Workers in the UK had more than returning to work after the Christmas break to feel gloomy about this morning as the price for their yearly train tickets have risen by as much as 13 per cent.
Although the average the price of a season ticket will have increased by 6.2 per cent, on some major commuter routes there will be an added 12.8 per cent to consider. This leaves some paying £5, 000 a year to travel, a fifth of the average salary.
With inflation currently at 3.3 per cent and the average employee only receiving an average pay rise of 2.2 per cent the news of the rise has angered many rail customers and consumer groups across the country.
Passenger groups have started to campaign heavily against the charges. At London’s Charing Cross station customers were met by the Campaign for Better Transport supporters wearing Nick Clegg and David Cameron masks urging them to sign petitions, write to their Members of Parliament and to protest.
Chief executive of the Association of Train Operating Companies, Michael Roberts, explains the reasoning behind the decision, claiming the Government felt that taxpayers should not be contributing to the cost of rail travel at the current levels.
Previously the financial burden of maintaining and improving the rail network was shared equally between tax earnings and the revenue from ticket sales.
Many had feared the rises will prompt people to return to their cars to make the morning trip to the office, however as petrol and diesel are hit by government fuel charges and the VAT increase the roads may not be a worthwhile alternative.