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Watchdog reacts: 'Passengers will be disappointed'

The independent travel watchdog 'Transport Focus' has given its response to the news that rail fares will rise by an average of 2.3% from 2nd January 2017. The organisation looks after the rights of transport users - including people who travel by train.

“Passengers will be disappointed that fares will rise by 2.3 per cent - higher than the last two years. Passengers will now want to see the industry’s investment deliver a more reliable day-to-day railway. The Government should consider setting rail fare rises around the Consumer Prices Index instead to bring rail fares into line with other recognised measures of inflation.

“Many commuters, in London and the south east in particular, have suffered poor performance. For Southern passengers the one-off refund will be a welcome step to rebuilding trust in the long term. The 15-minute Delay Repay compensation on Govia Thameslink Railway starting next week is a welcome improvement for passengers.”

– Anthony Smith, Chief Executive, Transport Focus

RMT union responds: Rail fare rises 'a kick in the teeth'

"This latest fares hike is another kick in the teeth for British passengers and condemns them to continue to pay some of the highest fares in Europe to travel on rammed out and unreliable trains.

"Once again the rip-off private train companies are laughing all the way to the bank as they whack up fares and axe staff in all-out dash to maximise their profits.

"This culture of private greed on Britain's railways has to stop and RMT will step up the fight for a publicly owned railway where services and safety are the priority, not corporate profits. "

– General Secretary Mick Cash, RMT union

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Rail firm apologises for disruption last night - passengers eligible for compensation

Southern Rail passengers are being encouraged to apply for compensation after the line between Brighton and Haywards Heath was shut last night. It was due to emergency track repairs at Wivelsfield. The problem led to an evening of delays and cancellations. The line has been reopened.

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TRAVEL - ROADS: M4 - Closed London bound - fuel spill in Chiswick

The M4 London bound is closed. There are long delays due to a fuel spill in Chiswick between J3 A312 (Hayes) and J1 A4 / A205 / A406 ( Chiswick Roundabout).

There is congestion to J4b (M25). Traffic coming into London is being diverted, with the A4 closed in both directions in Chiswick at the Hogarth Roundabout after a large fuel spill.

It is estimated the M4 will be reopened at around midday.

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