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Rail fares rise three times faster than wages


Rail fares have increased three times as faster than wages, according to research conducted by the Trade Union Congress (TUC).

Over the past five years regulated rail fare prices have risen 25%, while average pay only rose by 9% in the same period. Rail unions are now campaigning for train lines to be again run by the public sector, which would stem the rise in prices. They believe that £1.5 billion could be saved in the next five years if routes, including the Northern, Transpennine and West Coast Main Line, were returned to the public sector.

The government has confirmed that regulated rail fares will rise by no more than inflation for this parliament, ahead of inflation data being released. Regulated rail fares cover about half of all tickets sold and include season tickets and day returns.

Rail minister Claire Perry has claimed that the government plans will put an end to “inflation-busting fare increases” and that next years fares will be some of the lowest increases “for decades”.

TUC general secretary Frances O'Grady believes the damage has already been done, and many commuters are already “seriously out of pocket” due to sharp rises in the past. She said:
"If ministers really want to help hard-pressed commuters they need to return services to the public sector.
"It would allow much bigger savings to be passed onto passengers."

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