Tag: Transportation

Why Have Train Fares Have Increased Again?

The fare increases, which were announced in November, average 2.7% across national rail services.

Rail fares have been hiked by an average of 2.7%, prompting one campaign group to warn of “another decade of misery” for passengers.

Some long-distance commuters saw the annual cost of getting to work increase by more than £100 on Thursday despite fewer than two-thirds of trains being on time last year.

Bruce Williamson, of pressure group Railfuture, claimed fares are “outstripping people’s incomes”.

“Welcome to another decade of misery for rail passengers,” he said. 

“How on earth is the government going to meet its climate commitments by pricing people off environmentally-friendly trains and on to our polluted and congested roads?”

According to TUC data published by The Times, RPI-linked rail fares have risen twice as quickly as average wages over the past 10 years, with rail fares jumping by 47% compared to a 22% rise in average wages. 

Infographic by PA Graphics

Network Rail data shows only 65% of trains arrived at their scheduled station stops within one minute of the timetable in the 12 months to December 7.

South Western Railway passengers suffered from strike action throughout December, while there was major disruption to Northern, TransPennine Express and West Midlands Trains services during much of 2019.

Rail, Maritime and Transport union analysis of company accounts for train operators and three major rolling stock firms showed they have paid out £4.4bn in dividends to shareholders over the last 10 years.

Among the routes where the price of annual season tickets has increased by a three-figure sum are:

– Reading to London (up £132 to £4,736)

– Gloucester to Birmingham (up £118 to £4,356)

– Glasgow to Edinburgh via any permitted route (up £116 to £4,200)

Robert Nisbet, director of nations and regions for industry body the Rail Delivery Group, said: “We know that no-one wants to pay more to travel, and rail companies have, for the third year in a row, held average fare increases below inflation while continuing to deliver investment in new trains and extra services that will improve journeys for customers.”

Some long-distance commuters have seen the price of their annual tickets rise by more than £100 

He added that 2020 will see 1,000 extra weekly services and 1,000 more carriages added to Britain’s rail fleet.

Meanwhile, transport secretary Grant Shapps unveiled a new fares trial on Govia Thameslink Railway services which will give passengers on certain routes the opportunity to buy better value tickets aimed at part-time workers.

A fund to support further trials across Britain will also be established by the government.  

Infographic PA Graphics

The Department for Transport will set out reforms of the railways in a white paper, responding to recommendations of the government-commissioned Rail Review led by former British Airways boss Keith Williams.

It was due to be published in autumn 2019 but has been delayed until this year due to the general election.

Shapps said: “This government will improve the railway system to ensure the focus is always on putting passengers first.

“This commitment begins with the launch of innovative fares trials, to help explore the benefits and costs of a clearer, more flexible and fairer fares system.”

Why does the cost of train travel increase every year?

It has been the policy of successive governments to switch the burden of funding the railways from taxpayers to passengers.

How much more expensive have train fares become?

Office of Rail and Road figures show that between January 1995 – around the time the network was privatised – and January 2019, average fares increased in real terms by 21%.

This year’s rise is 2.7%.

When are fares increased?

Prices rise on the first working day of every new year.

Who decides how much they go up by?

Increases in about 45% of fares are regulated by the UK, Scottish and Welsh governments. The rest are decided by train companies.

Which fares are regulated?

Season tickets on most commuter routes, some off-peak return tickets on long-distance journeys and tickets for travel around major cities at any time are regulated.

How is the cap on the rise in these fares calculated?

Most rises are pegged to the July Retail Prices Index (RPI) measure of inflation, which was 2.8%.

Where does the money go?

The Rail Delivery Group says 98p of every £1 spent on train fares goes towards running and maintaining services.

Is there any way of avoiding the fare rise?

Savvy commuters renewed their season tickets in the days before Thursday’s increase.

Any other tips on limiting the cost of train travel?

Passengers can save money by getting a railcard, travelling off-peak and booking in advance, although these options are not available for many journeys, particularly those made by commuters.

Christmas Eve Crash: Woman Killed On M1 In Bedfordshire

A woman has been killed in a crash on the M1 motorway.The woman, who has not been named, was pronounced dead at the scene in Bedfordshire on Christmas Eve.Another person suffered minor injuries in the collision, which happened between Aylesbury and Fli…

Teenager Seriously Injured After Falling Under Blackpool Tram

A 14-year-old boy has suffered “significant injuries” after becoming trapped under a tram during a family event in Blackpool on Tuesday evening.The teenager had been cycling along the tramway when he fell from his bike and beneath the vehic…

Two Dead Following Light Aircraft Crash In Oxfordshire

Two people have died in a light aircraft crash in Oxfordshire.Thames Valley Police said officers were called to the scene in Stonor, near  Henley-on-Thames, following reports of an aircraft crashing into a field on Saturday at around 2:10pmA polic…

Bad News Folks – The Travel Chaos Is Going To Last All Weekend

Friday’s travel woes are continuing into the weekend as travellers face further delays due to the weather, repair work and a rail strike.

