Rail fare rises could be more than 5pc

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Some train passengers could face season ticket fare rises of more than five per cent under new year increases expected to be announced today.

Recent Government announcements have meant the annual rise in regulated fares, which include season tickets, will not be so severe for 2014.

But the new price-rise formula, which will kick in on January 2, still allows for average regulated fare increases of 3.1 per cent.

And train companies can use a 2.0 per cent “flex” regulation which lets them put some regulated fares up by 5.1 per cent as long as their overall average does not exceed 3.1 per cent.

The increase for any January is calculated from the RPI rate of inflation figure for the previous July. In July this year the RPI figure was 3.1 per cent.

Campaign for Better Transport chief executive Stephen Joseph said: “We’re very disappointed that the higher RPI figure is
still being used when it comes
to passengers having to find
money for their annual
increase.

“Yet when it comes to pensions and other benefits, the lower CPI inflation figure is used.”

Bob Crow, general secretary of transport union the RMT, said: “Passengers will continue to pay the highest fares in Europe to travel on creaking, overcrowded trains where even raw sewage
is dumped on the tracks because the private operators will not stump up for tanks and the staff to empty them. That is a sickening indictment on our privatised railways as we head towards the new year.”

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