Protesters rail against rising train travel cost

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CAMPAIGNERS protested against the rising cost of rail travel as it was revealed the average fare has gone up by more than a quarter since the start of the recession.

Rail unions and passenger groups staged demonstrations outside more than 50 train stations across the UK yesterday.

In Yorkshire, supporters of the TUC’s Action for Rail campaign lobbied travellers in Leeds, Headingley, Garforth, Doncaster and Hull, handing out thousands of Christmas cards to commuters with mocked-up messages from transport chiefs inside.

The cards, to be sent to MPs urging support for the renationalisation of the railways, reminded passengers more fare rises are on the way in the new year.

They also warned of further staff cuts, ticket office closures, delays and disruption to services in 2013.

The union’s general secretary-designate, Frances O’Grady, said the protests should act as an “urgent wake-up call” to Ministers.

“Train operating companies seem to have completely ignored the fact real-term incomes and living standards have fallen and have ploughed ahead with eye-watering price hikes,” she said.

The Association of Train Operating Companies last week announced fares will rise by 3.9 per cent on average in the New Year.

A spokesman said yesterday: “We know nobody likes paying more for their journey, especially to go to work. Train companies will continue working with the rest of the industry to become more cost efficient.”