Long-distance fares rise least

Long-distance fares increased by less than other sectors in January 2018, according to the Office of Rail and Road’s (ORR’s) latest analysis. 

Fares for the sector increased by 2.3% year on year, compared with 3.2% for operators in London and the South East, and 3.7% for regional operators. The national average was 2.9%.

In real terms, ORR says long-distance fares have risen by 35.8% since 1995, regional fares by 13.9%, and those in London and the South East by 12.2%. The national average is 20.5%. 

In terms of expenditure on fares, London and the South East accounted for 45% of the 2017 total, with long-distance 40.1% and regional 14.9%. 

The average First Class unregulated fare rose by 1.4% compared with January 2017 (a 2.5% real terms decrease), with unregulated Standard Class fares rising by 2.9% (a 1% real terms drop). Regulated Standard Class fares increased by 3.3%, but that was still a 0.7% decrease in real terms compared with the previous year. 

Anytime and season tickets, which account for almost half of ticket revenue, rose by an average of 3.1% compared with January 2017. Off-peak tickets increased by 3.7%, the largest increase by ticket type in January this year. 

Advance tickets rose by 1.1%, but increased their market share from 16.2% to 17.3%. The market share for season tickets fell from 22.6% to 20.9%. 

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