Election 2015

Reality Check: Does freeze mean no rail fare rises?

Chart showing inflation and rail fares

The Conservatives say they will "freeze" rail fares in England for the whole of the next parliament.

However, read the small print, and this doesn't mean your rail fare will stay the same. As the Tories go on to explain, prices are allowed to rise - but only in line with inflation.

And it's not the measure of inflation that you may be used to. Regulated rail fares are pegged to inflation measured by the retail prices index (RPI), which is generally higher than the headline rate of inflation, which is the consumer prices index (CPI).

This would still control costs for many commuters. But would all tickets be subject to the rule? The policy only targets regulated rail fares, which include season tickets and some off-peak returns as well as anytime tickets in major cities.

Also, it is only the average regulated fare from each rail company that has to be in line with inflation, so some may rise by more and some by less.

The House of Commons Library said in January 2015 that 45% of fares were regulated. So people buying the unregulated fares - such as advance purchase bookings and other fares that fall outside the scope of regulation - would not necessarily benefit from the Conservatives' pledge.

Election 2015 - Reality Check

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