The increase in rail prices for 2014 has been confirmed today (December 24th), with fares set to rise by an average of 2.8 per cent.
Earlier in the month, chancellor George Osborne announced that the changes would be in line with July’s Retail Price Index and the jump represents the lowest in four years.
However, with many employees having seen their pay frozen or even cut over the last 12 months, the news will still come as a blow to those who use the rail network as their daily commute.
While prices will generally change on January 2nd, those for journeys within London will shift later in the month to allow Transport for London to accommodate the updated fees on its system.
Michael Roberts, director general of the Rail Delivery Group – the organisation that speaks on behalf of the rail industry – said: “Nobody likes paying more to travel by train, particularly to go to work, but billions are being spent to serve passengers better.”
With many businesses based in areas where workers are likely to travel into the office by train, this may come as little consolation though. One solution is to allow staff to reap the benefits of a mobile working policy, with things like video conferencing and cloud computing systems improving the way that people can do their jobs without having to always make the commute to the workplace.
This flexibility can also be used as a motivational tool as well as a tactic for retaining staff. In addition to this, a recent study by Business Environment found that over one in six workers already dealt with stress by doing their work somewhere other than their office.
According to the report, December and January were the two most stressful months of the year, with 19 per cent and 15 per cent of the votes respectively.