Protests expected following rail fare increase

Protests expected following rail fare increase

Groups of angry rail passengers in the UK have launched a series of protests after new, “massive” increases in ticket prices were confirmed by the government.

Some prices in England could rise by as much as 6.2 per cent at the start of next year, with smaller rises in Scotland.

There are no planned rises in Northern Ireland, which saw a three per cent increases in fare prices earlier this year, while Wales has yet to set a figure.

Government regulations allow fares in England to rise by three per cent more than the Retail Price Index, based on July’s inflation figure.

That figure, which was published today, stands at 3.2 per cent.

In response to the news, protests are being held at over 40 stations, including Waterloo, Euston and Kings Cross in London.

Passenger Focus director David Sidebottom said: “We are disappointed by the news that in January fares in England are set to go up on average by 6.2 per cent - for hard-pressed passengers, especially those who rely on the train for work, the prospect of another increase is a worrying one.

“Passengers in Great Britain already pay some of the highest fares in Europe and our most recent passenger survey showed that just 42% of passengers felt they had got value for money on their ticket.

“Having some fares regulated is clearly in passengers’ interests.

“However, the way that train companies are allowed flexibility to set fares on individual routes is deeply unfair.

“If the fares go up by RPI plus three percent, many passengers, already hard-pressed, could be looking at double digit fare increases.
“While we understand the need for flexibility, we strongly believe that this system needs to be changed.”