'No improvement' on trains

This week's rail fare rise comes at a time of "no perceptible improvement in services" campaign group Railfuture has claimed.

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'Fare increases just fatten the profits of train companies'

The fact is that rail fare increases are doing nothing more than fattening the profits of the private train companies.

When passengers get another inflation-busting kick in the teeth on January 2, they will know that their hard-earned cash is being bled out of the railways and into the pockets of a bunch of spivs and chancers.

– Bob Crow, leader of the RMT transport union

'Passenger's must pay for the railways'

The Association of Train Operating Companies (Atoc) chief executive Michael Roberts said: "Fare rises are determined largely by Government policy, and the Chancellor confirmed the Government's approach for next year in the Autumn Statement.

File photo of commuters on a platform as rail fares get set for another above inflation rise Credit: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

"Railway funding can only come from the taxpayer or from the passenger, and the Government's policy remains that a bigger share must come from people who use the train.

"We know nobody likes paying more for their journey, especially to go to work. Train companies will continue working with the rest of the industry to become more cost efficient, helping to take the pressure off future fare rises."

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Transport Minister defends rail fare increases

Family budgets are being squeezed, so that is why this coalition Government has taken proactive steps to cut the planned fare rises from 3% to 1% above inflation until 2014.

This decision puts an average of £45 per year back into the pockets of over a quarter of a million annual season ticket-holders. Many more holders of weekly and monthly season tickets could also see lower fares and some commuters could be over £100 better off.

We are engaged in the biggest rail investment programme since the 19th century and it is only right that the passenger, as well as the taxpayer, contributes towards that.

In the longer term, we are determined to reduce the cost of running the railways so that we can end the era of above-inflation fare rises.

– Norman Baker, Transport Minister

Train fare increases: 'Where is the green policy?'

Annual increases should be limited to no more than the rate of inflation, and that should be CPI not RPI, because that's the lower figure and pensions benefits and salaries are all linked to CPI.

There is an average rise of RPI plus 1, but it's very average, it will vary from area to area and route to route. Some fares are going down a little bit, although you'll need a magnifying glass to find them. Most people's fares are going up anywhere between 4% and 11% or 12%.

Meanwhile, petrol tax is frozen and overall the cost of driving remains static. How does this help persuade people out of their cars and ease congestion? Where is the green policy?

The train operating companies may say that they need the money for improvements, but how much fare income is actually spent on improvements? Fares income is not ring-fenced for anything. If you look at how much money is being paid back to the Government in the form of corporation tax, fuel tax (which airlines don't have to pay), industrial buildings tax and so forth, you have to ask whether raising fares above inflation is really necessary.

– Bruce Williamson, Railfuture spokesman

Rail fare rise despite 'no perceptible improvement in services'

The average season ticket increase of 4.2%, which takes effect on Wednesday, is the 10th above-inflation increase in a row and a campaign group claims the increases come at a time of "no perceptible improvement in services."

File photo of commuters on a train as rail fares get set for another above inflation rise Credit: Chris Radburn/PA Wire

The Association of Train Operating Companies (Atoc) has said that the overall average rise, including non-season tickets, will be 3.9% on Wednesday, with some fares not going up as much as this.

But with some non-season-ticket unregulated fares allowed to be increased by an unlimited amount, Railfuture said that some fares could be going up by around 11% or 12%.

Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson said: "Yet again, rail fares go up with no perceptible improvement in service.

"Over the last 10 years, fares have increased by more than 50% - much more than people's incomes."

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