Rail fares 'increasing at twice the speed of wages' says report

Rail fares have increased at twice the speed of wages, a report has shown.

Fares have risen by 25% in the last six years, while average weekly earnings have grown by 12%, according to research by the TUC and Action for Rail.

The results come as another round of regulated rail fare increases are set to be announced by the Government later.

The rise in fares will be linked to July's Price Index measure of inflation. June's figure was 1.6%.

Around half of rail fares are regulated, including:

  • Season tickets on most commuter journeys

  • Off-peak return tickets on long distance trips

  • Anytime tickets around major cities

Rail passengers are set to see a rise in fares. Credit: PA

The TUC general secretary, Frances O'Grady, said: "Rail passengers are paying more and getting even less".

"Fares go up while trains remain overcrowded, stations are unstaffed, and rail companies cut the guards who ensure journeys run smoothly and safely.

"It's time for rail services to be publicly owned, saving money for passengers and taxpayers alike.

"Instead of increasing fares and cutting staff, we should be building an accessible, reliable train service that Britain can be proud of."

Rail passengers waiting after delays earlier this year. Credit: PA

Unions have said whilst fares for passengers rise, dividend payments to shareholders of private train companies have increased by 21% to £222m.

TSSA general secretary Manuel Cortes added: "Our rail fares are already the highest in Europe and today's increases will only make that record worse.

"Fares on the most popular routes have jumped by more than 245% since rail was privatised 20 years ago."

"Running a publicly owned railway would end this annual mugging of passengers and give us a network run in the interests of passengers and staff."