THERE may have been much hoo-ha in the press in recent days about the fact that already-extortionate rail fares are going to rise 6% in England and Wales and 4% in Scotland, but the markets had little to say about it.
Shares in Stagecoach, owner of the South Western and East Midlands franchises, bumped up 10p to almost £3 last week. FirstGroup shed a few pence when investors saw the terms of its West Coast Main Line franchise win, but for that reason only. No-one is pricing in changes to the planned increases, despite the rising political heat. In these times of economic hardship, rail bosses are in danger of becoming as unpopular as bankers.
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