Fury as rail fares soar SIX PER CENT despite endless strikes and cancellations - 'Give up and work from home!'

The Department for Transport has announced that rail fares will increase by almost six per cent next year

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Rail fares in England are set to increase by nearly six per cent from March next year, the Department for Transport (DfT) has said.

The DfT has capped the increase at 5.9 per cent for fares such as season tickets on most commuter journeys, some off-peak return tickets on long distance journeys and flexible tickets for travel around major cities.

Fares will rise from March 5.

The increase comes after weeks of disruption as train workers carried out a series of strikes over a pay dispute - with more strikes expected over the festive period.

Talking on GB News following the announcement, Mark Longhurst said: “I thought we were getting the message from the Government that they’re trying to get people back to working in city centres because of course it grows the rest of the economy, the coffee shops, the restaurants, the sandwich bars and so on.

Pay dispute: Rail fares will increase in March next year despite weeks of strikes
Pay dispute: Rail fares will increase in March next year despite weeks of strikes

“It feeds into people’s spending, and clearly now people will have to make a reassessment – can they afford to work?

“I think it is still a stay at home, don’t work.”

Train operators set unregulated fares, however their decision on prices are heavily influenced by the Government following the introduction of contracts due to the Covid pandemic.

Some social media users took to Twitter to share their outrage as fares are set to surge.

One Twitter user said: “Paying 5.9 percent more on an already expensive fare on a network which is – essentially – broken. The Government really are taking rail passengers for a ride.”

While another added: “Rail fare increases should be scrapped until train companies can meet a certain standard.

“Travelling on cramped trains, late trains, cancelled and trains with no heating isn’t a choice that the public will accept. If you want to raise prices get the system right in the 1st place!”

Transport Secretary Mark Harper said: “This is the biggest-ever Government intervention in rail fares.

“I’m capping the rise well below inflation to help reduce the impact on passengers.

“It has been a difficult year and the impact of inflation is being felt across the UK economy.

“We do not want to add to the problem.

“This is a fair balance between the passengers who use our trains and the taxpayers who help pay for them."

Rail strikes: The rail fare cap of 5.9 per cent is below the rate of inflation
Rail strikes: The rail fare cap of 5.9 per cent is below the rate of inflation

The Government department claims the increase is 6.4 percent points lower than the inflation figure fare rises are historically based on.

Labour’s shadow transport secretary Louise Haigh said: “This savage fare hike will be a sick joke for millions reliant on crumbling services.

“People up and down this country are paying the price for 12 years of Tory failure.”