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Rail fares in the UK are set to rise by an average of 1.1 per cent.  The change will come into effect on 2nd January 2016.

The Rail Delivery Group (RDG), which represents train operators and Network Rail said, it was the smallest annual rise for six years.

Regulated fares, which include season tickets are capped at no more that July’s RPI inflation rate at 1%.  Unregulated fares, such as off-peak leisure tickets, can be increased by as much as train companies wish.

Paul Plummer, chief executive of the RDG said “We know that nobody likes to pay more to travel by train, especially to get to work, and at 1.1% this is the smallest average increase in fares for six years.’

Plummer said the railway’s day-to-day operating costs were almost covered by the fares as passenger numbers have doubled in the last 20 years.

On average 97p in every pound from fares is spent on trains, staff and other running costs.  “This allows government to focus its funding on building a bigger, better network when the railway is becoming increasingly important at driving economic growth, underpinning jobs, and connecting friends and families.”

Rail Delivery Group also released some data on use of Britain’s railways.

There were 1.65 billion journeys last year, which comes to more than 4.5 million a day.

Revenue for the government has surged from £400 million to £2.27 billion thanks to growing passenger numbers.

 

The planned rail strikes in June have been suspended due to talks over another pay deal, the arbitration service Acas has said.

Network Rail workers from the RMT union were expected to take a 24-hour strike on Thursday at 17:00 BST along with a 48-hour walk out next week. The RMT has a total of 16,000 members at Network Rail in operations and maintenance.

Acas stated that the four days of talks helped to convey revised proposals for the RMT and other unions to consider. Mick Cash, who is the RMT general secretary, said that the union would consult on the details involving the revised package. People who are members of the TSSA and Unite unions will also be consulted.

The strike was previously going to be held over the May bank holiday but was suspended by the RMT and TSSA because Network Rail changed their offer. As recent events show, the members did not accept the offer.

The past two deals failed to meet the expectations of workers, with the original offer including a four-year deal of a single payment of £500 along with three years of rises in line with RPI inflation. The revised offer was over the course of two years, involving a 1% rise this year and a rise of around 1.4% next year. This deal also stated that there would be no compulsory redundancies for the duration of the agreement.

Network Rail workers will go on strike in June because they rejected another pay offer. Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union members will hold a 24-hour strike from 17:00 BST on the 4th June. In addition to this, they will also take a 48-hour strike from 17:00 on the 9th June.

Staff were originally going to strike last weekend over the bank holiday but called it off because Network Rail offered them a new deal. Union representatives met on Thursday to discuss this offer but decided to reject it and from this, the new strikes were announced.

The RMT’s 16,000 members at Network Rail work across the company’s operations and maintenance and so the strike will have a big impact on rail passengers’ journey. The earlier offer from the rail company was a four-year deal of a single £500 payment along with three years of rises in line with RPI inflation.

The new offer would last over two years and workers would receive a 1% rise this year and a rise of around 1.4% the next year. Not only that but there would be no compulsory redundancies for the duration of the agreement.

Each day of the strike, Network Rail will have to pay compensation of £30 million to train companies, the RMT claimed. However, the Transport Salaried Staffs Association (TSSA) is to ballot its 3,000 members at Network Rail on the new offer. TSSA also suspended the strike planned for the bank holiday weekend.

Some good news before the bank holiday weekend.

Rail unions have called off the national bank holiday rail strike because of a different offer from Network Rail. The strike was going to happen because of a row over pay and members of the RMT and TSSA unions had woohooplanned to walk out for 24 hours from 17:00 BST on Monday.

Once the TSSA called off its action, the RMT said their union’s executive had decided to suspend their strike. As a result, many train services will now run as expected on Monday and Tuesday, meaning rail passengers will have a smooth journey. The only down side are the engineering works that are due to happen on some lines.

The unions originally declined the offer of a four-year deal that included a single £500 payment and three years of rises in line with RPI inflation. The details of the new offer have not yet been revealed.

Lawyers for Network Rail paused their plans to take legal action against the TSSA because of the way its ballot had been conducted. Due to the strike, passengers had been warned that they should of expected travel chaos. Not only that, but they were told they should not travel at all if the strike went ahead, which would have meant thousands of signalers, maintenance staff and station workers would have walked out.

Even though the strike was supposed to only last until Tuesday, services would still have been affected on Wednesday when services returned to normal because of cancellations.

Network Rail workers are to stage a 24-hour strike on bank holiday Monday from 5 pm in a row over pay. 80% of RMT members voted in favour of a strike on a 60% turnout.

Signallers, maintenance staff and station workers will walk out from the 25th May on the busy holiday weekend all over the UK. This will be the first UK-wide rail strike in 20 years and is because of a decision vote for action from RMT union members.

The RMT said that the strike will mainly impact on passengers the day after, Tuesday the 26th May, but the action is expected to hit what is traditionally a busy bank holiday travel period for millions of rail users.

Network Rail previously said that it will try to make sure that services keep going if strikes go ahead. The most recent pay proposals from Network Rail fell short of what nearly 16,000 workers require to maintain living standards and job security, the union said.

Members have rejected a four year deal which is worth £500 per worker this year, followed by three years of increases matching inflation as well as a no compulsory redundancy commitment to December 2016.

Network Rail run stations across the UK, including 10 in London. They also run and develop Britain’s rail tracks and look after signalling, bridges and tunnels. The new Conservative government is committed to tightening the rules on strike ballots and wants to focus on covering essential public services. This strike action is the first major industrial relations challenge.

Related article: Network Rail employees vote to have strikes

Network Rail workers have decided that a UK-wide strike is needed because of a row over pay, the Rail, Maritime and Transport union stated.

Its members voted 4-1 in favor of action because they rejected pay offers from Network Rail, who owns and maintains most of Britain’s railway infrastructure. Union bosses also rejected an offer, which was a one-off payment of £500 to staff and three years of rises in line with inflation.

The union rejected another deal that Network Rail proposed, which included a no compulsory redundancy commitment extended to the end of 2016. The ballot had a turnout of 60%.

The RMT has around 16,000 members working across Network Rail’s operations and maintenance. The total workforce for the train company is 35,000. The Transport Salaries Staffs Association is balloting its members and the result is due over the next week.

Any union who wishes to take industrial action has to give seven days notice. The new Business Secretary Sajid Javid said that the government is pressing to introduce new laws to stop strikes going ahead unless they have support of 40% of workers who are eligible to vote.

At least 50% of those who are entitled will have to have voted for a strike to go ahead.

Business in Hastings will keep you updated as to when the strikes will take place.

Related Article: Strike date announced