Rail fares set to rise by 6.2%

Commuters in England face 6.2% rise in average train fares after a shock increase in the Retail Prices Index measure of inflation. Cars, air fares, clothing and housing are being blamed for the surprise rise in the Consumer Prices Index of inflation.

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Rail fair protesters pose as Bullingdon Club members

The environmental group Climate Rush has tweeted these photos of its protest against a planned hike in rail fares outside Waterloo station.

Demonstrators recreate a photograph of the Bullingdon Club outside Waterloo station

In one photo, demonstrators recreate an infamous photo of the Prime Minister and London mayor Boris Johnson posing as members of the Bullingdon Club - an exclusive gentleman's club at Oxford University. The Chancellor George Osborne was also a member of the club in the 1990s.

Climate Rush demonstrators with a banner outside Waterloo Station

Transport minister: Only more investment will bring rail prices down

Transport minister Theresa Villiers Credit: David Jones/PA Wire

The transport minister Theresa Villiers has said that more funding is needed for Britain's railway network in order to make it run more smoothly and cheaply.

She told ITV Daybreak that a "huge programme of rail improvements" is underway and that the Government is investing in the network, but that passangers also had to shoulder some of the costs.

Referring to the 20,000 jobs that could be at risk, she said that only these sorts of "efficiency savings" would "relieve pressure on taxpayer".

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Strain of train fare hikes on commuters

Campaigners have said commuters to London were routinely spending up to 15% of their salary on getting to work.

Commuters are spending more and more on travel, say campaigners Credit: Martin Keene/PA Wire

By 2015, this will create a series of "£1,000 towns" - places where commuters will see the cost of their annual season ticket rise by more than £1,000 between 2011 and 2015.

Government defends above-inflation rail fare rise

The transport secretary Justine Greening has said she is keen to see "what we can do to keep rail fares down to something affordable".

Transport secretary Justine Greening Credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

She added: "I shall be looking at whether there is a way of doing that in the autumn but we have to stick with our deficit-reduction policy."

Ms Greening was asked whether there would be Treasury money available for rail that would enable the fare rise to be reduced. She replied: "Well, if you don't ask, you don't get."

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Rail passengers feel the pain of price rises

These fare rises will add even more pressure to passengers already feeling a massive squeeze on their incomes.

The Government is asking train operators to make cuts to staff on trains, stations and in ticket offices while continuing to receive public subsidy and give millions in dividends to shareholders.

– TUC Deputy General Secretary Frances O'Grady
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