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  1. National

Inflation figures expected to remain high

The latest inflation figures will be announced today. Credit: Press Association

Inflation figures are expected to remain high today, pushing up prices at petrol pumps and leading to rising rail fares.

Retail prices index (RPI) figures are expected to remain high today, pushing up prices at petrol pumps and leading to rising rail fares.

It would give train companies licence to push through regulated price rises of 4.3% next year as they are allowed to rise one percentage point above July's RPI measure.

The consumer prices index is set to remain at around 2.9%.

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  1. National

Government to ensure 'greater fairness' for passengers

The Government has defended its track record on rail fares and promised to announce further measures to ensure "greater fairness" for travellers.

A Department for Transport spokesman said the Coalition were investing "record amounts" in the railways and recognised current prices were "tough".

The Government is investing record amounts into our railways, which will help deliver economic growth, improve performance and significantly boost passenger capacity.

However, we also recognise it is tough for passengers. That is why we are already limiting these rises by capping the average regulated fares increase at 1% in real terms and will be announcing further measures to ensure greater fairness on fares for passengers later this year.

– Department of Transport spokesman
  1. National

TUC: Rail fares outstrip wages for sixth year in a row

TUC handout leaflets protesting current cost-cutting measures. Credit: PA

Train users will be forking out 40 percent more than they were six-years-ago for a ticket, say rail campaigners staging nationwide demonstrations later today.

A fare rise scheduled for January will be the sixth time in seven years ticket prices have outstripped wages, say TUC and Action for Rail.

While fares have increased by 40 percent, wages have only rise by 15 percent, it was claimed

The TUC have blamed privatisation for the spike in train fares, General secretary Frances O'Grady said:

"Ministers must put evidence before ideology, halt the privatisation of the East Coast mainline and look at bringing our railways back into public ownership."

  1. National

Rail fares set to rise as inflation figures revealed

Rail passengers face yet another fare increase despite a 4.2 percent rise this year. Credit: PA/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Train fares are set to rise yet again on the back of the release of July's inflation figures, forcing rail passengers to fork out more for travel in 2014.

Inflation as measured by the retail prices index (RPI) is expected to remain at 3.3 percent for July, giving train companies the opportunity to push through a price rise of 4.3 percent at the beginning of next year.

The Government determines rail price rises by allowing fares to rise one percentage point above July's RPI measure.

Rail passengers were already dealt a blow with 2013 prices. This year the cost of a season ticket rose by 4.2 percent and overall train fares increased by around 3.9 percent.

  1. West Country (E)

First Group keeps hold of Great Western Rail Service

First Group will keep the franchise for a further three years. Credit: Fiona Hanson/PA Archive

First Group, which runs the Great Western Rail Service, will keep the franchise for a further three years.

The new timetable for rail franchise bids was announced by the Transport Secretary this morning.

First Group was due to bid again this October for the service operating trains from the West Country to London Paddington. This has now been delayed and they won't have to bid again until July 2016.

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Misery continues for rail travellers

Rush-hour rail problems that plagued passengers on many days in November continued for commuters in the South West on the first working day of December.

Travellers whose services were still affected by last week's floods were hit by a combination of difficulties including late-running engineering work. The aftermath of the floods continued to hit services in devon, with buses replacing trains on some routes.

Replacement buses are running on First Great Western Services between Exeter St Davids and Crediton due to flooding. But the good news is that the Tarka line has now re-opened between Crediton and Barnstaple following major work on the track.

Services still limited as Exeter line reopens

The landslip was caused by heavy rainfall Credit: ITV Westcountry

The trainline has reopened between Newton Abbott and Exeter after it was closed after a landslip.

Thousands of tonnes of rubble fell onto the track at Teignmouth following heavy rain. Network Rail say services will still be very limited and travellers should check which trains are running.

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