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Rail fares on the rise: Breakdown for the Border region

Rail commuters across the country face average price rises by an average of 3.1 per cent.

But how does that break down in the Border region?

  • Northern Rail operates the Carlisle to Newcastle line and are putting prices up by an average of just over 3%.
  • Virgin train prices from Carlisle to Glasgow will go up by nearly 4%.
  • Standard fares on the Carlisle to London service are also going up by over 4%

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Rail group welcomes limit on price hike

Michael Roberts, director general of the Rail Delivery Group, has welcomed the Government's move to limit fare increases.

It follows new rail fares coming into force today that see the price of annual season tickets rise by 3.1 per cent.

"We strongly support the Government’s decision to limit the average increase in Season ticket prices this year.

"This, combined with the determination of train companies to continue attracting passengers, means the average increase across all fares is 2.8%, the lowest in four years.

"To help the Government hold down fares in future, the rail industry is working hard to get more for every pound it spends.

“This year and in coming years, passengers across the country will continue to benefit from billions of pounds spent on improving services.

"As well as introducing more carriages, work will proceed on major projects like the new Birmingham New Street station and thousands of smaller, less visible schemes to improve the railway.”

– Michael Roberts, director general of the Rail Delivery Group

Passengers face rise in rail fares

Passengers will pay higher rail fares from today, with annual tickets rising by an average of 3.1 per cent.

The increase will mean some commuters will be forced to pay more than £5,000 a year.

A number of these fares, including some on the East Coast route, are going up by much less than 3.1 per cent, with the overall rise in tickets - regulated and unregulated - being 2.8 per cent.

Rail fares have gone up in price from today Credit: PA Wire

The rise is for regulated fares which include season tickets.

The increase could have been even greater, but Chancellor George Osborne announced in his Autumn Statement in early December that the regulated fare price cap of RPI inflation plus 1 per cent was being changed to RPI plus 0 per cent.

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Rail fares: Where does the money go?

Train companies retain an average of just 3p from every pound paid for rail tickets, with the vast majority of revenue going on maintenance, staff costs and investment in the rail network, according to figures released by the industry association the Rail Delivery Group:

On average, train companies make a 3p profit in every pound on rail tickets sold. Credit: railfares2014.com/RDG

Transport minister: 'Nonsense' that Government sees railways as a 'cash cow'

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Government 'understands concerns' over rail fares

The Government insisted that it understands passengers concerns over the cost of rail fares as annual season tickets rose by 3.1 per cent.

Campaign groups have complained about the increase, with the Campaign for Better Transport saying that fares are rising three times faster than wages.

A Department for Transport spokesman said: "The Government understands concerns rail passengers have about the costs of fares and the impact they have on household budgets.

Government has insisted that it understands concerns over the cost of rail travel. Credit: PA Wire

"That is why next year, for the first time in a decade, regulated fares will not rise on average by more than the rate of inflation, offering relief for families and the hard-working people.

"As a result of the economic policies that this government has put in place, the most recent forecasts from the Office for Budget Responsibility are that by around 2015, fares will be rising in line with wages and salaries."

The spokesman insisted that the fares passengers pay will drive the "biggest programme of rail modernisation ever" resulting in new state-of-the-art trains, better stations and shorter journey times.

Sheikh submits falconry plans for Scottish Borders

A Falcon Credit: PA

Plans have been submitted to turn a remote farm in the Scottish Borders into a falconry breeding and training centre for the Qatar royal family.

Businessman Sheikh Ali Bin Abdulla Althani wants to make the 48-acre farm near the village of Bonchester Bridge, Roxburghshire, into a bird of prey centre.

He plans to breed falcons and sell them in the Middle East where they are extremely popular.

But he is also planning for wealthy guests, including members of the Qatar royal family, to visit the converted Weensmuir Farm to inspect the birds in training and make their purchases.

His lavish plans will see the main farmhouse extended and the stables and other outbuildings converted for accommodation.

The Sheikh's plans will also see several pens built to house the falcons, as well as new access tracks and the formation of a lake.

A Falcon is rewarded Credit: PA

In a supporting statement in his application for planning permission to Scottish Borders Council, the Sheikh stated:

"The business will depend upon custom from visiting high-net individuals, many of whom are members of the Royal Family or considered dignitaries. As such the business needs to offer a high quality, purpose built facility.

"In addition the majority of the visiting customers expect to travel with a considerable entourage of between 12 and 15 people. It is expected that these persons will be accommodated alongside the visiting customers."

Architect James Murdie from Alnwick, Northumberland, who submitted the plans on the Sheikh's behalf, said:

"The Sheikh is friendly with someone who does a bit of breeding on a supporting farm so he has decided to breed falcons which will supply dignitaries in the Middle East.

"He anticipates a lot of people coming from the Middle East to look at the falcons in training so he needs to provide the accommodation for some very wealthy businessmen."

If the full planning application is successful the business will support two full-time jobs and three part-time positions.

A decision from Scottish Borders Council on the plans is expected within the next two months.

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