Rail fares in England and Wales are to rise this week as part of the biggest ticket price hike in nearly a decade.
In what is the biggest rise since 2013, according to the Rail Delivery Group (RDG), and in what is believed to be in line with the Retail Price Index (RPI) measure on inflation for last July, plus one percentage point, the cap on rail fare rises has increased from today, and it means ticket prices could go up by as much as 3.8%.
This means, as an example, that a year-round season ticket between Liverpool and Manchester goes up by £105 to £2,865.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic began, most rail fares – excluding season tickets, which are regulated by the government – were controlled by train operators, but those have since come under state control.
This was after billions of pounds were pumped into the industry to keep services running.
Addressing the price hike, a Department for Transport spokesperson told Sky News: “We have protected passengers by delaying these fare rises by two months and, even then, opting for a figure well below current inflation rates, but we must now look to recoup some of the £14 billion which was spent to keep vital services running throughout the pandemic in a way that is fair for all taxpayers.”
The DfT says that despite price rises, it hopes it will still “be able to encourage people back on to trains” whilst “funding the necessary improvements and unprecedented investment that will benefit all those who use our railways.”
This week’s price hike has been criticised as “counterproductive” by campaigners and various transport groups.
Bruce Williamson of the campaign group Railfuture called the rises to fares “eye-watering” and said the government was “stoking the fire of the cost of living crisis”, adding that it was time to stop linking rail fares to the RPI inflation index.
“Inflation this year is likely to hit 8%, so unless the government changes the formula, the average rail traveller will be bankrupted next year,” he said.
Paul Tuohy – Chief Executive of Campaign for Better Transport – said: “This fare rise couldn’t come at a worst time and will simply add to the cost-of-living crisis. We need to get people back into workplaces, eating in town centre cafes and shopping on their lunch breaks to help kickstart the economy.”
A year-round season ticket between Liverpool and Manchester will go up by £105 to £2,865 / Credit: Flickr
The government has also received criticism.
Labour’s shadow transport secretary Louise Haigh said: “This brutal Tory fare hike will be a nightmare for millions of passengers”, while Manuel Cortes – the general secretary of the Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association – said that raising rail fairs post-pandemic is “a staggeringly stupid move by this Tory government”.
“It’s almost as though ministers want to force people off our railways and into cars in an effort to speed up our climate crisis,” he added.
Featured Image – Wikimedia Commons
A look at the plans to turn historic Ancoats mill with rich musical heritage into new apartment complex
Hodder + Partners have just revealed new CGIs and a more detailed look at the plans for their redevelopment of the longstanding Brunswick Mill in Ancoats which is set to become a brand-new apartment complex.
The proposals to turn the once creative space with decades of musical heritage into a new residential site were revealed back in 2021 and approved within just a few months, despite having been met with plenty of resistance given its history and cultural significance.
Nevertheless, Northern company Big Red Construction recently kicked off the £50+ million renovation on behalf of developer Arrowsmith Investments and the apartments are projected to be finished in 2026.
With that in mind, the architectural designers Hodder have just released a new look at what Brunswick Mill is set to look like once completed:
The short trailer gives a glimpse at the history of the Brunswick Mill space and what it’s set to become.
Set to transform the historic industrial mill-turned-creative space and music studios on the edge of New Islington into 153 new apartments, ranging from one, two and three-bedroom residences, the redevelopment will be spread across two phases.
In line with designs by Hodder + Partners, the initial phase involves converting the existing mill building and the construction of new four and seven-storey elements to accommodate the remaining 127 homes on the Bradford Road plot in Ancoats.
Big Red Construction, who are also working on the Peelers Yard building for CERT Property and Myprotein founder Oliver Cookson, are expected to complete phase one by the first quarter of 2026.
Here’s another look at what living space people are already buying up:
The bathroom plans.‘New with the old’ bedroom-designs.A first look inside the Brunswick Mill flats. (Credit: Supplied)
Along with Hodder + Partners as architects, the project team also consists of HW Consultancy who are covering structural aspects, Manchester firm Clancy for mechanical and electrical considerations, as well as AM Pyro as fire engineers.
With property company Orlando Reid serving as estate agents for the project, 42 out of the 153 apartments have already been sold off-plan, with managing director Baljit Arora describing it as “an exciting period for all parties involved and for the city of Manchester”.
This is just the latest chapter in the continued regeneration of the Ancoats and the New Islington areas, which remain two of the most heavily re-developed areas in the city centre and Greater Manchester as a whole. You can see other hot properties in and around the region HERE.