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Wednesday, 6 December 2017
3.4% RAIL HIKE ‘KICK IN TEETH’
TRAIN fares in Britain will go up by an average of 3.4% from 2nd January, the biggest rise since 2013, and described by rail union RMT as ‘another kick in the teeth for British passengers.’
|Passenger protest against rail fare hikes outside King’s Cross station on January 1st 2016
Students hoping to travel home to see their families will be hit hard by the rise, as will workers forced to live outside of big cities like London because the rents are so high and to commute in every day.
The hike covers regulated fares, including season tickets, and unregulated fares such as off-peak leisure tickets.
RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said: ‘These fare increases are another kick in the teeth for British passengers who will still be left paying the highest fares in Europe to travel on rammed out, unreliable trains where private profit comes before public safety.
‘For public sector workers and many others in our communities who have had their pay and benefits capped or frozen by this Government these fares increases are another twist of the economic knife, while the private train companies are laughing all the way to the bank.’
Meanwhile, the ballot for strike action on Virgin East Coast rail has opened over an attempt to impose a two-tier workforce as the government plans a multi-million pound company bail-out. RMT confirmed that the ballot began this week after the company decided to impose a pay offer that had previously been rejected by the workforce.
The union said: ‘The news of the ballot comes just a week after it emerged that Virgin East Coast are being lined up for a massive taxpayer bail-out, running to hundreds of millions of pounds, on a franchise that has been riddled with problems since the public sector operation was scrapped and Virgin/Stagecoach were handed the keys.’
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