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Passengers 'paying fair fares for comfortable commuting'

Rail Minister Claire Perry said she sympathises with passengers who have had to contend with "inflation-busting fare rises almost every year over the last decade" but insisted the Government was committed to "fair fares".

What we have got to do is make sure rail passengers, who could be forgiven for thinking 'What on earth am I getting for these rises I've seen over the last decade?', start to realise that they are paying fair fares for comfortable commuting.

– Claire Perry, rail minister

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

Rail fares rise: Reaction from Passenger Focus

Responding to news that inflation as measured by the Retail Prices Index (RPI) in July 2014 was 2.5 per cent, David Sidebottom, Passenger Focus director, said:

“Many passengers will be concerned about today’s news giving the latest inflation figures which determine regulated train fares from January next year.

"If this follows some previous years of RPI +1 per cent1, this could mean, on average, that fares will increase by 3.5 per cent next January.

"We know from our own research that value for money is a key priority for rail passengers.

"Our most recent National Rail Passenger Survey put passenger satisfaction on value for money amongst commuters as low as 31 per cent.

"This level of fare increase puts more pressure on the railways to ensure passengers get an excellent service for the money they are paying.”

“We hope the government will step in again as it did last year, to ensure that train fares in England do not rise above the rate of inflation announced tod

Rail fares set to rise in January

Rail fares could rise by up to 5.5 % in January.

RPI, just announced, is 2.5% and the Government could impose an extra one per cent to pay for investment in the network.

Train companies are then allowed to put some fares up by up to two per cent on top.

That could means rises of up to 5.5%.

In real terms that could mean passengers paying £200 to £400 a year more.

The Government say a final decision will be taken later in the year.

Campaigners say fares are up 20% in four years while average wage rises have been 7% and it is time to halt the hearty increases.

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