Train passengers have been hit with a controversial four per cent rise in ticket fares in a price hike first announced last August, which sees peak time travellers bear the brunt of the cost.
Transport minister Baker justified the rises, saying: "We are engaged in the biggest rail investment programme since the 19th Century and it is only right that the passenger, as well as the taxpayer, contributes towards that.”
The peak time increases are intended to discourage travel at these times, in the hope of smoothing daily demand on the rail network.
However, the TUC has claimed that the level of pricing is unfair, having risen nearly three times faster than average incomes since 2008. A Commons Transport Committee report also argued that the fares “would for the most part be a tax on commuters who have no effective choice over how or when they travel”.
Rail ticket prices are still the subject of government scrutiny however. It is carrying out a fares and ticketing review, due to conclude in May, as part of a drive to find billions of pounds in efficiency savings and reduce taxpayer-funded subsidies to the railways.
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