Anger as rail fares increase by 3.5pc - and they could go even higher

Train fares rise - again... Train fares rise - again...

Tuesday, August 19, 2014
11:22 AM

Rail passengers will face average season ticket price rises of 3.5pc in January following the announcement of the July inflation figures.

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The new-year rises are based on the previous July’s rate of Retail Price Index (RPI) inflation plus 1pc.

With the Office for National Statistics announcing today that the RPI rate for July 2014 was 2.5pc, commuters in England will have to fork out an average 3.5pc extra in January unless the Government, decides, as it did for January 2014, to keep the rate to RPI plus 0pc.

Train companies also have a “flex” rule which allows them to increase some regulated fares by 2pc above the average as long the overall average remains at the RPI plus 1pc level. This means some fares could go up by 5.5pc in the new year.

The rise was condemned by Labour, with shadow transport secretary Mary Creagh saying: “David Cameron has failed to stand up for working people struggling with the cost-of-living crisis.”

The TSSA transport union said Conservative ministers had to stop the annual “persecution of millions of rail passengers with inflation-busting increases”.

And the Campaign for Better Transport pointed out that fares have gone up by more than 24pc since 2010, while wages had only risen by 6.9pc over the same period.

Rail Minister Claire Perry acknowledged that passengers had had to contend with “inflation-busting fare rises almost every year over the last decade” but insisted the Government was committed to “fair fares”.

She said: “What we have got to do is make sure rail passengers, who could be forgiven for thinking ‘What on earth am I getting for these rises I’ve seen over the last decade?’, start to realise that they are paying fair fares for comfortable commuting.”

Ms Creagh said: “David Cameron has allowed train companies to sting passengers with inflation-busting fare rises of over 20% since 2010, costing them hundreds of pounds.

“We can’t go on like this. The choice facing passengers is between fares rising another 24% by 2018 under the Tories, or a Labour government which will cap annual fares on every route and enact the biggest railway reforms since the Tories’ botched privatisation, delivering a better deal for passengers and taxpayers.”

TSSA general secretary Manuel Cortes said “It is an absurd political myth that fares have to rise above inflation every year to pay for new lines. It is high time to stop this annual persecution of rail passengers.”

David Sidebottom, director of rail customer watchdog Passenger Focus, said: “Many passengers will be concerned about today’s news about the fare rise.

“This level of fare increase puts more pressure on the railways to ensure passengers get an excellent service for the money they are paying.”

“We hope the Government will step in again as it did last year, to ensure that train fares in England do not rise above the rate of inflation announced today.”

TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said: “It’s grim news for commuters that they face yet another year of fare hikes above inflation, while their wages keep dragging behind inflation. The cost to passengers of the failed privatisation of our railways keeps growing year on year.”

Train drivers’ union Aslef said rail privatisation had “left us with a fragmented system which is all about making a private profit at public expense”, while the RMT transport union described the January 2105 rise as “a kick in the teeth” for passengers.

14 comments

  • Not being funny, we all moan that prices go up. Fuel, rail fares, etc, there is one way to stop them going up. It's not demonstrating. It's called don't use them. If fuel goes up, u only use supermarkets, the main chain will lower theirs to get u back. Same goes for train fares. If only for a week u switched to car or coach, their profits will drop forcing them to rethink their prices. Standing outside a station demonstrating will not make the boss think "oh no, I better lower prices". Do something about it, by not using their services or stop moaning about it.

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    Chris Greenhalgh

    Tuesday, August 19, 2014

  • Compare the expensive chaos of railways in Britain with Northern Ireland. There, there railways are still in public ownership and control, usage is rocketing far higher than here, fares are reasonable and almost all of their stock is less than 10 years old.

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    marty r

    Tuesday, August 19, 2014

  • added to the fact when the goverment is giving contracts out to foreign companies when our last remaining train builder "bombardier" is needing work

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    21

    Tuesday, August 19, 2014

  • I love railways but nothing illustrates more the shortcomings and shortsightedness of politicians like the treatment of our railway system. To the French and Germans it is a vital economic asset and a symbol of national pride,not to be run down, mercilessly pruned, then sold off to the highest bidder.This sad apology for a transport system is inflexible,expensive, unreliable,and the partial reason for the country's economic decline. Now they've managed to price it out of reach of many people, so rail travel is no longer a viable option.

