Call to end big rail fare hikes

Campaigners today urged an end to above-inflation rail fare rises amid widespread anger at continuing increases.

Latest ITV News reports

Recap: What the fare rises could mean for you

A selection of the largest annual season ticket rail fare rises across the UK:

  • An annual ticket to travel from Tonbridge to London is rising 5.9% to £3,796.
  • Eastbourne to London Victoria is up 4.1% to £4,228.
  • Kettering to London is rising 4.7% to £6,220.
  • Ludlow to Hereford is up 5.3% to £1,992.
  • Peterbrough to London is up 4.2% to £6,888.
  • Cambridge to London is rising 3.8% to £4,400.
  • Gloucester to Birmingham is up 4.1% to £3,640.
  • Llanelli to Swansea is rising 5.4% to £624.
  • North Berwick to Edinburgh has risen to £1,604, a rise of 3.9%.
  • Stirling to Glasgow is up 3.9% to £1,916.

For a comprehensive list of the season ticket rises, visit Passenger Watchdog.

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Campaigners say decade of rail fare rises is 'shocking'

King's Cross station in London
Rail campaigners held demonstrations outside King's Cross station in London. Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

Campaign for Better Transport chief executive Stephen Joseph has said the impact of successive Government's policies on rail fares has been "appalling" over the past decade.

Today's price hike is the 10th successive annual rise above inflation.

Campaigners have said some fares have increased by more than 50 per cent during that time.

"It's truly shocking that we have deliberately made getting the train to work an extravagance that many struggle to afford," Mr Joseph added. "The time has come not just to stop the rises but to reduce fares."

Train companies defend fare decisions

The Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC) has defended the way rail companies apply the fare rises that Government policy allows them. While rail fares can only go up by inflation plus 1% that is the average figure which is why some fares have risen by much more today.

Edward Welsh, ATOC spokesman told ITV News: "Just as they might increase them above 4.2% they have to de-crease them elsewhere.

"It's like a traditional pair of kitchen scales. The Government ensures that all the fares come back to 4.2%."

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Fare increases 'are a broken promise from David Cameron'

Maria Eagle speaking outside Kings Cross station today
Maria Eagle speaking outside Kings Cross station today

Shadow Transport Minister Maria Eagle told ITV News the rail fare increases represented a broken promise from David Cameron:

"When Labour started doing this ten years ago we weren't in the middle of a double-dip recession with austerity and everybody's living standards being squeezed in the way in which they are now.

"As it became apparent that times were getting tough what Labour did was stop the train companies from charging above the cap.

"So today what people have found going to renew their tickets is that David Cameron promised them they'd be paying no more than 1% above inflation, many people have actually found their ticket price going up by 9%.

"This is a broken promise from David Cameron."

'ToffsRus' rail fare protests attack Cameron and Osborne

Rail campaigners from the transport union TSSA demonstrate outside St Pancras station
Rail campaigners from the transport union TSSA demonstrate outside St Pancras station Credit: A rail campaigner demonstrates outside King's Cross station

Highlighting the fact that Prime Minister David Cameron and Chancellor George Osborne are Old Etonians, transport union TSSA's protest at King's Cross featured a top hat-wearing "ToffsRUs" band.

A rail campaigner demonstrates outside King's Cross station in London as regulated fares
A rail campaigner demonstrates outside King's Cross station in London as regulated fares Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

Waiting for trains at King's Cross station in London today, passengers expressed their anger at the rise.

Outside the station, shadow transport secretary Maria Eagle joined the protest against the high fares.

Maria Eagle joins TSSA General Secretary, Manuel Cortes and other rail campaigners from the transport union as they demonstrate
Maria Eagle joins TSSA General Secretary, Manuel Cortes and other rail campaigners from the transport union as they demonstrate Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

Some commuters appeared to agree with the protests.

Leeds-bound hairdresser Gavin Lambert, 45, described his service as "rarely on time and often overcrowded", while his friend Kevin Gowland, 46, a musician, said people were taking to the roads as the rail service was "so bad".

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