Rail commuters are facing a 1% increase in season ticket prices, economic forecasts show.
Passengers travelling from Edinburgh to Glasgow could be expected to shell out an extra £42 from January, taking their yearly total to £4242.
The cap on the annual rise in most regulated fares is linked to the previous July’s Retail Prices Index (RPI) measure of inflation, with the 2020 figure being announced by the Office for National Statistics next week.
Howard Archer, chief economic adviser to the EY Item Club, said he expects July’s RPI to be 1%, while the latest forecast from website Trading Economics is for it to be unchanged from June at 1.1%.
Pressure group Campaign for Better Transport has called for the 2021 fare rise to be cancelled, claiming it is “counterproductive” to efforts to encourage passengers back to the railways following the collapse in demand caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
Chief executive Darren Shirley said: “Millions of people around the country are starting to plan their return to work and a rail fare rise in January is the last thing they need.
“Raising rail fares when people are already staying away from the railway will further damage the economy and the environment at a time when we need to be investing in a green, sustainable transport-led recovery.
“The Government should hold fares at the current level and prioritise the introduction of flexible season tickets for the millions of people who will be working and commuting part-time in January.”
Rail fares are increased every January.
The Scottish, UK and Welsh Governments regulate rises for around half of fares, including season tickets on most commuter routes, some off-peak return tickets on long-distance journeys and tickets for travel around major cities at any time.
If the increase is capped at 1%, it will be the lowest limit in five years.
This year’s rise in regulated fares was capped at 2.8%.
Unregulated fares, including advance and peak long-distance tickets, can be increased at the discretion of train companies.