- Tyne Tees
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The news that average rail fares could increase by around 3.5% next year sparked anger but also understanding among passengers in the region. Unions claim costs are rising too quickly for people, while the government says extra money is used to improve services.
Transport Minister Claire Perry says that, while the expected 3.5% increase could yet change, any extra money raised from fares goes back into continually improving the service:
Mickey Thompson, from the RMT Union, claims that a rise in rail fares would be unjust to passengers:
Rail passengers will see the average price of their tickets increase by 3.5% from January, according to figures out today.
"We're a victim of our success" Michael Roberts, Director General of the Rail Delivery Group, representing train operators and Network Rail, said.
Mr Roberts told Good Morning Britain that the UK's trains are so busy because they are affordable, refuting claims that fare hikes are pricing people out of rail travel.
The RMT union, which campaigns for the railways to return to public ownership, has said that next year's fare rise is a "kick in the teeth" for rail passengers.
Rail travel is being pushed "out the reach of some ordinary people" by fare increases, the head of a public transport advocacy group said.
Stephen Joseph, executive director of the Campaign for Better Transport, told Good Morning Britain that Government-dictated ticket price hikes mean rail fares are rising four times faster than wages.
Commuters will find out how much rail fares are likely to rise by next year when the Retail Price Index (RPI) for last month is released today.
The annual increase is capped at July's RPI plus 1%, with an extra 2% added to some tickets.