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Rail travellers face 5.8% ticket hike

Rail travellers in the UK are now staring at a potential 5.8% ticket increase in January 2011 due to the current formula in place. Despite the fact that most focus over the last few days has been on the consumer price index, rail companies are indeed allowed to use the retail price index as the basis for any ticket increases and top this up with a one percentage point increase over and beyond the RPI. While the CPI currently stands at 3.1% for July the RPI stands at 4.8% and with the ability to increase this further, rail travellers face a 5.8% increase at the next review in January 2011.

However, to make matters worse there is some concern that the UK government is considering scrapping the pricing formula and giving rail companies more freedom to implement higher ticket price increases in the future. It would appear that the UK government is in effect returning the pricing formula to the private sector and indeed looking to use "market forces" to dictate any increases in the future. However, this could dramatically impact on the cost of travel for many in the UK at a time when public services are only again beginning to earn the trust of UK consumers.

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