Prices set to rise by average of 1.1%, meaning cost of some commuters’ tickets have increased by £2,000 since Tories took office

A Virgin Train
A Virgin Trains season ticket between Birmingham and London Euston will cost more than £10,000 for the first time. Photograph: Matt Dunham/AP

Commuters will be paying an average of 25% more for rail season tickets since David Cameron took office, Labour has calculated.

Fares are set to rise by an average of 1.1% on Saturday and the shadow transport secretary, Lilian Greenwood, said that would mean passengers being hit by a “truly staggering” rise of up to £2,000 in cash terms since 2010.

The Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, used the latest annual increase to repeat his call for the nationalisation of train services, claiming it was a scandal that commuters’ money was being used to boost the profits of private firms and foreign state-owned operators.

The analysis compared costs on more than 200 routes between 2010, when the coalition came to power, and when the new prices come into effect on Saturday.

The highest increase found was on a Virgin Trains season ticket between Birmingham and London Euston which has risen by £1,984 and now costs more than £10,000 for the first time.

The biggest percentage increase identified was between Thame Bridge Parkway near Walsall and Nuneaton, where the cost of an annual season ticket has risen by 38% since 2010.

The cost of a season ticket from Kingham, in the prime minister’s Witney constituency, to London Paddington will have increased by 25% to £5,412.

The Birmingham to Euston route with Virgin will cost £10,012 from Saturday, with the next biggest rise in cash terms being the £1,752 increase since 2010 in the ticket from Coventry to Euston.

Corbyn said: “Labour is now committed to a publicly owned railway as the best way to secure a fair deal for rail passengers and taxpayers, and long term investment for a modern railway system.

“It’s a scandal that fares are being increased every year to subsidise the profits of private companies and other countries’ railway systems.”

Greenwood said in some cases passengers were faced with increases far beyond the average of 25% for regulated fares, which include season tickets.

“Fares have risen more than three times faster than wages and passengers on some routes have also been hit by ‘stealth fare rises’ of up to 162%,” she said.

“Out of touch ministers talk about delivering ‘fair fares for comfortable commuting’ but this is a world away from the overcrowded carriages and unreliable services that are increasingly characterising our network. Passengers were always told that higher fares were necessary to fund investment, but vital projects have been delayed by years and essential maintenance works have been put on hold.”

Rail minister Claire Perry insisted that the government understood concerns about the cost of travel and had taken action to halt above-inflation rises.
She said: “We are helping hard-working people with the cost of transport. We’ve put a stop to inflation busting increases in regulated fares until 2020.

“This will save the average season ticket holder £425 in this parliament and means earnings are outstripping rail fare increases for first time in a decade.”

Regulated fares have increased by an average of 7% in real terms – taking inflation into account – between 1995 and 2015, compared with a 33% rise in unregulated standard class tickets.

[Source:-the gurdian]

By Adam