Chris Heaton-Harris, the Minister for Railways, wants to delegate decision-making to regional heads of the new public body Great British Railways in the hope of avoiding the annual national outcry.
He told a parliamentary meeting: “Local leaders will have to… make decisions about service levels and what those tariffs might look like. And these decisions, as I have learned in recent years, are not the easiest ones to make.
“I think the closer you can make decisions to those affected by them, the better your decisions.
“The aspiration is to delegate as much as [possible] in a sane way that doesn’t fracture the tracks.
Amid rising inflation, economists forecast train tickets to rise 3.2% in January under the current pattern that pegs fare increases to the retail price index (RPI) of the previous July. .
The decision to stick with the RPI, which is usually higher than the government’s official consumer price index (CPI), has angered public transport activists for years.
A 2.6% increase, delayed until March this year, has been widely criticized by passenger groups.