HL Deb 29 November 2001 vol 629 cc63-4WA
Lord Bradshaw

asked Her Majesty's Government:

By what amount the various categories of unregulated train fares have increased between Manchester and London since the railway was privatised, comparing them with the retail prices index. [HL1405]

The Minister of State, Department for Transport, Local Government and the Regions (Lord Falconer of Thoroton)

Fares regulation in franchise agreements is based on the prices of British Rail fares in the summer of 1995, the year when the first franchises were let. The table below shows the price of non-regulated fares between Manchester and London in 1995 against present prices. Virgin Trains which operates services from Manchester to London, did not begin running the franchise until March 1997. Accumulative RPI since June 1995 is 20.2 per cent.

Fare June 1995 June 2001 % Increase
First Class
Open (Single) £67.00 £126.00 88%
First Class
Open (Return) £134.00 £252.00 88%
Open (Single) £50.00 £92.50 85%
Open (Return) £96.00 £164.00 71%
Super Saver
(Single)* £32.00 £46.00 44%
Super Saver
(Return)* £33.00 £47.00 42%
*routeing has changed from "any reasonable" to "via Chesterfield".

A number of other non-regulated fares have been introduced in the intervening period, the cheapest of which allows return travel for £20. Regulated fares have been pegged to RP1–1 per cent since January 1999.