Rail fares increase as passengers return to work

Rail fares increase as passengers return to work

Transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin has visited Birmingham New Street station as passengers greet annual increases in rail fares.

Regulated fares - including season tickets - have risen by up to 2.5 per cent, while the average fare of a rail ticket in Britain will increase by 2.2 per cent.

McLoughlin argued the rise allowed for record investment in the rail network.

The visit to Birmingham New Street saw the minister for transport tour the new £700 million station.

McLoughlin said: “We are investing in the biggest rail modernisation since the Victorian era, and fares have a crucial role to play in funding these improvements.

“This is because building better infrastructure helps create jobs, building a stronger economy for us all.

“As we invest in projects like this, it is important that we recognise passengers’ concerns about the cost of rail fares.”

As higher fares come into effect, operators have been asked to improve the information passengers receive when buying a ticket.

Rail companies have agreed to direct travellers to the cheapest deal for their journey when they shop online.

industry figures argue that for every pound spent on fares, 97 pence goes back into the rail network in the form of track maintenance, improvement works, staff and train costs, while only 3 pence goes into train company profits

Investing in the UK’s railways is an important part of the government’s long term economic plan.

Over the next five years, more than £38 billion will be spent on improving and maintaining the rail network across the country.

This includes the £1 billion Northern Hub programme which will provide faster journeys and more trains between key northern cities and the Crossrail and Thameslink projects, which will increase London’s commuter capacity by 20 per cent.