Great Western Railway has announced that as of Monday, June 11, off-peak train fares in Devon and Cornwall are set to see a 5% rate hike.
Ticket prices for all off-peak train journeys within Devon and Cornwall, including ones that travel to and from Taunton, are set to go up by 5%, with a minimum increase of 10p, with the operator stating that changes to customer travel habits are a reason for the change. It said it hoped it would also 'encourage people to travel on quieter trains', despite off-peak travel times being only permitted outside of traditional "peak" times.
With the axing of the previous franchising system with a 'National Rail Concession' model, whereby in return for being paid a fixed fee to operate the railway services in return for all fare revenue going to the Government, the operator also added that the fare hikes would 'generate a sensible financial return to the Government'.
The fare increases comes amid the ongoing cost-of-living crisis and heavy subsidization of bus routes, with a maximum cap of £2 for a single journey on a bus operating across the country.
The GWR spokesperson said: " From June 11, Off-Peak Day fares within Devon and Cornwall, including fares to/from Taunton, are increasing by 5%. This is designed to help manage shifts in customer demand and encouraging travel on quieter trains while ensuring we are generating a sensible financial return for the government.
"As part of the current National Rail Contracts, all revenue is returned to the government, and train operators are paid a fixed management fee.
"The Devon & Cornwall Railcard continues to offer 1/3 off all standard class Anytime or Off-Peak tickets to local residents.
"And Off-Peak fares still offer a significant discount against Anytime fares."
A member of the GWR customer help team further responded to a customer on Twitter, saying: "Our fares team have confirmed that Off Peak day fares within Devon and Cornwall, including to stations Taunton - Axminster West of, increase by 5% with a minimum increase of 10p from 11 June."