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.

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Labour: 'Unrealistic' to expect passengers to pay more

Labour's shadow transport secretary Maria Eagle has said it is "unrealistic" to expect passengers who are already struggling with the rising cost of living to pay an extra 4.1 percent on average for rail fares.

She also attacked the government for allowing train companies to "fiddle" with the way it distributes the fare rise, resulting in a 9.1 percent increase for some passengers.

Inflation figures show economy is 'on the mend'

A Treasury spokeswoman has said that today's figures show that the "economy is on the mend" since inflation is almost half of its recent peak of 5.2% in September 2011.

The economy is on the mend, but the Government understands that times are tough for families and that is why we have taken continued action to help with the cost of living

– treasury spokeswoman

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Train fares 'rising nearly twice as fast as incomes'

Rail fares are increasing nearly twice as fast as incomes, outstripping wages by almost 14 percent since 2007, according to the Campaign for Better Transport.

This graph shows how rail fares and incomes became decoupled in 2007, with rail fares soaring far above increases in earnings.

Rail fare increases (blue) compared with income rise (red) Credit: Campaign for Better Transport

The group also says that next year will be the eleventh successive year in which rail fares have risen above the level of inflation.

King's Cross protesters call for return to National Rail

About 25 protesters calling for a cut in rail fares and a return to British Rail are staging a demonstration outside King's Cross Station in central London.

Action for Rail protesters outside Kings Cross Station in central London Credit: Sean Dempsey/PA Wire
Protester Bernard Harrison, 80, from Ealing Credit: Sean Dempsey/PA Wire
Protesters opposing a further rise in rail fares Credit: ITV News

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Transport Secretary: Railways need 'huge investment'

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin has defended the expected rise in rail fares next year saying that the rail network is in need of "huge investment". He told the BBC:

Nobody likes to see rail fares go up. I don't like to see it and passengers don't like to see it. We are massively investing in the railways, with £130 million being spent here at Nottingham, £800 million at Reading and £600 million at Birmingham.

– Patrick McLoughlin, Transport Secretary

Pressed to say when the government plans to end above-inflation fare rises, he said that the Office for Budget Responsibility has a target to do so in 2015.

He said that just over £8 billion was raised by ticket sales and just under £4 billion by taxpayers for the UK's rail services.

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