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Posted on 2 January 2013 at 10:51 GMT

Fares hike: Nationalise the railways says Bob Crow

From an RMT press release:

Train fares will increase by 3.9 per cent, on average, from today with some passengers facing hikes of up to 10 per cent on their journeys, says the TUC.

Research published last month by the TUC's Action for Rail campaign shows that average train fares have risen nearly three times faster than average wages since the beginning of the recession in 2008.

The huge disparity between fare and wage increases means that a family of four (two adults and two children) looking to travel to London on an anytime ticket from Swansea, Plymouth, Leeds, Manchester or Newcastle in 2013 would have to pay than the average weekly wage of 481.

As well as being asked to pay more passengers also face the prospect of ticket office closures and fewer staff on trains and stations.

Train operators are expected to make significant cuts to jobs in 2013 in an attempt to find 3.5 billion savings across the rail industry by 2018/19 - a target set by the government in response to the McNulty Review published last year.

Train operators have already begun to implement ticket office closures and seem keen on speeding up the process, warns the TUC.

Earlier this month, Michael Roberts, chief executive of the Association of Train Operating Companies, called on the government to scrap the regulations that currently require passengers to be consulted over ticket office opening hours and station closures.

RMT General Secretary Bob Crow said:

"As passengers return from the festive break they will be kicked in the teeth with inflation-busting fare increases that will do nothing other than fatten the profits of the greedy train operators. 2013 will the year that the fight to re-nationalise the railways goes into overdrive".

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