Workers travelling back to their jobs tomorrow will be faced with a rise in the price of their tickets as the government pushes fares up by an average of six per cent. The hike has been condemned by consumer groups. Maria Eagle, shadow transport secretary, said train companies were only interested in turning a profit, not improving the services they are providing.
She added that the surprise is not likely to be very welcome and that the rise comes as many families continue to battle with the high cost of living. Theresa Villiers, the rail minister, said the price rise had already been limited to help passengers. She pointed out that the government was still trying to sort out Labour’s deficit.
The Association of Train Operating Companies has also defended the increase in costs being placed on travellers by saying that the revenue will be used to dramatically improve services. However, Passenger Focus has slammed the hike, pointing out that on some routes the cost of a season ticket has gone up by 11 per cent.
Anthony Smith, the watchdog’s chief executive, said that it was unfair for commuters to continue to foot the bill for a fractured industry. Mr Smith also condemned a rise in parking fees, but was complimentary about some operator’s scheme to allow travellers to spread the cost of annual tickets.
Campaign for Better Transport has also slammed the fare rise and called upon travellers to make their displeasure known to the Treasury on Tuesday by calling in, texting or tweeting.