16:02 14 August 2012
It has been confirmed that a shock 6.2% rise in rail fares will go ahead from January. The controversial figure is almost double the rate of inflation.
Those in England will be hardest hit with a 3% increase to RPI (the Retail Prices Index), which total a hike of 6.2%. However, some tickets can go up by a further 5% - which would equate to a total of more than 11% - as long as they are balanced by discounts on other fares.
Scottish travellers have it a little easier with just a 1% increase while Wales is yet to set an official figure.
Bob Crow, leader of the Rail Maritime and Transport union, told Sky News: "This represents a massive blow to the travelling public as they see fares rocket by over 6% in January at a time when household budgets are hit by the Government's austerity programmes.
"People will be rightly angry as they work out what this inflation-busting increase in fares means for them.
"This money will not be invested back in services, it will be trousered by the greedy train operators as another windfall profit."
The increases were expected however. The government recently announced plans for a massive modernisation of the UK's rail networks which aims to expand services and deliver billions of pounds worth in efficiency savings. But for all that to happen, the capital needs to first come from the taxpayer.
The Campaign for Better Transport's chief executive, Stephen Joseph, told The Guardian: "The government knows they can't continue to hit [car] commuters – that's why they've postponed the fuel duty increase. Now they need to give the same help to rail users."
The companies that operate the trains have stated that they won't be receiving many more profits however. Speaking to the Guardian, Michael Roberts, the chief executive of the Association of Train Operating Companies, claimed that their rates have also been adjusted.
He said: "The government decides the average increase of commuter ticket prices and other regulated fares which train companies will be required to introduce. Any flexibility train companies have within the rules is to maximise revenue for the government."
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