Protest in London over 2012 rail fare increases

09:07 03 January 2012

A protest led by transport union TSSA outside St Pancras Station in London, as commuters face new rail fare rises on first working day of the year

A protest led by transport union TSSA outside St Pancras Station in London, as commuters face new rail fare rises on first working day of the year

The first working day back of the new year is being used for a protest against above-inflation rail fare rises.

Commuters are being urged to direct their anger about the fare hikes towards the Treasury through tweets, texts or phone calls.

Hefty increases to fares for rail and Tube services in London came into effect yesterday.

Train fares have gone up by an average of 5.9 per cent, but some commuters will find their season tickets are rising by more than this.

For instance, a season ticket between Northampton and the capital rises 6.9 per cent to £4,756.

In London itself, Tube and bus fares have been raised by 5.6 per cent on average.

The increase is lower than was expected due to £136 million funding from the government being secured to limit the effect on commuters.

The Campaign for Better Transport is joining the TSSA transport union outside St Pancras station this morning for a demonstration against the fare rises.

Last week the CBT released figures showing how London commuters are paying up to 10 times more for season tickets on comparable journeys than some European counterparts.

CBT public transport campaigner Sophie Allain said: “When the cost of season tickets is so much higher than other European capitals, the government’s fare rises are starting to affect the UK’s competitiveness.

“That’s why, if the government is serious about promoting economic growth, it must also look at reducing planned fare rises in 2013 and 2014 as part of a policy to cut fares and make public transport truly affordable.”

The government, train companies and London Mayor Boris Johnson have claimed fare rises are necessary to sustain investment in the Tube and mainline railway, which includes projects such as Crossrail and Thameslink.

But passenger groups and transport unions are angry the rises come at a time of high inflation and low or no salary increases.

They have also pointed to Network Rail’s poor punctuality on long-distance rail routes as highlighted recently by the Office of Rail Regulation.

Passengers in London today expressed their outrage at the fare increases.

Civil servant Craig Marshall, 47, from Northwood in north-west London, said he had just paid £129 for a one-way ordinary single ticket from King’s Cross to Edinburgh.

He went on: “This is a lot more than I paid the last time I did this journey a few weeks ago when I think it was something like £89.

“I normally travel on South West Trains between London and Southampton Central and that service has got worse and worse.

“I am not very happy at all at these fare rises. Passengers, once again, are paying for the failure of train companies.”

Accountant Martin Lunan, 27, from Mile End, east London, was travelling from St Pancras station in London to Leicester.

He said: “I would have been happy to pay increases if the services improved. I recognise that higher fares pay for more investment in the rail and Tube networks but I don’t think we’re seeing better services.”

Another passenger departing from St Pancras, who gave his name as Freeman from Lewisham in south-east London, said he had actually managed to buy an advance ticket to Derby for less than he normally paid for the journey.

He went on: “I’m happy with the ticket I’ve got today but I’m fairly cynical about these fare rises.

“It would be nice to think the extra money will go on improving services, but I doubt it’s going to make any difference.”

Labour’s mayoral candidate Ken Livingstone is also backing today’s protest, promoting his Fare Deal plan which he claims will cut fares by seven per cent.

The party is warning how fares in London are now costing more than a quarter of minimum-wage take-home pay.

Activists are handing out leaflets at Tube, train, tram and bus stations today.

Mr Livingstone said: “Before millions of Londoners even arrive at work this morning they will have felt the pain of a fourth year of above-inflation bus, Tube and train fare hikes under Boris Johnson.

“This is the wrong fare rise at the wrong time, taking money out of people’s pockets when the London economy is struggling and when people are very hard pressed.

“The impact applies across London and across ages and income brackets. Yet every year the Mayor rakes in more income from fares than his budgets and business plans says he will.”

What are your thoughts about the public transport fare rises in London? Are they too high? Does travelling around the capital put too much strain on your finances? Add your comments below or tweet us @archantlondon24

Related articles

Sign up for our news alerts today!

Our editors' picks for the day's top news delivered to your inbox or phone.

Sign up for email alerts Sign up for mobile alerts
1
2 3 4 5 6
7

Latest London transportation news

Monday, July 6, 2015
We may see repeats of these scenes at West Hampstead last year (Photo: Nigel Sutton)

TfL say if the planned industrial action goes ahead, “there will be no Tube service from late afternoon on Wednesday July 8 and no Tube service at all on Thursday July 9.”

Tuesday, June 30, 2015
(Picture:: PA)

London Underground staff who were hailed as heroes on 7/7 for evacuating stations and tending to the wounded are being ‘forced’ to reapply for their jobs due to ‘dangerous’ job cuts, the RMT union has said.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015
Fabian Downie

A pervert who performed a solo sex act on six London buses, including one in Old Street, has been jailed.

Monday, June 29, 2015

South Kensington Tube station was evacuated and a police cordon put up this afternoon due to a ‘security alert’.

Monday, June 29, 2015
Wednesday's protest at Bank (Picture: London Cycling Campaign)

A candlelit vigil and ‘die-in’ protest will be held at Bank junction today in memory of cyclist Ying Tao who died after a road traffic collision there last Monday.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

The Commissioner of Transport for London (TfL), Peter Hendy, is leaving his role to take over the helm of Network Rail.

What is this?

Near You Now

Don't Miss...

Competitions

Good times with Greenall's!

Good times with Greenall’s, a Great British gin sponsors Great British racing.

Read more
Escape to the picturesque sights of Cornwall

Summer is finally here, and what is the number one holiday location in the UK during the warmer months? Cornwall, of course!

Read more
Adrenalin junkies, this one's for you!

An icon of British engineering and a consistent favourite of James Bond, there are few names quite as legendary in motoring as Aston Martin.

Read more

London Bloggers

Monday, April 13, 2015
Vintage fashion shopping is a joy in London (Photo by Graham French/BIPs/Getty Images)

In with the old, out with the new. This is the mantra of the best London vintage shoppers today, whose aesthetic of effortless chic is becoming more sought after.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015
Eating the right foods can significantly improve your mood

Think sweet treats make you feel better? ‘Comfort foods’ could be adding to your misery.