Regulated rail fares rise by 2.5%


Published: Friday 5th December 2014 by The News Editor

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More rail travellers will be pushed in to the £5,000-a-year season ticket price bracket following today’s announcement of train fair rises that will take effect from January 2.

The rise for regulated fares, which includes season tickets, will be up to 2.5%, which means those commuting from Canterbury East to London, for example, will see their season tickets rising from the January 2014 price of £4,960 to a point beyond £5,000.

Folkestone Central to London season tickets which were £4,984 in January 2014 will also pass the £5,000 mark.

Other travellers will have to join the ranks of those already paying £4,000 a year for their annual commute. The season ticket from West Malling in Kent to London, for example, rises from the January 2014 figure of £3,996 to a point beyond £4,000 .

Those commuting to London from Woking in Surrey will see their January 2014 season ticket price of £2,980 rising past the £3,000 mark.

Although the January 2015 rise for regulated fares has been limited to no more than £2.5%, unregulated fares, such as off-peak leisure tickets, can go up by as much as the train companies like.

However, announcing the new fares today, the rail industry body the Rail Delivery Group said the average rise for all fares to take effect from January 2 would be 2.2%, which is the lowest average rise for five years.

However, many season ticket holders will find their average rise will be greater than their annual pay rise.

Rail Delivery Group director general Michael Roberts said: “Money from fares goes towards running and maintaining the railway. This benefits not just passengers and businesses but communities across the country, by improving journeys, creating employment and helping to boost the economy.

“Over the next five years, Network Rail is spending on average £27 million a day on a better railway, alongside commitments made by train companies to improve services. That will mean more seats, better stations and improved journeys.”

He went on: “For every £1 spent on fares, 97p goes on track, train, staff and other costs while 3p goes in profits earned by train companies for running services on Europe’s fastest growing railway.

“The industry is continuing to work together to get more for every pound we invest to enable government to make fares decisions which work best for passengers.”

Manuel Cortes, leader of the TSSA rail union, said: “It is time to stop this annual persecution of passengers with year-on-year hikes in fares. We have seen fares jump by as much as 245% on key routes since privatisation 20 years ago.

“It is now cheaper for a family of four to fly to Iceland to see Father Christmas – £224 – than it is for one person to buy an any-time walk on return rail fare from London to Manchester – £321.

“Labour should pledge a year-long fares freeze if it wins next May’s general election. It is high time to end the new year misery of ever higher fares for millions of passengers.”

Published: Friday 5th December 2014 by The News Editor

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