Bad news for Newham commuters: Rail fares soar at twice the speed of wages

PUBLISHED: 13:35 16 August 2016 | UPDATED: 13:35 16 August 2016

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn (third left) at a RMT protest at London Bridge station on Tuesday morning. Picture: Yui Mok/PA Images

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn (third left) at a RMT protest at London Bridge station on Tuesday morning. Picture: Yui Mok/PA Images

PA/Press Association Images

As new fare hikes are announced today, analysis reveals that since 2010 train ticket prices have increased at double to speed of wages.

Research by the Trades Union Congress (TUC) and the Action for Rail campaign suggests fares have risen by 25 per cent while average weekly earnings have grown by 12pc.

Regulated rail fares will go up by 1.9pc in January next year. The increase is linked to July’s Retail Price Index measure of inflation.

Around half of rail fares are regulated, including season tickets on most commuter journeys, some off-peak return tickets on long distance trips and Anytime tickets around major cities.

At the current prices, a 12-month season ticket between Stratford and London Liverpool Street would cost £716.00, with journeys averaging £1.49. The 1.9pc price hike will see that yearly cost rise to £729.60, and £1.52 per journey.

Paul Plummer, chief executive at the Rail Delivery Group, representing train operators and Network Rail, said: “Nobody wants to pay more to travel to work and at the moment in some areas people aren’t getting the service they are paying for, and we know how frustrating that is.

“But increases to season tickets are set by Government. For every pound paid in fares, 97p goes back into running and improving services and it’s our job to make sure that money is spent well.”

Manuel Cortes, the general secretary of transport union TSSA, said: “Our rail fares are already the highest in Europe and these increases will only make that record worse.

“It’s time that ministers gave rail passengers a break and actually froze fares in real terms.”

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn held a placard which read “2017 rip off central” at a protest about the hikes outside London Bridge station this morning. Action for Rail organised similar protest at more than 50 stations.

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