Rail fares to rise by 4.1%

Regulated train fares are set to rise by an average 4.1% from January after the headline rate of retail price index nflation fell to 3.1% in July from 3.3% in June. Labour has pledged to cap fare rises if it gets into power.

Passengers hit out at another round of rail fare rises

The announcement that train fares will rise yet again next year has brought little cheer from passengers travelling on the country's rail network.

The Government has defended the 4.1% average rise in season ticket costs in England as necessary to maintaining an efficient system, while defending the continuing use of funds to pay for rail boss bonuses.

But commuters were left largely unimpressed, with one rail user at Euston Station branding the latest increase in prices "disgusting", as ITV News Consumer Editor Chris Choi reports:

Read: Transport Secretary defends "rewards" for rail boss

MP accuses Government of 'ripping off' rail passengers

The Government is "ripping off" passengers and taxpayers with another round of rail fare rises, Green MP Caroline Lucas has said.

We have to put up with unreliable services, overcrowding and some of the highest fares in Europe.

Since the railways were sold off, the cost of train travel has risen by 17%, and in recent years the cost to the taxpayer has more than doubled. Meanwhile, shareholders are generating huge profits.

By taking back individual franchises when they expire, or when companies fail to meet their conditions, the Government could save over £1 billion a year every year. This is money that could and should be reinvested in services, and also used to reduce fares.

– Caroline Lucas, MP for Brighton Pavilion

Ms Lucas, who collected signatures outside Brighton Railway Station today, said her constituents were "sick of paying a fortune for train services which aren't good enough".

Advertisement

Transport Secretary defends rail boss bonuses

Patrick McLoughlin said bonuses were a "reward" for cutting out rail delays and overseeing an effective and efficient service. Credit: Lewis Whyld/PA Wire

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin has defended a new round of bonuses to rail bosses while commuters are forced to pay a higher average cost of rail travel for an 11th year in a row.

Mr McLoughlin told BBC Radio 4's Today programme he had not "interfered with" Network Rail's rail contracts because it was a "private operating company ... set up by the last government".

He played down the issue of bonuses, saying: "The simple fact is that what people want is for our railway system to work effectively and efficiently. And they want those delays cutting out so I think the value is important that we get those kinds of service improvements and we keep down the cost."

Asked why rail bosses could not achieve this without extra financial incentives, he said: "Bonuses are one way which are a reward for delivering those services ... There is a bit more than just doing their job we are talking about some very very complicated engineering works that are going on."

Divide in English-Scottish rail fare increases defended

The Department of Transport has defended the fact that English rail passengers will face a sharper rise in average regulated fares than people boarding Scottish trains.

The railways in Scotland are heavily subsidised by the taxpayer. If these levels of subsidy were replicated on railways in England, the cost would be hundreds of pounds a year for every household in England, whether or not they used the train.

– Department for Transport spokesman

Rail fares in Scotland to rise by no more than 3.1%

Rail fares in Scotland will rise by no more than 3.1 percent next year since increases are pinned to the rate of inflation.

However, some passengers will still be subject to the English fares if:

  • They are travelling from England to Scotland
  • They are travelling within Scotland on a train that originated in, or is going to, England

Read: Rail fares to rise by 4.1% from January 2014

Advertisement

82% of passengers rate services 'satisfactory or good'

Michael Roberts, chief executive of the Association of Train Operating Companies, says that more than 80 percent of passengers surveyed are satisfied with rail services.

He said that the railways had expanded rapidly over the past 15 years and that trains are both newer and more frequent.

ITV News asked Mr Roberts how the latest hike in rail fares can be justified:

Read: 'Captive commuters' to be hit hardest by rail fare hike

'Captive commuters' to be hit hardest by rail fare hike

A spokesman for the transport watchdog Passenger Focus has said that commuters and season ticket holders will be hit hardest by next year's rail fare hike.

Mike Hewitson told ITV Central it was particularly bad news for "captive commuters" who live in large cities like London where driving to work is not an option.

"It goes against all the policies ... which are to cut down on car use ... Public transport is being promoted as the green mode of travel [so] it has to be affordable".

Load more updates