Writing to transport secretary Grant Shapps, the head of the Transport Salaried Staffs Association (TSSA), Manuel Cortes, asked whether the Department for Transport (DfT) was still planning on cutting £2bn from railways as announced last year.

He also wanted answers about what level of service passengers can expect from this April and wanted a commitment that any cost cutting measures would not lead to compulsory job losses.

The DfT already announced in December that ticket prices will rise by 3.8 per cent from 1 March 2022, the largest hike in nearly a decade.

The unusually large increase reflects the UK’s Retail Prices Index from last July but is still lower than the 7.1 per cent inflation rate at the time of the announcement.

The UK’s railways have come under significant financial pressure since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic as rail journeys fell to levels not seen since the Victorian era.

This has led Transport for London to warn that the...

Robert Heaton