Rail fares (and blood pressure) set to rise
Today we’ll find out how much rail fares are going to go up, when official inflation figures are released. So you'd probably better start trying to find some coins down the back of the sofa now.
From January, there’s expected to be a 4.3% rise in England above inflation, while in Scotland fares will be capped at the rate of inflation. In Northern Ireland there will be no price rises and Wales haven’t made up their minds what they’re going to do yet. The expected rise in England represents a 40% increase since 2008.
In response to the planned increase, the TUC are protesting at key stations on the UK network, and calling for the railways to be nationalised.
‘Wage-busting fare rises are not even going on much needed service improvements", said TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady. ‘Instead, passenger and public subsidies are lining the pockets of the shareholders of private rail companies.’
Richard Hebditch, from the Campaign for Better Transport said: ‘There is a depth of anger out there. You don't think of commuters as being necessarily the most likely to take action, but I think it's really starting to eat into people's incomes.’
With wages frozen and travel getting more and more expensive, the situation is obviously unsustainable. So what are WE going to do about this, comrades? Sit back on the 8.22 to Kings Cross and read the Metro with tears in our eyes? Or will we fight the greedy private rail companies, using Upper Crust baguettes and hot coffee as weapons?