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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:


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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.

Virgin cuts prices of Carlisle to Glasgow route

Virgin Trains are introducing a new, lower fair for their Carlisle to Glasgow route Credit: PA

Virgin Trains have announced that they are cutting the prices of their Carlisle to Glasgow route over the Christmas period.

An off-peak return fair will now cost £16, a 30% discount off the price of a standard off-peak day return to the Scottish city.

First class off-peak tickets will now be £36.

The 'shopper' tickets are available at train stations after 9am from 9 December to 12 January.

Eurostar bid to run East Coast Main Line

Eurostar are keen to take of the East Coast line Credit: PA

Channel Tunnel high-speed train operators Eurostar is bidding to operate the East Coast Main Line.

The rail route, which runs from London to Scotland, has been operated in the public sector since 2009.

Eurostar is launching a joint bid with French company Keolis to run the line.

Eurostar chief executive Nicolas Petrovic said:

"By joining forces with Keolis, we bring a unique blend of expertise and innovation with a fresh perspective.

"The East Coast franchise is a vital economic artery and a key route for both business and leisure passengers which represents an exciting opportunity for future growth and investment."


Virgin Trains: Delays in Cumbria

There are delays of up to one hour and thirty minutes on Virgin Trains between Glasgow Central and London Euston, and between Edinburgh Waverley and Birmingham New Street, due to a broken down freight train between Oxenholm Lake District and Lancaster.

This also affects First Transpennine Express trains.

West Coast mistakes lead to questions over East Coast franchise

Condemnation has rained down on the Department for Transport which has admitted it made "completely unacceptable" mistakes over the handling of bidding for the West Coast Mainline franchise.

The Department for Transport admits that its staff made serious mistakes when awarding FirstGroup the franchise ahead of Virgin Trains. Put simply they didn't look properly at the financial risks associated with the bid.

Officials' have been suspended and the Secretary of State for Transport has apologised - as he scrapped the decision to award the contract ot First Group.

It's going to cost taxpayers at least £40million. The debacle has raised serious questions not only about THIS franchise but also those awarded in the recent past to companies operating on the East Coast Main Line.

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