Nick Ferrari Grills Senior Rail Official Over 3.1% Fare Rise For Commuters

2 January 2019, 13:40

Nick Ferrari grilled a senior rail official who insisted the 3.1% average rail fares hike was necessary - despite admitting 2018 was “pretty awful” for some commuters.

Robert Nisbet, regional director at the Rail Delivery Group, spoke to LBC live from London Bridge station as commuters returned to work following the festive break.

Today also marked the first day of the annual rail fares rise - with many season tickets now costing over £100 more.

Rail campaigners have described it as “another kick in the wallet” for passengers.

But, Mr Nisbet insisted it was needed.

Nick Ferrari grilled Robert Nisbet as rail fares rose by an average of 3.1% in England and Wales
Nick Ferrari grilled Robert Nisbet as rail fares rose by an average of 3.1% in England and Wales. Picture: LBC

“The rail industry is covering its costs, that explains this average increase of just below inflation,” he said on Wednesday morning.

“We are facing rising staff bills, rising fuel costs and if we’re going to cover the day-to-day costs of running the railway then that explains why fares are going up.”

Nick hit back: “Last year train punctuality hit a 13-year low, one in seven delayed by at least five minutes over the last 12 months - and you’re asking to customers to pay more?”

Mr Nisbet replied: “We acknowledge that 2018 was not a great year for the industry and was pretty awful for some of our passengers around the country.

“The three main reasons behind it; the extreme weather in the east, then the very hot summer, the strike action, but also the implantation of the May timetable did not go according to plan.

"We tried to put on hundreds of extra services and the system just couldn’t take it.”

He added: “We have learnt lessons from it.”

Watch the full interview above.