Tuesday, 17 August 2010

ConDems face fares conundrum

July's retail price index (RPI) inflation figure is 4.8%.

Train companies are allowed to increase regulated fares, including season tickets, by 1% above the July RPI.

So in January most regulated fares should increase by 5.8%.

Sadly South Eastern passengers suffer an RPI +3% increase to pay for the Javelin High Speed domestic services that errr... no one is using.

Meanwhile Petrol-head has indicated that locking regulated fares increases to RPI +1% cannot be guaranteed.

Which means that in January regulated fares could actually increase by more than 5.8%.

Happily in their pre-election manifesto the LibDems committed to reducing the cost of rail travel by changing the January fares formula to RPI -1%.

Now. Transport is supposed to be one of the red line areas for the Muesli Munchers in coalition.

So who will blink first - the Jag driving
Petrol-head or power before principle Cleggy?

UPDATE: This from 37052...

What Petrol-head has overlooked is that the RPI/ fares increase is contractualised, so to raise fares by more he will need to negotiate a contract change with the TOCs.

Or I suspect DaFT will have to do it for him as he’s got a motor show to open, but the point is he’ll want to reduce the subsidy profiles accordingly.

Methinks the canny TOCs will drive a hard bargain and he won’t see as much moolah as he’s thinking he will!