SIR - With 2018 not being exactly a good year for rail travellers, it seems a bit like adding insult to injury to hear that the private train companies chose to pay their shareholders more than £200 million in share dividends in that year! This figure was revealed by the Office of Rail and Road (ORR).

This news comes after rail passengers started 2019 paying average fare increases of 3.1 per cent - pushing up the cost of some inter-city travel above £1 a mile. Train punctuality in 2018 was previously documented as being the worst since 2006, with fares rising 56.6 per cent during this same 12-year period.

David Hornsby, West View Avenue, Wrose