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  1. Ben Chapman

Full report: Passengers and unions attack train fare hike

Rail passengers and unions have criticised plans for hefty rises in train fares next year.

Prices on many tickets will go up by an average of 6.2% in January. That's been calculated by taking the latest inflation figure, which went up today to 3.2%, and adding an extra 3%. It means a one month season ticket from Durham to Newcastle will go up by more than £6 to £112.

It's the tenth year in a row they've risen by more than inflation. Today's announcement applies to 'regulated' fares like season tickets and off peak journeys. Unregulated fares could rise by even more.

The government says the increases are necessary to pay for improvements to the railways. But they led to protests in Newcastle this morning.


Rail fares to rise by 6.2%

Rail passengers face a bigger-than-expected rise of 6.2% in average fares from January, after official figures showed a shock increase in the rate of inflation.

The retail prices index for July rose to 3.2%. This is the official statistic used to determine by how much rail fares will rise. It's calculated by adding 3% to the RPI figure.

The rail workers' union, the RMT, has been protesting outside Newcastle Central Station at the proposed increases.

The region's various rail companies are yet to confirm by how much their fares will increase on each of their routes.

Protests at Newcastle's Central Station

RMT members gather to voice concerns over proposed rise it ticket prices Credit: ITV

Rail staff from the RMT union protest outside Newcastle's Central Station over proposed rises in rail fares.

Rail companies are allowed to increase fares by inflation plus 3% on average, although some tickets may go up by more.The union also says government plans will see thousands of staff cut at stations and in trains.

23 Lloyds branches to be sold to the Co-op

Lloyds Banking Group has agreed to sell hundreds of branches to the Co-op, including 23 in the North East. Four Cheltenham and Glocester branches will also be sold under the deal.

The bank says there will be no changes to customers at those branches until next year, and will communicate with them about the changes. They will be given the option of either moving to the Co-op or remaining with Lloyds.

The branches to be sold in our region are:

  • Amble
  • Bedlington
  • Berwick Upon Tweed
  • Billingham
  • Crook
  • Darlington - Blackwellgate
  • Gateshead - High Street
  • Hebburn
  • Horden
  • Jarrow
  • Malton
  • Morpeth
  • Newcastle - Chillingham Road
  • Newcastle - Milvain
  • Newcastle - St Mary's Place
  • Newton Aycliffe
  • Northallerton
  • Redcar
  • Richmond
  • South Shields - Barrington Street
  • Sunderland - Athenaeum Street
  • Whitby
  • York - St Helen's Square

In addition, there are four Cheltenham and Gloucester branches to be sold:

  • Durham
  • Harrogate
  • Newcastle
  • York