1. National

'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.

View all 5 updates ›

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

More top news