MILLIONS of rail passengers will have to pay an average of 2.7% more for tickets from 2nd January, in a fare rise announced last Friday by the Rail Delivery Group of railway privateers.
Many commuters will face an increase of more than £100 in the annual cost of getting to work.
A spokesperson for independent watchdog Transport Focus said: ‘We speak to thousands of passengers each year and we know that less than half feel they get value for money.
‘After a year of patchy performance, passengers just want a consistent day-to-day service they can rely on and a better chance of getting a seat.’
- Strike action begins today on South Western Railway, lasting 27 days throughout December on the critical issue of passenger safety and accessibility, and in defence of the guard.
RMT general secretary Mick Cash said last week: ‘RMT is angry and frustrated that a set of proposals that would have guaranteed the safety-critical role of the guard at the point of despatch, and which would have cost the company absolutely nothing, have been kicked back in our faces.
‘There is no rational explanation for the company position and we can only assume that either they or their paymasters in government want this strike action to go ahead for politically motivated purposes.
‘The union also believes that cutting the guard out of the despatch process reduces the second person on the train to little more than a passenger in the longer term which would give the company the option of axing them altogether at some point down the line.
‘Both the union and the travelling public are being set up and that stinks.
‘Our action goes ahead from Monday in defence of passenger safety and accessibility and the blame for that lies wholly with SWR and their wrecking strategy.’