'Kick in the teeth' for inflation-hit commuters as rail fares rise by 3.4%

  • Rail fares rise by 3.4% today, the largest annual increase since 2013.
  • RMT union called the price rise a “kick in the teeth” for rail travellers.
  • Industry body claims most of the money goes towards infrastructure investment.

LONDON – Rail fares rise by an average of 3.4% from today, the largest annual increase since 2013.

The Rail Delivery Group announced the price rises in early December, saying just 3p in every pound of fares is profit for train companies.

“Over 97% of money from fares goes back into improving and running the railway, underpinning the rail industry’s long-term plan to work together to change and improve services for customers, the economy, communities and people who work in rail,” the industry group said in a statement.

However, the RMT union called the rise a “kick in the teeth” for rail travellers when the price increases were first announced,according to the BBC.

The price rise comes as the cost of essentials like food, fuel, and energy is already rising rapidly. Inflation is currently running at 3%, well above the Bank of England’s target level of 2%.

Paul Plummer, CEO of the Rail Delivery Group, which consists of train companies and Network Rail, said in a statement: “Government controls increases to almost half of fares, including season tickets, with the rest heavily influenced by the payments train companies make to government.”

There were 1.7 billion rail passenger journeys – more than 4.5 million a day – across Britain in 2016-2017.

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