Rail unions are to blame for fare hikes, Chris Grayling suggests

15 Août, 2018, 21:45 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
  • Chris Grayling said he was “bitterly disappointed” that the rail unions were pressing ahead with above-inflation pay claims

An annual season ticket between Ascot and London Paddington now costs £3,628, with an increase of 3.2 per cent, it would be £3,744, an increase of £116 a year.

New analysis by Labour shows that some commuters will pay £2,850 more than in 2010 to travel to work and, in Theresa May's own constituency of Maidenhead, the cost of an annual season ticket to London Paddington has risen by £831 since the Tories took power.

It means the average cost of regulated rail fares - which are controlled by the government - will increase by no more than 3.2% in January.

Economists are predicting that the Retail Prices Index (RPI) measure of inflation - the number used by the Department for Transport to set rail fare increases - will increase by 3.5%.

Steve Hedley described the Transport Secretary as "failing Grayling" over his call for the rail industry to change the way it calculates fare hikes and staff wages.

About 40 per cent of fares will rise by the regulated amount in January, including season tickets on most commuter routes, some off-peak returns and anytime tickets around major cities.

"The sooner we see a public sector operator for ScotRail the better as we can focus on reinvesting profits in reliable services and cheaper fares".

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Fares are expected to go up by 3.5% at the start of the next year. "It's no longer a question of if our rail services are renationalised, it's a question of when".

The rate of inflation which is used to set rail season ticket prices was 3.2% in July - down from 3.6% previous year.

It has been the policy of successive governments to reduce the funding of the railways by taxpayers and increase the relative contribution of passengers.

They claim fare rises are pricing people off the railways because wages are not increasing at the same rate.

Chris Grayling, the Transport Secretary, wants to pin fare rises to the lower rate of CPI, which now stands at 2.3 per cent.

Passengers travelling from Bracknell, Wokingham and other stations are also likely to be affected by the price hike.

"Rail passengers have endured enough from the failures of the rail network this year, and being asked to pay more again next year will be a bitter pill to swallow".

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