East Midlands Trains (EMT) customers have been warned to expect a significantly reduced service to and from London due to repair work on damaged overhead line equipment and a revised timetable on several local routes because of RMT industrial action.

Customers have also been told to check before heading out on their journeys and not to travel on the London St Pancras-Nottingham-Sheffield route as there will be a reduced timetable.

#EMTUpdate We have set up this web page to preempt questions that customers may have concerning travel on our London route this weekend, such as:

* Should I still travel?
* Is my train running?
* Which trains can I travel on?
* How do I get a refund?https://t.co/LFr0RYhgSH

— East Midlands Trains (@EMTrains) July 27, 2019

A spokesman said that the ongoing disruption to services on the Midland Main Line route to London will continue over the weekend while engineers repair major damage to overhead line equipment near West Hampstead, the Press Association reports.

Jake Kelly, East Midlands Trains managing director, said: “We’re sorry to everybody who has experienced disrupted journeys over the past two days.

“We are working very closely with Network Rail while they work to repair the overhead line equipment and fully reopen the railway, which will in turn allow us to reintroduce our full train service to and from London St Pancras.

Good morning, here is Saturday’s weather summary. Don’t forget, you can visit our website (https://t.co/cQSfu1VDbo) for all local & national weather forecasts including the 6-30 day UK outlook. Please tweet or drop us an email with any other queries. ^Dan pic.twitter.com/mjj2LNTwRq

— Met Office (@metoffice) July 27, 2019

“Whilst this work takes place, we do have a significantly reduced timetable in place on our London route over the weekend and our advice for customers is to avoid travelling on this route wherever possible and make alternative arrangements.

“Due to the RMT industrial action, there will also be some changes to services on our local routes on Saturday, with revised timetables and replacement coach operations in place on some lines.”

After a week in which Britain has been hit by hot temperatures and thunderstorms, heavy rainfall could now bring flooding and travel disruption.

The Met Office has issued a yellow weather warning for rain which covers vast swathes of Scotland and England, with the exception of the South West region, until Sunday afternoon.

Up to 20mm of rain fell in parts of London and the south-east of England overnight on Friday into Saturday, with forecasters expecting up to another 20mm during the morning, which could lead to travel problems.

If you need any information or updates with regards to your flight today, then Gail, our Gatwick chatbot is here to help get you on your way. https://t.co/OdJ4M4g4J0

— Gatwick Airport LGW (@Gatwick_Airport) July 27, 2019

Delays or cancellations to train and bus services are possible.

It comes after air passengers suffered major disruption on Friday due to the heatwave and a technical problem with the UK’s air traffic control system.

Passengers using Heathrow and Gatwick airports had to contend with delays due to the extreme conditions across Europe.

The air traffic control company Nats said a technical problem with a system at the Swanwick Air Traffic Control centre had been identified shortly after noon, which restricted the rate of arrivals.

A Heathrow spokesman said the technical issue has now been resolved, adding: “We apologise to passengers for any disruption that this caused.”

On Saturday morning, Gatwick Airport said: “We aim to run a normal schedule today, however due to ongoing adverse weather across Europe, passengers are advised to check with their airlines for the latest information.”


Two Pedestrians Die After Being Hit By A Car In Scotland

 Two people have died after a road traffic collision in Glenrothes, Fife.Police Scotland said the two pedestrians, a 59-year-old woman and a 61-year-old man, were pronounced dead at the scene.The incident, involving a grey Ford Fiesta, took place …

Woman In Her 80s ‘Crashes Car Into Specsavers’ In Boston, Lincolnshire

Emergency services have rushed to Boston, Lincolnshire following reports that a woman in her 80s crashed into a Specsavers shop. 

Police, fire and ambulance workers are all at the scene, with residents being warned to avoid the area. It is not known how serious any injuries are at this stage.

Emergency services on scene at a serious RTC on Wide Bargate, Boston outside of Specsavers Opticians. The vehicle was being driven by a driver in her 80’s. Please avoid the area while we deal with this incident. Injuries are being assessed we will provide an update when we can

— Lincolnshire Police (@lincspolice) July 1, 2019

@peter_levy@BBCRadioLincs Nasty accident in the centre of Boston involving car and pedestrian. Bedfordshire air ambulance has landed in Central Park. pic.twitter.com/EsEWtawr1R

— ˢⁱᵐᵒⁿ ᵐⁱⁿⁿⁱᶜᵃⁿ 🔜🌍🔚 (@minnican) July 1, 2019

A witness told Lincolnshire Live they saw a car had crashed into the window of the Specsavers and it appeared that someone was trapped under the vehicle.

