Commuters vent under #railfail after train fares rise again
Weary, long-suffering passengers on Britain’s railways are seething with anger at a steep rise in train fares despite months of disrupted services.
On Monday, an average increase across Britain of 2.3% came into force. On the Virgin East Coast Service, tickets were up by a whopping 4.9%.
It means UK commuters are forking out up to six times more than people in Europe – equivalent to 14% of their wages – according to an Action for Rail study.
A separate study by the Campaign for Better Transport found some season tickets cost holders 27p per minute.
Across the country, fed-up travellers posted under the #railfail hashtag.
The Government uses July’s Retail Prices Index (RPI) to find out how much it should raise ticket prices, which was 1.9% this time round.
Transport secretary Chris Grayling said we were getting the “biggest rail modernisation programme for more than a century, providing more seats and services.”
The rise comes as different governments change what chunk of the rail bill is paid for by passengers – currently around 70%.
Bruce Williamson, of independent campaign group Railfuture, said: “Our walk-on rail fares are already the most eye-watering in Europe, and with fuel duty frozen for motorists for the fifth year on the trot, it can’t be denied that people are being priced off the railways.”
The Labour Party vowed to take railways into public hands and claimed fares had increased by 27% since 2010.
They say the average commuter is paying over £594 more for a season ticket than when the Tories came to power.
The rise came as conductors on Southern Rail remained on strike in a bitter dispute over the place of conductors.
Shadow Transport Secretary Andy McDonald said public ownership is needed: “Fares have risen more than three times faster than wages and passengers on some routes have also been hit by ‘stealth fare rises’ of up to 162%.
“Passengers were always told that higher fares were necessary to fund investment, but vital projects have been delayed by years and essential maintenance works have been put on hold.”