Transport: Campaigners demand fair rail fares

Rail fare rises mean some commuters will have to pay more than £5,000 for season tickets from Sunday, the Campaign for Better Transport says.

This total is about 20 per cent of the average UK salary and is the equivalent of Transport Secretary Philip Hammond paying more than 27,000 for a season ticket, the campaign added.

Backed by TV presenter and actor Michael Palin, the campaign will next week launch a Fair Fares Now drive to coincide with the return to work of travellers after the festive break.

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Season ticket holders face average rises of 5.8 per cent, with some Kent commuters having to fork out for increases of almost 13 per cent.

The chief executive Stephen Joseph said: "Commuters feel like they are being pick-pocketed by the Government, expected to pay more year on year for the same poor quality service. Even with the promised extra investment, many passengers will see no actual improvement to their daily commute.

"Politicians need to start living in the real world and understand that people simply cannot afford to pay a fifth of their income just to do a day's work. The Government pledged to create fair fares and we all expect them to keep that promise."

Michael Palin said: "Rail fare rises are holding travellers to ransom and increasing the likelihood that people will have to take to our already-overcrowded roads."