Transport Fares Rise

From today, new fare increases come into force for transport services across the Midlands.

Latest ITV News reports

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National

Train companies defend fare decisions

The Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC) has defended the way rail companies apply the fare rises that Government policy allows them. While rail fares can only go up by inflation plus 1% that is the average figure which is why some fares have risen by much more today.

Edward Welsh, ATOC spokesman told ITV News: "Just as they might increase them above 4.2% they have to de-crease them elsewhere.

"It's like a traditional pair of kitchen scales. The Government ensures that all the fares come back to 4.2%."

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National

Transport Minister: Rail fare structure is 'not ideal'

Transport Minister Norman Baker told BBC Radio 4's Today programme that the current fare structure was "not ideal", adding that the Government wanted to end above-inflation fare rises as soon as possible:

Forty per cent of fares, roughly, are regulated by the Government and that's a longstanding policy successive governments have had. The other 60% are unregulated and decided by the train companies themselves.

The balance of regulation and which fares are regulated is part of the fares and ticketing review we are now engaged upon.

It's not ideal - there are over 100,000 rail tickets and different prices each year to deal with. It's a hugely complicated issue.So it's important we try to get the best value for the passenger, the best value for the taxpayer and the simplest, (most) transparent system we can, given the need to ensure rail companies can price appropriately to attract people on to off-peak trains which might otherwise be running empty.

Rail commutes made more expensive

Rail fare increases
Rail fare increases Credit: PA Pictures

The New Year commute to work will be bleaker for rail passengers in the Midlands as the 10th above-inflation rail fare rise soars by an average of 4.2%.

In the Midlands, a Ludlow to Hereford season tickets will rise by more than five percent.