Lincolnshire Police posted a statement on Twitter describing the incident as “serious” and said emergency services were still at the scene.

The statement continued: “The vehicle was being driven by a driver in her 80′s. Please avoid the area while we deal with this incident. Injuries are being assessed we will provide an update when we can.”

A spokesman from the East Midlands Ambulance Service said: “We received a call at 1.37pm on 1 July to Wide Bargate in Boston. The caller reported there had been a road traffic collision.

“We sent two crewed ambulances and a LIVES community first responder. We are still on scene.”

It is also reported that Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue sent two fire engines to the scene of the incident and an air ambulance from the charity Magpas landed in a nearby park. 

This is a breaking news story and will be updated. Follow HuffPost UK on Twitter here, and on Facebook here.

Pensioner Who Collided With William And Kate’s Convoy ‘May Not Get Through This’, Warns Sister

The sister of a pensioner who collided with a police motorbike escorting the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge fears her sibling may not survive her injuries.

Irene Mayor, 83, suffered a broken pelvis, two broken arms, a broken leg and a serious head injury, in the accident which occurred in Windsor on Monday, a relative told the Daily Mail.

Her sister Joyce Shore, 86, told the newspaper: “Irene may not get through this… the police outriders have to slow down.”

Irene Mayor was involved in a collision with a police outrider on Monday 

Mayor, who is a widowed grandmother, was involved in the collision as William and Kate were on their way to a ceremony.

Kensington Palace said the duke and duchess were “deeply concerned and saddened” by what happened. The couple are understood to have sent flowers.

Mayor’s 89-year-old brother praised the royals for making contact after the crash, saying: “It is good that they have been in touch. They are just human beings.”

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) is investigating the circumstances of the collision which involved a motorcycle attached to the Royalty and Specialist Protection Command.

Louise Rawlinson, 41, helped tend to Mayor until paramedics arrived.

She had been moving furniture out of her shop when a passing police bike made a noise, prompting her to look around and see the pensioner on the floor.

The pensioner had shopping with her and seemed like she “did not realise what had happened”, according to Rawlinson.

She said that Mayor had an injury to the back of her head which was bleeding heavily, which she held and treated.

The Duke and Duchess were on their way to participate in the annual Order of the Garter Service at Windsor Castle 

Rawlinson said: “She was talking, I wasn’t concerned let’s just put it that way, because she was speaking.”

The officer had not come off his bike during the incident and had “clipped” Mayor, according to Rawlinson. She also described the officer as being visibly upset and looking “grey”.

She said there were two officers and others helping the woman.

Rawlinson said: “He was there the whole time, the whole time. He was taking her pulse, he was amazing. We all worked as a team.

“They did a fantastic job, and I felt that they were really professional and he wasn’t going fast.”

Rawlinson said she overheard paramedics at the scene say that Mayor had been clipped by a wing mirror.

“It was an accident, and I think what it was they just did not see each other,” she said.

A witness told The Sun: “His bike hit her and she spun round, off her feet and fell badly on the floor.”

Her daughter Fiona told the newspaper the royal couple have offered to visit.

She added: “She’s got lots of injuries. They are just keeping her stable at the moment.”

Another witness, who did not want to give his name, told the Press Association he saw a woman lying in the road in the aftermath of the accident when he opened one of his windows.

The 76-year-old said: “There were people around her trying to make her comfortable – bringing blankets and putting a pillow under her head, that kind of thing.

“Everyone was talking to her so she was awake. I don’t think her legs were moving at all but her arms were moving slightly.

“I saw a police bike… and it was on its side, on the wrong side of the road facing the wrong way.”

An IOPC spokesman said: “The woman, in her 80s, suffered serious injuries and was taken to a London hospital where she remains in a serious but stable condition.

“In line with procedure, the Metropolitan Police Service referred the collision to the IOPC.

“Our staff attended the scene of the incident and after careful consideration, we have launched an independent investigation.

“The investigation is in its very early stages and the officer involved is assisting our inquiries as a witness.

“Our immediate thoughts are with the injured woman and her family and those affected by the incident.”

Kensington Palace said: “The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were deeply concerned and saddened to hear about the accident on Monday afternoon.

“Their Royal Highnesses have sent their very best wishes to Irene and her family and will stay in touch throughout every stage of her recovery.”

The accident took place at around 12.50pm on Monday when the royal couple were on their way to Windsor for the St George’s Chapel service commemorating the Order of the Garter.

Giles Oakley, a neighbour who lives opposite Mayor, told the Press Association: “They’re a lovely family.

“It is very, very sad that Irene has been injured. She is a very sweet person and is very well liked in the street.”

Earlier this year, the Duke of Edinburgh, 98, surrendered his driving licence after a crash at Sandringham.

Philip flipped his Land Rover Freelander on January 17 after colliding with a Kia as he pulled out onto the A149 in Norfolk.