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National

Rail fare rise a 'kick in the teeth' for passengers

The RMT union, which campaigns for the railways to return to public ownership, has said that next year's fare rise is a "kick in the teeth" for rail passengers.

With the “flex” rule passengers are facing fare increases of up to 5.5% at a time when wages are stagnating. People will simply be priced off the railways while the greedy train operating companies are laughing all the way to the bank. This is a kick in the teeth for the millions of British people who use our trains ... With Northern Rail already axing off-peak tickets, with others set to follow, we are once again ratcheting up the highest rail fares in Europe to travel on some of the most clapped-out and overcrowded services ...

– Mick Cash, RMT Acting General Secretary

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National

Rail travel 'out of the reach of ordinary people'

Rail travel is being pushed "out the reach of some ordinary people" by fare increases, the head of a public transport advocacy group said.

Stephen Joseph, executive director of the Campaign for Better Transport, told Good Morning Britain that Government-dictated ticket price hikes mean rail fares are rising four times faster than wages.

Commuters will find out how much rail fares are likely to rise by next year when the Retail Price Index (RPI) for last month is released today.

The annual increase is capped at July's RPI plus 1%, with an extra 2% added to some tickets.

National

Train tickets could be '5.6% more expensive next year'

Commuters
The Retail Prices Index figure for July, released today, will determine by how much fares will rise in 2015 Credit: PA

The cost of some train tickets could be almost 6% higher next year.

Rail commuters will be paying close attention to the announcement of last month's Retail Prices Index (RPI) figure today, as it will be used to calculate increases to next year's regulated fares, including season tickets.

Ticket price rises are capped at 1% plus the July RPI figure, expected to be around 2.6%.

Train companies can add another 2% to some fares, as long as the overall average remains as per the formula.

Campaigners say ticket prices are rising four times faster than the average wage and that the measurement used to calculate fare increases has been discredited.

Read: Rail passengers paying more than £9,000 for a ticket

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National

Dead Afghan's family looked on as his life slipped away

The wife and children of the Afghan man found dead in a shipping container in Tilbury Docks watched him die in front of their eyes.

Translator Kamaljit Singh Mataharu told ITV News he had "tears in his eyes" as the dead man's children told him what happened.

He said: "The little boy said to me that he tried to wake his dad but he didn't respond and then they found out he was dead."

The cause of the man's death is still unknown despite a post-mortem being carried out yesterday.

ITV News Correspondent Juliet Bremner has this report:

National

Afghan immigrants are all claiming asylum in UK

The 34 people found in a shipping container in Tilbury docks on Saturday are now in the process of claiming asylum in the UK.

The Homes Office said the men, women and children, aged from one to 72, were now in their care while their cases are being considered.

In a statement a Home Office spokesman said: "Following the conclusion of police interviews, the individuals involved have now been passed into our care.

"All 34 are now in the process of claiming asylum in the UK and we are providing accommodation and support to those who require it while their cases are considered.

"This tragic incident is a reminder of the devastating human consequences of illegal migration and we will do all we can to help bring those responsible to justice.

“The UK takes its international obligations extremely seriously and has a proud history of offering protection to those who need it. ”

30 people forced to leaves homes during gas main scare

About 30 people had to leave their homes in London Road in Westcliff after a cordon was set up around the leaking gas main.

This appears to have been a deliberate attempt to damage a gas main, it was directly under the stairs which are the only means of escape for a block of 15 flats and could have had deadly consequences had our crews not got on top of it as quickly as they did.

The burning traffic cones created a huge amount of thick black smoke and the propane cylinder could have exploded at any moment causing a great deal of damage. This seems to have been a very serious attempt to cause havoc and crews did a fantastic job tackling the fire and getting everyone safely out of their flats.

– Martyn Hodder, Assistant Divisional Officer
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