary Chris Grayling, are pushing up costs but once more.”

Robert Nisbet, regional director of the Rail Supply Group, which signify the rail trade, informed The Unbiased: “No person desires to pay extra to journey however cash from fares is essential to supporting the funding in our railway that passengers need and the economic system wants.

“It will ship improved carriages, higher connections and extra dependable journeys.”

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The fares rise comes after a horrible yr for thousands and thousands of rail passengers.

Travellers in a number of areas have endured a sequence of strikes over the position of guards, whereas shortages of prepare crews, overrunning engineering initiatives and delayed rolling inventory have brought on issues from southern England to northern Scotland.

Worst of all for commuters who depend upon Thameslink and Northern Rail was the botched introduction of recent schedules in Could 2018.

Nigel Harris, managing editor of Rail journal, known as it “probably the most chaotic, elementary and humiliating failure it has been my misfortune to witness in almost 40 years as a rail journalist”.

Statistics from the Workplace of Rail and Street (ORR) present that 2018 is proving the poorest yr for punctuality since 2005.

One in seven trains have been recorded as “late” by the trade’s efficiency measures of punctuality, which implies 5 minutes for shorter journeys and 10 minutes for longer-distance companies.

Harish Patel, Unite’s nationwide officer for the rail trade, mentioned: “On daily basis the case for the general public possession of the rail trade grows stronger, particularly after the woeful efficiency of 2018.

“Fares ought to have been frozen. The three.1 per cent rise is an insult.”

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From Preston to Manchester, a journey on the Northern Rail blighted by overrunning engineering work, the timetable fiasco and strikes in 2018, an annual season ticket rises by 3.2 per cent from £2,396 to £2,472.

Season-ticket holders from the prime minister’s constituency of Maidenhead can pay an additional £96 for a yr’s journey to London, with a value of £3,188.

A versatile annual season ticket to the capital from Epsom, whose MP is the transport secretary, Chris Grayling, goes up by £68 to £2,296.

The TUC says that a median wage-earner commuting from Chelmsford to London pays 13 per cent of their earnings for a season ticket, whereas a comparable commute prices simply 2 per cent of common wage in France and four per cent in Germany.

The unrestricted London-Manchester one-way fare goes up by £6 to £175. Between Edinburgh and Glasgow an Anytime single rises by 50p (3.5 per cent) to £14.90.

However an off-peak single goes up by solely 30p to £13.20, a rise of two.Three per cent, due to a pledge by the Scottish authorities to cap fare rises at one per cent beneath RPI outdoors rush hours.

Mark Smith, the previous British Rail supervisor who runs the Seat61.com world rail web site, mentioned: “Britain has probably the most commercially aggressive fares in Europe, with the very best fares designed to get most income from enterprise journey, and a few of the lowest fares designed to get extra income by filling extra seats.”

The RMT union normal secretary, Mick Money, warned in his new yr’s message that industrial motion will “ratchet up” within the long-running dispute over the position of guards.