14 Aug 2019
UK train passengers are expecting an increase in the fare rate to be announced on Wednesday. The train fares have increased at a faster rate than that of wages, the Trade Union Congress (TUC) noted.
TUC raised red flags ahead of the new fare price, which is predicted to go up by 2.9%, saying that it may influence train passengers to resort to other ways of transportation. The Office for National Statistics highlight that the total costs of train travel have been incremented by 46% in the last decade, whereas wages increased by 23%. The rise in price is set to take effect in January.
TUC general secretary, Frances O’Grady expressed his concerns on the rise in fares, saying, ‘The last thing UK commuters need is another hefty fare increase. We’re already paying the highest ticket prices in Europe to travel on overcrowded and understaffed trains.’ He added on, ‘It’s time to take the railways back into public hands. Every single penny from every single fare should be invested into our railways.’
The shadow transport secretary, Andy McDonald had similar thoughts on the issue, stating ‘Rail travel has got more expensive every year in real terms under the Conservatives. What’s worse is that as rail performance and service quality has declined passengers are paying more for less.’
However, the fare rise was defended by the rail minister, Chris Heaton-Harris, who said that the system needs to be invested in if it must improve. ‘It’s tempting to suggest fares should never rise. However, the truth is that if we stop investing in our railway then we will never see it improved.’
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