Rail fees to soar in January

Steve Dinneen
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TRANSPORT campaigners have warned train fares will rise by four times the rate of inflation come January thanks to government plans.

Transport secretary Philip Hammond will cut the £5bn annual train subsidy and has upped the amount rail operators can increase their fares from RPI plus one to RPI plus three. The plans will see fares rise by as much as a third by 2014, with an eight per cent hike in the most popular fares as soon as January. Some fares will rise by even more thanks to a “flex system” which allows price rises to be averaged across a basket of routes.

The government says it is keen to shift the burden of the struggling train network from the taxpayer to rail users.

Critics from the Campaign for Better Transport last night warned commuters will voice their anger in the ballot box.