UK Government announces delay to rail fare rises until March 2021

UK Government announces a delay to rail fare rises until March 2021, instead of the normal annual January change, offering a significant window for commuters who cannot work at home to purchase cheaper season tickets at the existing rate and allowing greater flexibility in these uncertain times.

Regulated fares will then increase by RPI+1, a 2.6 per cent rise, the lowest increase in four years, with the effect of the delay meaning that key workers and those using the network throughout 2021 will pay about the same across the year than if fares had risen by inflation at the usual time.

Those renewing season tickets will be able to do so until February 28, getting up to a year’s travel at the old rates.

Changes to the price of tickets reflect the need to continue investing in modernising the network, improving punctuality and reliability, and also recognises the unprecedented taxpayer support over the last 12 months.

The government anticipates providing around £10 billion (€11.1 billion) to protect the railway through its emergency agreements with rail operators and hopes with this change they can help recover some of the significantly increased costs met by taxpayers to keep services running during the pandemic.

Chris Heaton-Harris, Rail Minister, said: “Delaying the change in rail fares ensures passengers who need to travel have a better deal this year.

“Right now, our priority must be ensuring our transport network is safe for passengers and staff, and we urge members of the public to follow the government’s advice and only travel when absolutely necessary.

“By setting fares sensibly, and with the lowest actual increase for 4 years, we’re ensuring that taxpayers are not overburdened for their unprecedented contribution, ensuring investment is focused on keeping vital services running and protecting frontline jobs.”

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Matthew Roscoe

Originally from the UK, Matthew is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at