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Train fares soar against lower increase in pay

Average train fares have increased by more than 26 per cent since the start of the recession, almost three times faster than wages, new research reveals today.

Unions said the study, published to mark nationwide protests against high fares, showed how passengers were suffering "transport poverty".

Rail unions, passenger groups and other campaigners will lobby travellers at 50 train stations across the UK today, warning that 2013 will see fare rises, ticket office closures, staff cuts and more delays.

Fare rises will outpace wages and inflation again in 2013, with the cost of some fares set to soar by 10 per cent, while pay is forecast to rise by an average of 2.5 per cent, the unions said.

TUC general secretary-designate Frances O'Grady said: "Train operating companies seem to have completely ignored the fact that real-term incomes and living standards have fallen."

Mick Whelan, leader of the train drivers' union Aslef, said: "This year's fare hike is all the more painful following George Osborne's announcement of deeper cuts and austerity last week."