Economy

United Kingdom rail sees biggest price hike in five years

United Kingdom rail sees biggest price hike in five years

Asked why the trip could not have been arranged for later in the month, so Grayling could respond to the biggest annual rise in rail fares for five years and protests at stations in response, the spokesman referred the question to the Department for Transport. Fares have increased by 24.5% since the public sector pay freeze started in 2011, a period in which the pay of 5 million workers including NHS staff and teachers has gone up by just over 5%.

It means the average season ticket into London is up £146 - twice as much as previous year and well ahead of the standard measure of inflation and sluggish wage growth.

From Tuesday, average rail ticket prices will rise by 3.4% across the United Kingdom - the biggest increase in five years.

The group argues that lower fares could only be delivered by increasing taxpayer support, which would disproportionately benefit higher earners, as the top fifth of households travel six times as far by rail as those in the bottom 20 per cent. The route has hit the headlines in recent days after it was revealed that Virgin was ending its contract to operate the line three years early, in 2020, after running into financial difficulties. "While welcome investment is being made in the railway, passengers need to be able to rely on the trains today".

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Nevertheless, the decision to let Grayling go to Qatar rather than keep him in the United Kingdom to fight the government's corner is being seen by many Westminster watchers as a clear vote of no confidence in the transport secretary.

Rail, Maritime and Transport union General Secretary Mick Cash said: "Passengers are paying more and more for less and less".

"It should become absolutely standard for all trains on the British railway network to have seamless connectivity, as it's essential for attracting the smartphone-connected generation to rail, as well as the business traveller working on the move", he said.

Labour's shadow transport secretary Andy McDonald and Stevenage Borough Council leader Sharon Taylor meet party campaigners at the town's railway station.

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The union said the rise - the biggest in five years - comes at a time when earnings are falling in real terms. "Labour will bring our railways back into public ownership so they work for the many, not the few".

"This increase in passenger usage is 60 per cent in Wales since 2003".

"It's another New Year and yet another hike in fares for passengers".

Transport unions in the United Kingdom criticized the rail price hikes and called for a return to public ownership of Britain's railways, which were privatized in the mid-1990s.

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