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    Harry Rabinowitz

    Tuesday, August 19, 2014

  • Sorry, should be millions, IE £600 million leaving the UK tax free

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    WTH

    Tuesday, August 19, 2014

  • Another example of broken Britain and how the British people have been stitched up. We used to have some of the best rail facilities in the World, Having worked in a number of countries in recent years I can confirm we now have some of the worst, most expensive, unreliable, poorly maintained, overcrowded rail facilities in the developed world. It is only due to the majority of hardworking rail staff at the sharp end of the business that the system operates. Any . major services that are essential to the running of the country should be Nationalised and run properly. Unfortunately it seems that almost every essential service from utilities to transport that we have to depend on has deteriorated due to Foreign takeovers, lack of investment, profit & bonus taking, asset stripping etc whilst the citizens of this country are paying dearly. The so called government appointed Watch Dogs are a joke! Are they ttp ?

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    Grey Fox

    Tuesday, August 19, 2014

  • Should nationalise all rail and utilities to keep money for UK. Just look at Anglian Water for example, bought cor £1.2 billion, turnover £1 billion a year, £400k overheads and the remaining £600k tax free out of this country forever.

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    WTH

    Tuesday, August 19, 2014

  • 97% of rail fares go towards upkeep of the railway - in other words £5 billion in public subsidy goes into the Directors' and shareholders' pockets - NATIONALISE NOW!

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    SM

    Tuesday, August 19, 2014

  • Daisy Roots, I see there are no comments allowed on the Tony Martin article, shame when most people think he did the world a favour. Railways are a cash cow for the governments chums, the amount of money that has gone into the pockets of these people is eye watering.

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    John Bridge

    Tuesday, August 19, 2014

  • Let the car take the strain

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    Phyllis Tyne

    Tuesday, August 19, 2014

  • Haven't gone up enough in my opinion, need to raise the ticket prices higher so they can lower the taxpayer's subsidy.

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    expat

    Tuesday, August 19, 2014

  • OUR WHOLE RAIL SERVICE AND NETWORK IS PATHETIC, STATIONS ARE POORLY MAINTAINED AS OUR THE TRAINS. PRICES ARE ALREADY EXPENSIVE AND THEY WANT US TO PAY MORE!!! MORE. SHOULD NEVER HAVE CHANGED FROM ANGLIA RAILWAYS AS SOON AS THAT HAPPEND IT ALL STARTED TO GO DOWNHILL. ABELLO BOSSES CAN STUFF THEIR GREED RIGHT BACK UP THEIR NOSES WHERE IT BELONGS!!! PEOPLE WON'T PAY UNLESS THEY ARE RICH AND EVEN THEN THEY RELY ON STANDARD CLASS FAIRS FOR THEIR BONUSES. IMPROVE OUR THE MAINTANCE OF OUR STATIONS AND GIVE THEM A PROPER DEEP CLEAN AND REPAINT. NORWICH STATION LOOKS DREADFUL AS DO OTHERS. NO IMPROVEMENT FOR CUSTOMERS= LOSS OF PASSENGERS AND MONEY IF PRICES GO TO HIGH.

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    21

    Tuesday, August 19, 2014

  • I wouldn't mind if you got some service, but having never really used trains til last year, what a shock on how diabolical the service is, late or cancelled trains three times a week on average to Thetford and back. Glad I got a car.

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    WTH

    Tuesday, August 19, 2014

  • The privatised rail companies receive 4 billion pounds of taxpayers money annually in the form of subsidies. Apart from lining the shareholders and directors pockets , I fail to see why this money is handed over. This means that the poor old passengers is getting hammered from both sides. Utterly disgraceful.

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    stormy

    Tuesday, August 19, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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