Millions more rail journeys in 1996

TRANSPORT
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The Independent Online
Nearly 1 million more journeys were made each week by train last year, according to figures released yesterday by the 25 private rail companies.

The Association of Train Operating Companies recorded a national 7.5 per cent increase in train journeys - 45 million more journeys than the previous year.

It is the first time the figures have been compiled since privatisation. However, many experts point out that passenger figures rise as the economy grows, and that any slowdown would see numbers fall equally fast.

But the announcement coincides with a 30 per cent price hike from 28 September for the Network Card, from pounds 14 to pounds 20. The Young Persons' Railcards will increase from pounds 16 to pounds 18, from August.

Anti-rail campaigners had warned that unprotected fares would rise sharply as train companies seek to make up the difference between costs and dwindling public subsidies.

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