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  1. ITV Report

Commuters angered by rail fare rises

Rail fares are rising by around 3.1%. Photo: PA

Commuters in the region have described an average rail fare rise of 3.1% as "unfair".

Research by the TUC union shows UK passengers spend up to five times as much on season tickets as other European travellers.

One passenger at Norwich station told ITV News Anglia: "I've travelled all over the world and seen what marvellous railway systems they have elsewhere.

"We should have a marvellous railway system, but we don't unfortunately. Definitely we pay too much money for it, so the increases are frankly unfair."

  • Click to watch a report by ITV News correspondent Lauren Hall

The TUC said its study found that someone travelling by rail from Chelmsford to London spends 13% of their average earnings on a monthly season ticket, compared with 2% for an equivalent commute in France.

The TUC said the 3.1% rise in season tickets was higher than the expected growth in wages this year of 2.5%.

It's time to take the railways back into public hands.

– Frances O'Grady, TUC
Research by the TUC union shows UK passengers spend up to five times as much on season tickets as other European travellers. Credit: ITV News Anglia

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling blamed trade unions for the price hikes

"The reality is the fare increases are higher than they should be because the unions demand - with threats of national strikes, but they don't get them - higher pay rises than anybody else.

"Typical pay rises are more than 3% and that's what drives the increases."

The rail industry insists the "vast majority" of revenue from fares covers the day-to-day costs of running the network.

The 3.1% rise means the cost of an annual season ticket from Ely to London is to go up by £164, and to Cambridge by £40.

A season ticket between Peterborough to London will go up by £205, and from Ipswich to London it's up by £208 to £6,548.

Meanwhile, a season ticket from Manningtree in Essex it will go up £180 to £5,888.

TUC general secretary Frances O'Grady said: "The most reliable thing about our railways is the cash that goes to private shareholders each year, but with the most expensive fares in Europe, that can't be right.

"It's rewarding failure and taking money away that should be invested in better services.

"It's time to take the railways back into public hands. Every penny from every fare should go back into the railways. The number one priority should be running a world-class railway service, not private profit."

A season ticket from Ipswich to London it's up by £208 to £6,548. Credit: ITV News Anglia

Here are the average increases for our train operating companies

  • East Midlands Trains: 2.7%
  • Govia Thameslink Railway (Gatwick Express, Great Northern, Southern, Thameslink): 3%
  • Greater Anglia (includes Stansted Express): 3.1%
  • Northern: 3.2%
  • Most single fares are frozen but Travelcards and price caps have been increased by an average of 3.2%
  • Virgin Trains: 3.2%
Three rail companies running services in the Anglia region reported a loss in their latest financial figures. Credit: ITV News Anglia

Here is the latest available information on pre-tax profits made by train operating companies in Great Britain, according to Companies House.

A total of 13 companies reported a profit while five companies reported a loss.

In each case the name of the operator is followed in brackets by the trading name registered with Companies House, and the period covered by the latest available accounts.

  • Chiltern Railways (The Chiltern Railway Company Limited), to December 31 2017: £7.1 million
  • CrossCountry (XC Trains Limited), to December 31 2017: £28.6 million
  • East Midlands Trains (East Midlands Trains Limited), to April 28 2018: £19.3 million
  • Govia Thameslink Railway (Govia Thameslink Railway Limited), to July 1 2017: £4.9 million
  • Virgin Trains (West Coast Trains Limited), to March 31 2018: £64.0 million

Companies reporting a loss

  • c2c (Trenitalia c2c Limited), to December 31 2017: £10.8 million loss
  • Greater Anglia (Abellio East Anglia Limited), to March 31 2018: £1.1 million
  • Virgin Trains East Coast (East Coast Main Line Company Limited), to March 31 2018: £23.2 million loss

Virgin Trains East Coast was succeeded by London North Eastern Railway from June 24 2018