Huw Merriman Louise Haigh Lib Dem Britain city Birmingham county Baker COST UPS Action Huw Merriman Louise Haigh Lib Dem Britain city Birmingham county Baker

Train fares in England and Wales to rise by 5.9% despite poor service

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Train passengers will be hit by the largest increase in fares for more than a decade on Sunday despite record levels of poor reliability.Fares in England and Wales will rise by up to 5.9% on average, adding hundreds of pounds to the cost of many annual season tickets.The annual fares rise is the largest since a 6.1% hike across Britain in 2012, according to a PA news agency analysis of Office of Rail and Road (ORR) data.Rail minister Huw Merriman said the increase is “well below inflation and delayed”, but Labour described it as “savage” and public transport groups claimed passengers are not getting value for money.Examples of potential increases in ticket prices based on a 5.9% rise include an annual season ticket from Woking to London increasing from £3,664 to £3,880.An off-peak return from Birmingham to Cardiff will rise from £67.30 to £71.27, while an anytime day single ticket from Liverpool to Leeds will rise from £39.90 to £42.25.Separate ORR figures show the equivalent of one in 25 train services were cancelled in the year to 4 February, representing the worst reliability in records dating back to 2014.Shadow transport secretary Louise Haigh said: “This savage fare hike will be a sick joke for millions reliant on the Conservative’s broken rail system.“People already facing soaring taxes and bills will now be clobbered with an eye-watering rise in the cost of the daily commute.”Norman Baker, director of external affairs at lobby group Campaign for Better Transport and a former Lib Dem transport minister, said: “Pressing ahead with the largest fare rise in a decade will do nothing to encourage more people to take the train or help people struggling to meet rising travel costs.“This rise is especially frustrating

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