Transport campaigners have been demonstrating outside Lynn’s railway station this morning to demand lower fares and the re-nationalisation of the rail network.
The protest coincided with the publication of July’s inflation figures, from which the annual increase in regulated fares, such as season tickets, is calculated.
The rise is capped to the rate of the retail price index, which stood at one per cent last month.
That will add around £55 to the cost of the cheapest annual season ticket for travel from Lynn to London King’s Cross when the increase is implemented in January.
Activists from the Lynn and District Trades Council, who support the campaign, gathered outside Lynn’s station earlier to urge commuters to contact their MPs to demand lower fares and a return to public sector management.
And former Labour election candidate Jo Rust said: “What we’re hearing is more and more people are in favour of bringing the railways back into public ownership.”
But the government insists that average earnings are now rising faster than rail fares for the first time since 2003, while the 2016 rise will be the lowest for six years.
Rail minister Claire Perry said: “We are investing record amounts in transforming the UK’s rail network in order to provide better journeys for everyone, and fares have an important role to play in delivering this investment.
“But I know that many families are concerned about the cost of rail travel, which is why we are putting an end to above inflation fare increases.
“This will make a real difference to household budgets, saving season ticket holders around £425 each over the next five years.
But Mrs Rust said the government had already gone back on its commitment to rail investment.
And research published today by the Action for Rail campaign claims that fares could be cut by 10 per cent if the network was taken back into public ownership.
They also say fares have gone up by 25 per cent over the last five years, nearly three times faster than average wages, which rose by nine per cent over the same period.