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Virgin Hikes Cheap Off Peak Fares By 45%

1 June 2011

Midland passengers have been hit by a rise of up to 45% in cheaper Virgin rail fares between Coventry and Birmingham, the TSSA rail union revealed today.

Midland passengers have been hit by a rise of up to 45% in cheaper  Virgin rail fares between Coventry and Birmingham, the TSSA rail union revealed today.

Thousands of travellers saw cheap daily fares jump from £3.20 to £4.70 last week when new time restrictions banned the use of cheap travel between 4.30 and 6.00pm.

Up until now, there were no restrictions of evening travel between the two cities as long as passengers used their tickets after 9.30am in the morning.

"This amounts to a backdoor increase of 45% for regular travellers between Coventry and Birmingham," said union assistant general secretary Manuel Cortes.

"If they cannot alter their working hours, they have no choice but to pay the increase."

He said that Sir Richard Branson was penalising ordinary passengers while receiving massive subsidies from the taxpayer for operating Britian's busiest rail line.

"He will this year receive over £250 million from the taxpayer in subisidies for operating the West Coast line and he has already raised fares by more than six per cent just six months ago in January.

"He is hitting the people who can least afford it with this latest backdoor increase."
 

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