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Rail fares set to rise again in January

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Rail users in the UK are expected to be hit by a further rise in ticket prices which will come into effect next year.

The increase will be based on the Retail Prices Index (RPI) inflation measure for July which will be announced on Wednesday.

Analysts expect the figure to be around 2.8%, likely to lead to an increase of more than £100 in the annual cost of getting to work for many commuters.

Passenger groups have urged a change in the way ticket prices are calculated.

The Campaign for Better Transport (CBT) has repeatedly said the most widely watched and used measure of inflation, the Consumer Prices Index (CPI), should be used instead of RPI.

Last month this was 2% and it is typically lower than the RPI rate of inflation.

CBT chief executive Darren Shirley said the expected ticket price rises were “exorbitant”.

“The government should commit now to January’s fares rise being linked to CPI,” he added.

Rail Minister Chris Heaton-Harris said: “It’s tempting to suggest fares should never rise. However, the truth is that if we stop investing in our railway then we will never see it improved.”

The TUC trade union renewed its call for the railway to be renationalised, arguing it would lead to lower ticket prices.

“We’re already paying the highest ticket prices in Europe to travel on overcrowded and understaffed trains.

“The number one priority should be running a world-class railway service, not subsidising private train companies,” said TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady.

More train delays

At the start of this year, train fares went up by an average of 3.1% in England and Wales and 2.8% in Scotland.

The rise in England and Wales – the highest since January 2013 – meant the price of some annual season tickets rose by more than £100.

In Scotland, peak-time season tickets and anytime day tickets became 3.2% more expensive, while the capped increase of off-peak fares was 2.2%.

Rail passengers have had to endure more delays on the network this year.

Last week was particularly bad, with thousands of people affected by a signal failure, which led to the suspension of all services out of London Euston, on Thursday.

And then trains were also affected in Friday’s power cut, with many stranded across the network

Delays also happened during July’s heatwave, while in January London Overground commuters were given a month’s free travel after delays to the delivery of new electric trains.

Read this and more articles at BBC Sussex

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Abdul Deghayes murder trial jury dismissed

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The jury in the murder trial of a man accused of stabbing another man to death in Brighton has failed to reach a verdict.

Abdul Deghayes, the brother of two British teenagers who were killed while fighting in Syria, was stabbed eight times, Hove Crown Court heard.

Daniel Macleod, 36, of Lambeth, London, denies murder, and Stephen Burns, 55, of Brighton, denies assisting him.

The jury was discharged and a retrial has been scheduled for June 2020.

Read this and more articles at BBC Sussex

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Election results 2019: Analysis in maps and charts

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Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservatives have a majority of 78, with one seat left to declare.

They have won seats in traditional Labour heartlands across northern England and Wales, including Workington, Great Grimsby and Bassetlaw.

In Scotland, the SNP have made gains from all three other parties that held seats there in 2017, most notably taking Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson’s seat of Dunbartonshire East.

The interactive map below shows all the seats that have changed from one party to another. Select the “results” tab to see what has happened in the rest of the UK.

Find a constituency

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If you can’t see the map click here.

The Brexit effect

The Conservatives increased their vote share in many areas that voted Leave in the 2016 EU referendum.

By contrast they lost votes in strong Remain constituencies such as those in Scotland and London. But Labour lost votes in both strong Remain and strong Leave areas.

Strong Leave and strong Remain constituencies are those where an estimated 60% or more of the electorate voted for that option at the EU referendum.

These estimates of constituency Brexit votes were modelled by Professor Chris Hanretty, as the 2016 referendum result was only recorded by local authority and not by Westminster constituency.

The Conservatives were clear winners in constituencies estimated to have voted majority Leave in 2016. They won almost three quarters of all these seats.

By contrast, there was no clear winner among Remain backing constituencies, with a crowded field of parties all winning substantial numbers of seats.

Labour did best of all the parties but only took 40% of the constituencies that backed Remain.

Labour also straddled the Brexit divide taking a roughly equal number of Leave (106) and Remain (96) seats.

Most other parties had a clearer Brexit divide.

The nations and regions

In every nation and region of Britain, the scale of Labour’s losses outweighed any gains made by the Conservatives.

The Conservatives did lose votes in the south of England and Scotland, but these were balanced by gains in the rest of England and Wales.

The Lib Dems increased their share of the vote across the UK, but failed to translate these gains into more seats.

In Scotland, the SNP made 14 gains, and lost just one seat, while the Conservatives lost seven and Labour lost six seats.

In Wales, the Conservatives gained six seats and Labour lost six, mostly in the north east. Overall, Labour’s share of the vote was down to 41% from 49% in 2017.

The Conservatives polled consistently well across England and most of Wales, reflecting their overall 43% share of the UK vote.

You can use the interactive map below to show the vote share for other parties as well as the turnout.

Labour’s strength was concentrated in London and areas around cities in south Wales, the North East and North West. At 32%, Labour’s share of the vote is down around eight points on the 2017 general election.

Overall, they lost 60 seats and gained only one, Putney in London.

More women in Parliament

With one seat to be declared, a total of 220 female MPs have been elected. This is 12 more than the previous high of 208 in 2017.

Turnout, on what was a cold and damp polling day, was 67.3%. slightly lower than the last election in June 2017.

Read this and more articles at BBC Sussex

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General election 2019: Only Eastbourne changed hands

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The Conservatives had a good night in the South East.

Several MPs increased their majorities, and the Liberal Democrats lost their only seat in the region to them.

In a gloomy night for Labour, one of the few bright spots was the party holding on to Canterbury, a surprise win in 2017.

Read this and more articles at BBC Sussex

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