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  1. ITV Report

Rail passengers protest against biggest fare rise in five years

Protests are planned across 40 railway stations Photo: PA

Rail passengers on Cumbria and southern Scotland railways have been hit this morning with the largest fare rise in five years.

Protests are planned across 40 stations, including in Cumbria, in opposition to an average hike of 3.4% as it comes into effect on the first working day of 2018.

Stations across Scotland are expected to strike tomorrow, Wednesday 3 January.

Rail fares have risen on average by:

  • 3.2% - ScotRail services
  • 4.6% - TransPennine Express services
  • 3.3% - Virgin Trains West Coast

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Labour claim fares have risen three times faster than wages since the Tories entered office as the dominant coalition power in 2010.

Many season tickets have shot up by more than £100 this year, including in Prime Minister Theresa May's constituency of Maidenhead.

Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) are handing out out chocolates to passengers in a bid to "sweeten the bitter pill" of the price increase.

CBT chief executive Stephen Joseph accused the Government of choosing to "snub rail passengers" by continuing to raise fares while fuel duty is frozen for a seventh consecutive year.

The extra money that season ticket holders will have to fork out this year is almost as much as drivers will save,” Joseph said.

That doesn't seem fair to us or the millions of people who commute by train, especially as wages continue to stagnate. What's good enough for motorists should be good enough for rail passengers."

– Stephen Joseph, chief executive, CBT

The price hike - the largest since 2013 - was determined by the government using last July's Retail Prices Index measure of inflation to determine fares.