Rail fares rise by 3.1% in England and Wales

Rail passengers

Rail passengers

"The year 2018 was a year of complete chaos for local rail passengers", Sir David said.

Commuters faced disruption on the rails on the day season ticket prices were increased by another 3.1 per cent.

Walkouts by the hardline Rail Maritime and Transport union, supported by Labour, have caused chaos, with more than 60 days of protests on Northern and South Western past year.

"The three main reasons behind it; the extreme weather in the east, then the very hot summer, the strike action, but also the implantation of the May timetable did not go according to plan".

Protests against rises elsewhere are expected outside stations across the country from rail unions, politicians and campaigners.

Anthony Smith, the chief executive of the independent watchdog Transport Focus, said: "Passengers now pour more than £10bn a year into the railway alongside significant government investment, so the rail industry can not be short of funding".

Labour's transport spokesman Andy McDonald, who received £60,000 in donations from the RMT in just over a year, said passengers were "furious" with the latest 3.1 per cent fare rise.

Passengers are set to stage a national protest at the hike today, which will see many rail season tickets increase by more than £100. Like the existing card for 16 to 25-year-olds, it costs £30 and reduces fares by a third.

Rare Super Blood Moon eclipse to give stargazers triple treat
In fact, the first month of the year is going to bring a rare lunar event - Super Blood Moon - to excite amateur astronomers. Unfortunately, it will be visible only from northeast Asia and the North Pacific, as it will happen around 8:42 p.m.

But finally we've got some transport-based good news, in the form of the long-awaited 26-30 railcard, which went on sale at 12pm today - a moment that's being dubbed a "key milestone" in rail history.

Rail, Maritime and Transport union general secretary Mick Cash said fare payers are being "battered by the toxic combination of gross mismanagement and profiteering".

Chief executive Anthony Smith said "the rail industry can not be short of funding" thanks to passenger contributions, adding: "When will this translate into more reliable services that are better value for money?"

Increases in around 45% of fares, including season tickets, are regulated by the UK, Scottish and Welsh governments.

He said: "Bolton commuters face a daily lottery".

They are predominantly capped at July's RPI inflation figure, which was 3.2%. "Any change to rail fares could therefore have a significant impact on the taxpayer".

The rail industry says 98p of every pound spent on a ticket is invested back into the network.

The Department for Transport has commissioned former British Airways chief executive Keith Williams to carry out a root and branch review of Britain's railway, including fares.

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