Protest planned against increased rail costs

The government's decision to retain the "flex system" could see fares rise by 25 per cent over four

A coalition of political activists and campaigners will demonstrate on 16th August in protest against increased rail fares, as the Department for Transport (DfT) has announced the 'flex system' is to remain, allowing for an eight per cent increase on rail fares.

Climate Rush, the Campaign for Better Transport, Bring Back British Rail, the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT), Together for Transport and the Transport Salaried Staffs' Association (TSSA) will congregate at Waterloo Station at eight a.m. tomorrow, as statistics suggest fares could rise by 25 per cent over the next four years.

The Campaign for Better Transport says that British rail fares are 20 per cent higher than those in European, but 40 per cent less efficient. It claims that "UK rail fares are the highest in the world, and some season tickets now cost the equivalent of a fifth of the average UK salary."

The Guardian reports that some fares will increase by as much as 13 per cent, adding that inflation is set to rise by four per cent.

The increased cost of transport is of concern not only to commuters, who will see a larger proportion of their salary eaten up by transport costs, but also to environmentalists who warn that increasing the cost of public transport will deter people from using cleaner, more efficient means of travel.

Concerns have also be raised over the future of bus services, as various councils cut back routes and allow increased fares as part of the government's austerity package.