Train fares to increase today: protests likely
Today's the day when we all find out how much train fares are going up by, not that train travel is a rip-off as it is. But as morning follows night, train companies put prices up year on year when the RPI inflation figure is announced.
The formula used allows prices to be increased by an average of RPI plus 1%, but train companies have the option to add another 2% to some fares, just as long as the overall average remains in line with the formula.
Next year's price rise could well take the overall increase to around 24.7% during this Parliament, according to the Campaign for Better Transport (CBT) and protests are expected at stations across the UK.
In addition to that, Shadow transport secretary Mary Creagh reckons there'll be a further rise of 24% by 2018 if the Tories stay in power. She's obviously forgotten about the Lib Dems being in the coalition as well, but that's British politics for you.
The CBT are right to point out that, in the same period train fares have risen by upwards of 24% since 2010, wages had only risen 6.9%. Everyone knows that the UK has some of the highest train fares in the world and as a result, customers don't think train companies are at all trustworthy.
Rail Minister Claire Perry did acknowledge that "we have had inflation-busting fare rises almost every year over the last decade" but insisted the Government is committed to "fair fares".
She said: "What we have got to do is make sure rail passengers, who could be forgiven for thinking 'What on earth am I getting for these rises I've seen over the last decade?', start to realise that they are paying fair fares for comfortable commuting."
"Passengers are paying for the "biggest investment in the rail network since Victorian times", she added while yammering on Radio 4.