Protest at Norwich train station over 1.9pc increase in regulated rail fares

NOR4NOR supporters at Thorpe Railway Station for a rally as part of the national Action for Rail day

NOR4NOR supporters at Thorpe Railway Station for a rally as part of the national Action for Rail day. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2016

Protestors turned out in force to voice their frustration over a 1.9pc increase in regulated rail fares.

The group picketed Norwich train station yesterday as part of a day of action at stations across the country.

The increase, which was determined by July's Retail Price Index inflation measure, will take effect from January next year.

Around half of all rail fares are regulated, including season tickets on most commuter journeys and some off-peak return tickets.

It comes as research from trade unions suggest rail fares have risen at double the speed of wages since 2010.

Speaking at Norwich station yesterday, David Welsh, acting governor for Norfolk for Nationalisation of Rail, said the increase was not acceptable.

He said: 'We're here today because we are part of a national campaign run by Action for Rail in order to bring into the public stance what is going on with the privatising, to make the argument that fare increases, poor service and over crowding is just not acceptable in this day and age.

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'We need a modernised railway system, one in which we need more control over, I think we have a vision of the alternative, a publicly owned railway system where people can travel safely and cheaply, instead of those on low incomes being effectively excluded from the railway system.'

Analysis from the trade unions revealed that fares have increased by 25pc in the last six years, while average weekly earnings have grown by 12pc.

To help commuters in Norfolk save money, we have found ways to seek out the cheapest fares to some of the most popular destinations.

The Government said it was investing record amounts in the country's railways.

Rail minister Paul Maynard said: 'Wages are growing faster than train ticket prices thanks to action by the Government and our commitment to cap regulated rail fares in line with inflation will save annual season ticket holders £425 on average in the five years to 2020.

'Passengers want more reliable journeys in comfort and with better facilities. That is why we are investing record amounts in our railways, delivering the biggest rail modernisation programme for over a century, providing more seats, more services, wi-fi and air conditioning.'

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