Anger as commuters face 3.2% rail fares rise

  • Anger as commuters face 3.2% rail fares rise

Anger as commuters face 3.2% rail fares rise

Steve Hedley described the Transport Secretary as "failing Grayling" over his call for the rail industry to change the way it calculates fare hikes and staff wages.

Thousands of Scottish commuters are set to see the price of their annual railway season tickets increase by more than £100, raising fears that some will be unable to afford the steep rises.

The Swindon to London Paddington commute is one of the most expensive in the country, rising from £8,740 to £9,020 for an annual season ticket.

The Department for Transport uses the July retail prices index (RPI) measure of inflation, announced by the Office for National Statistics yesterday, to determine the annual increase.

The price increase excludes unregulated fares - first class tickets and advance purchase tickets - which aren't overseen by the government.

Whilst I recognise £300 million is going in to improve our rail line locally, on a day to day basis, passengers across the constituency have no reliable train service.

Chris Grayling, the transport secretary, said that he wanted...

'If it wasn't for the profiteering and exploitation that is endemic after more than two decades of rail privatisation we would have enough cash in the pot to invest in staffing and infrastructure and hold down fares at the same time.

Jeremy Corbyn has slammed train fare hikes as an "insult" to commuters across Britain who are suffering due to the government's "shambolic mismanagement" of the railways.

This comes after passengers were hit with a 3.6% hike in January this year.

However, the chief executive of the Rail Delivery Group Paul Plummer said 98p of every £1 paid in fares went back into running and improving the railway. See story RAIL Fares. The rest are decided by train companies.

"A pat on rail workers' backs and a big thank you would have gone a long way to helping restore some belief amongst rail staff that the man supposed to be in charge of transport in England actually gets what's happening on our railways as a result of this summer's timetable crisis".

Passenger groups, unions and politicians reacted with anger after the cap on regulated fare rises was confirmed. The government's preferred measure of inflation, CPI, rose to 2.5% in July from 2.4% in June.

Season tickets on most commuter routes, some off-peak return tickets on long-distance journeys and Anytime tickets around major cities. The men and women who run the railway are being singled out while greedy train companies are let off the hook yet again.

The transport secretary said he was "very disappointed" by the union's reaction and argued that the lower inflation measure is used by "pretty much the whole of the rest of the public sector".

"The fares should at least be frozen if not reduced as passengers are not getting what they pay for and I have joined my other Conservative MPs in speaking out against this fare rise".

"We're investing heavily in improving the reliability of our existing trains, upgrading stations, making ticket purchase simpler and easier, improving vehicle parks and raising customer service standards, to ensure that our customers get the best possible value for money".