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Fares rise on 2 January 2019

News   •   Dec 31, 2018 13:52 GMT

Fares on Thameslink, Great Northern, Southern and Gatwick Express will rise by an average of 2.97% on 2 January 2019 which is less than the rate of inflation and less than the national average.

We appreciate that many of our passengers have had a difficult year. Thameslink and Great Northern services are back on track and on 10 December we introduced 200 extra services to complete the rollout of the May timetable. We thank passengers for their patience.

As background:

  • Season tickets and most anytime fares are regulated by the Government and are set to rise by the July rate of inflation of 3.2%; the increase to off-peak and other fares has reduced GTR’s average figure
  • The Department for Transport approves all fares and receives all ticket sales money for GTR services. We, unlike other rail companies, collect a management fee but do not take a share of ticket revenue
  • Successive governments have decided that passengers paying fares should cover a greater proportion of the cost of running the railway, freeing up taxpayer funding for record levels of investment in infrastructure to improve journeys and support economic growth
  • GTR has created space for 50,000 more passengers into and out of London in each peak through increased services, new trains and longer trains
  • GTR has introduced more than 1,300 new air-conditioned train carriages and will provide 150 more in 2019, on the Great Northern route to and from Moorgate in London
  • GTR has introduced new cross-London routes creating, for example, direct journeys between Peterborough and Cambridge to London Bridge and Gatwick
  • Rail companies are working together to offer even better value for money to people where possible with the 26-30 Railcard set to launch on the 2nd January offering people in this age bracket 1/3 off rail travel
  • We appreciate that many of our passengers have had a difficult year and an additional compensation scheme has refunded those worse affected by last May's timetable disruption up to four weeks’ worth of fares, which is the equivalent to 8% off their fare this year

Additional information for specific routes


Southern’s great value advance fares have been frozen and for the 11th year running, passengers can travel for as little as £5 between London and the coast (e.g. Brighton, Chichester and Eastbourne).

Gatwick Express

The Gatwick Express single fare to/from Victoria has been frozen for the 6th year running at £19.90.

Southern, Great Northern and Thameslink

Accompanied children can still travel for a flat fare of £2 on many journeys (which is half the price of that offered in many other parts of the country).

Stations on the Peterborough & Cambridge routes (Great Northern and Thameslink)

Passengers using off-peak day tickets can now travel home from London during the evening peak at no extra charge to stations on the Peterborough and Cambridge routes, north from Potters Bar and north from Cuffley.

For example, a passenger who travels on the first off-peak train at 09:47 from Stevenage and buys a One Day Travelcard today has to pay £31.90 to return in the evening peak (between 16:29 and 19:02). From 2 January they will be able to buy an off-peak ticket to do this for just £26.20, saving £5.70.

Passengers can also make further savings. Off-peak tickets (unlike peak tickets) allow passengers to take up to four children with them for just £2 each and if they are travelling with at least another two adults they will also save a third off with a GroupSave discount, again with no time restriction on their journey home.

Those stations that do not currently have an evening peak restriction on the use of an Off Peak day ticket will still benefit from the introduction of new Super Off Peak weekday tickets.

The Rail Delivery Group has published this information explaining rail fares.