More rush hour rail chaos with long delays on Virgin and London Midland lines as fare rises come into effect

Emma Haslett
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Rail fares have risen an average of 2.5 per cent (Source: Getty)

Rail passengers faced the dual indignities of a 2.5 per cent increase in ticket costs and more rail delays this morning, as fare price rises came into effect.

The price rise applied to regulated fares, which includes most season tickets, although the average fare rose 2.2 per cent.

Lines were held up between London and Scotland and London and Crewe, as well as on Virgin's Trent Valley line, as problems with overhead wires in Nuneaton caused delays.

And in East Anglia, where passengers have already endured weeks of delays from Greater Anglia, services continued to be disrupted.

The disruption follows a chaotic festive period, during which King's Cross was mostly out of action because of late-running engineering work.

Instead, many services heading to the north were transferred to Finsbury Park, causing thousands of passengers to get stuck as the station became overcrowded.

Although rail operators have insisted today's rise in fare prices is the lowest in five years, campaigners have pointed out that UK trains are still among Europe's most expensive.
The Campaign for Better Transport (CBT) said the cost of a season ticket from Milton Keynes to London has risen 23.5 per cent, or £930, since January 2010, while the TUC said passengers in the UK spend more than twice as much of their salary on rail fares than some of their European counterparts.

The CBT added that it now takes those travelling from Peterborough to London an average of 14 weeks of net earnings to pay off their season tickets, while Brighton to London passengers to 8.6 weeks.

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