Protests planned against the biggest rail fare hike in 5 years
Rail commuters in the UK have been hit with the biggest rail fare rise in five years as the average rail ticket price has risen by 3.4 per cent from today. Season tickets have increased by as much as 3.6 per cent.
According to Sky News, these are the top five average increases by operator:
4.7 per cent – Northern.
4.6 per cent – TransPennine Express.
4.1 per cent – CrossCountry.
3.6 per cent – Merseyrail.
3.4 per cent – Virgin Trains East Coast, Greater Anglia, London Overground and TfL Rail Travelcards and price caps
According to reports, the RMT rail union has organised protests against the fare rises at 40 stations today as campaigners have warned that many people were “being priced out of getting to work”. There will be equivalent events at some Scottish stations on Wednesday, after the extra bank holiday there. Protest sites include Euston, King’s Cross, Paddington and Waterloo in London, as well as Birmingham New Street, Manchester Piccadilly, Cardiff Central, Newcastle and Leeds.
Labour’s transport spokesman Andy McDonald has described the hikes as ‘truly staggering’.
Rail, Maritime and Transport union general secretary Mick Cash said: ‘Passengers are actually paying more and more for less and less. More fare increases and more profit for less train guards and staff and less reliable services. Our members are protesting today to say it is time to cut our fares not our staff and for a publicly-owned railway where every penny of passenger revenue goes to improving services.’
Meanwhile, the Department for Transport said price rises were capped in line with inflation.
Commuter routes that are now more expensive include Liverpool to Manchester (up £108 to £3,152), Maidenhead to London (up £104 to £3,092) and Elgin to Inverness (up £100 to £2,904).