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'A total disgrace': Anger as rail boss becomes CBE

'A total disgrace': Anger as rail boss becomes CBE

Business
Network Rail chief executive Mark Carne has been given a CBE, despite a terrible year for train users across much of the country. The honour, announced late on Friday, comes after the cancellation of 165 trains every day by Northern Rail until the end of July, including services in Manchester, Liverpool, Blackpool and the Lake District.Earlier in the year train users saw the biggest rise in fares since 2013 and a number of train operators, including Southern, South Western and CrossCountry, have been affected by strikes.During his four years at the helm, there has been criticism of the number of operators missing punctuality targets, poor management and delays to modernisation schedules.He is due to retire this summer.News of the honour bestowed on Mr Carne was met with ang...
Network Rail 'placing small businesses at risk'

Network Rail 'placing small businesses at risk'

Business
Thousands of small businesses are at risk of closing down as Network Rail sells its railway arches off. From artisan bakeries to family-run garages, from Manchester to Bristol, business owners fear they will be left without their livelihoods as the publicly-owned company is set to sell about 4,000 arches by the end of this year.A buyer will purchase all of the arches as one, with tenants allowed to remain.However many of those independent businesses across the country have already been forced to close as their rents over the past year have sky-rocketed.Tenants believe the unprecedented rent increases of up to 500% - some backdated seven years with little notice - over the past year are linked to the sale. ...
France strike: Rail misery as three-month action tests Macron

France strike: Rail misery as three-month action tests Macron

World
France's rail network has been severely disrupted, as a wave of strikes against President Emmanuel Macron's labour reforms gets under way.The start of the strike has been dubbed "Black Tuesday", but the action will spread over three months, affecting two days in every five.Staff at state railway SNCF are leading the strike, but the energy and waste collection sectors are also affected.The unrest presents Mr Macron's biggest challenge since his election last May.How is the strike taking hold?With the four main rail unions observing the strike, services have been severely curtailed. Some 77% of SNCF drivers are on strike, and 48% of all staff.Only one in eight high-speed TGVs are scheduled and only one in five regional trains.Commuter lines into Paris have also been slashed and bus services ...
New Year rail fare hikes at five-year high

New Year rail fare hikes at five-year high

Business
Commuters are being "priced out of going to work" by the largest rail fare increase in five years, according to a campaign group.Passengers catching a train on the first working day of 2018 will be hit with an average ticket price rise of 3.4%, with some commuter routes set for price hikes of more than £100.There are protests planned at around 40 railway stations up and down the country on Tuesday, with some commuters spending up to five times as much of their salary on season tickets as people on the continent.:: Top five average increases by operator:4.7% - Northern.4.6% - TransPennine Express.4.1% - CrossCountry.3.6% - Merseyrail.3.4% - Virgin Trains East Coast, Greater Anglia, London Overground and TfL Rail Travelcards and price caps.:: 'Raw deal': Trains must be run for passengersImag
Rail fare rise biggest for five years

Rail fare rise biggest for five years

Business
Train fares in Britain will go up by an average of 3.4% from 2 January.The increase, the biggest since 2013, covers regulated fares, which includes season tickets, and unregulated fares, such as off-peak leisure tickets.The Rail Delivery Group admitted it was a "significant" rise, but said that more than 97% of fare income went back into improving and running the railway.A passenger group said the rise was "a chill wind" and the RMT union called it a "kick in the teeth" for travellers.The rise in regulated fares had already been capped at July's Retail Prices Index inflation rate of 3.6%.The fare increase is above the latest Consumer Prices Index inflation figure of 3%, which was a five-and-a-half year high. Are you joining the '£5k commuter club'?The chief executive of passenger watchdog