Anger at Derby rail station as commuters hit out at above-inflation fares rise
A CALL for the renationalisation of the railways has followed the latest above-inflation rail fare increase.
With many people making their first commute of the new year, there was anger at Derby railway station at the 3.9% average rise.
Nathan Coughlan, a student from Belper, was travelling to Edinburgh with his partner, Ese Tweddle, 24.
The 23-year-old said: "It's all Thatcher's fault. We should renationalise the railways. We already pay for them as it is. I travel to Stoke every day and that costs £5.50, which is really good value.
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"But the service is so poor. You only ever get one carriage between Derby and Stoke.
"It's a main line and it's just not good enough."
The increase, which came into effect yesterday, is partly dictated by the Government – which states that certain fares, including season tickets, must increase by inflation plus 1% – and partly by the train operating companies.
Alex Rock, 26, who travels from Dudley every day to work as engagement officer at Quad, said: "I have an hour-and-a-half commute each day, which has two connections.
"But, if the trains are late, as they often are, then that can be up to two-and-a-half hours on a bad day.
"I really can't see what we are getting for the increase in the fares."
Andrzej Michalski, a chef at the Bean Cafe, in Ford Street, Derby, travels from Loughborough.
He said: "I don't have a choice about whether I use this service. I don't drive so I have to pay.
"The trains are getting so overcrowded as well. I have a weekly travel card and three or four times a week I have to stand."
There were also protests at Derby and Matlock rail stations against the increases by an alliance of groups called Derby Climate Coalition.
Peter Robinson, secretary of Shift, one of the groups, said: "We have one of the most expensive but worst rail systems in Europe.
"We should be making it easier to travel by train for the good of the climate."
Michael Roberts, chief executive of the Association of Train Operating Companies, said: "We understand commuters don't like to pay more to travel to work but it is the Government that decides how much season tickets should rise. Successive governments have required train companies to increase the average price of season tickets since 2004 by more than inflation."