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Rail passengers hit by fare rises

Research published by trade unions has found rail fares are on course for a 40 percent increase from 2008 to 2014 - or nearly three times the increase in wage rises.

The news comes on the same day it was announced that some train tickets for services across the border into England could go up by another 4 percent.

What do you think about the rises? How much do you spend on rail travel?

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Unions warn of 40 percent rail fare rise over six years

Unions say rail fare rises are outstripping wage increases. Credit: PA

The Trades Union Congress - TUC - says rail passengers will be paying 40 percent more for a ticket in January 2014, than they were in January 2008.

That is nearly three times the rate of wage rises.

Today, we learned that regulated rail fares in England will rise by an average of 4.1 percent from January after the headline rate of retail price index inflation fell to 3.1 percent in July from 3.3 percent in June.

That will affect train users travelling between Wales and England.

The Welsh Government says it is "currently reviewing the options for the setting of regulated rail fares for 2014."


Protests against rail fare rises

Rail users in England are due to pay more for their journeys next week Credit: PA

Two protests are taking place in Cardiff today as part of a UK-wide day of action against rail fare rises. Unions are warning fares are set to be 40 per cent higher from this January than in 2008.

Commuters in England will find out later how much rail fares are to go up next year. Regulated fares there, which include season tickets, are due to go up by inflation. The Welsh government has yet to decide on fare rises for 2014 but say they will make a decision in due course.

Rail fares rise is latest blow for travellers

Rail travellers across Wales are facing fresh misery as the cost of the average fare rises by 3.9%. It's 4.2% for season tickets, and some routes are seeing much higher rises. The move comes as motorists have seen an increase in tolls on the Severn Bridges.

Increasing numbers of travellers are reporting a struggle in the costs of getting to work and carrying out essential journeys like food shopping, because of high fuel costs. Hannah Thomas has our report.

Welsh Government: Rail fares rise offers 'best balance' for taxpayers and passengers

The prioritisation of the National Transport Plan has brought forward investment that will make the transport system in Wales work better to help tackle poverty, increase well-being and assist economic growth. Through our ongoing work with interest groups we can continue to address the issues of transport poverty through concessionary fares schemes and more sustainable transport options. Our Active Travel Bill will also make it easier and safer for people to make shorter journeys by walking and cycling.

– Welsh Government spokesperson

We feel that the decision to allow regulated rail fares to be raised by RPI+1% for next year is the best balance for both the taxpayer and the rail passenger in what are very difficult and challenging economic times. We strongly encourage the use of rail and will continue to promote its use as a sustainable mode of transport.


Passengers: 'It's really hitting our pocket'

Passengers at Merthyr Tydfil railway station this morning were among those confronted by increased fares. There were mixed opinions - some questioned how families were meant to afford rail travel now, but others praised it for quality of service and price, when compared to the alternatives.

What impact are rail fare rises having on you? Do they reflect the quality of service? How does rail travel compare to the alternatives?

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via Twitter - our username is @ITVWales

via Facebook - our page is called ITV Wales

First Great Western: Passengers paying more, taxpayers less

Dan Panes, a spokesman for First Great Western, which runs mainline trains from London Paddington to South Wales, says these fare rises are based on the formula set by government, and aims to ensure 'rail fare passengers are paying more for their journeys and taxpayers are paying less.'

Around half of fares are linked to the inflation rate, measured by the retail price index (RPI). These are known as regulated tickets and include most season tickets. Regulated fares have gone up by 4.2% today - overall average fares are up 3.9%.

Charity: Rail fares 'out of control'

Already many hard-pressed commuters in Wales are struggling with the costs of getting around. With many wages frozen, rail fares are soaring out of control. With oil prices only going up in the long run, we need a major overhaul to our transport system so that we can all afford to get about now and in the future. With two-thirds of jobseekers without access to a car, and many households that do cutting back on spending elsewhere, we need to see a focus on bringing public transport fares down if we want to deliver an economic recovery.

– Lee Waters, Director of Sustrans Cymru
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