By Jason Theodorou
Rail commuters are facing the prospect of an increase of at least 5.8% in the price of season tickets in the new year, after Tuesday’s announcement of inflation figures. Commuters will see the cost of tickets go up by 1% more than July’s retail price index.
This figure will be announced tomorrow, and experts believe it will stand at 5.1% - the highest it has ever stood since it was established in 2004.
A rise of 6.1% would involve someone commuting from Brighton to London, and would see commuters charged £216 more than the £3,556 they are currently charged on an annual basis. The Department of Transport is expected to be badly impacted by the cuts.
Transport Secretary Philip Hammond has refused to confirm if the current RPI, plus 1% formula is going to remain — which means that fares could rise above the 5.8% figure. He is not expected to announce a final decision until the Government has completed a full spending review, saying that the financial crisis has necessitated ‘tough decisions’.
RMT General Secretary Bob Crow said: “One hundred days in to the ConDem Government we know that transport is being lined up for further, massive cuts this autumn that threaten jobs, infra-structure projects, safety and the quality of service to the travelling public".
"It will take co-ordinated trade union and community action on a scale unseen since the Poll Tax resistance to stop the ConDem’s cuts juggernaut".
“With the Potters Bar inquest still fresh in our minds, and with the narrowly-avoided runaway train disaster on London Underground on Friday, RMT will continue to fight for jobs, safety and investment in services and against a fresh round of privatisation using every tool at our disposal".
“With fares expected to be jacked up through the roof come January there is no doubt that this Government is hell bent on ring-fencing the profits of the private operators while forcing passengers to pay through the nose to travel on over-crowded, under-resourced and unsafe services.”