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Train fares set to increase by 4.1%
11:50am Wednesday 14th August 2013 in News
RAIL passengers could be hit with a price hike of 4.1 per cent next year.
The increase is determined by inflation, based on the Retail Price Index for July.
It has been set at 3.1 per cent by the Government, and train operators can add 1per cent on top of that.
It will be the 11th year in a row commuters have faced above inflation rises.
Derek Monnery, chairman of the Essex Rail Users Federation, said: “It is going to put a real pressure on people who travel by train regularly.
“Fuel taxes have not increased so car travel is becoming cheaper, compared with train travel.
“If you bear in mind parking at stations can cost anything up to £1,000 a year, you can understand why more and more are driving.”
The increases, which will come in to effect from the start of next year, could see an annual season ticket between Colchester and London Liverpool Street rise by more than £186 and a Southend to Liverpool Street ticket go up £141.
Greater Anglia, which runs the services, said the fare increases would be published later this year.
Protests took place at train stations across the UK this morning, including at Chelmsford.
Peter Slattery, chairman of the Southend Rail Travellers’ Association, said: “It’s not a surprise, but it is still bad news for customers. People aren’t getting wage rises at the moment or seeing their pay fall and yet for 10 years the government, whichever party is in power, have been putting prices up. The government says it wants less people to drive and be greener, but it is pricing people off the railways.”
Michael Roberts, chief executive of the Association of Train Operating Companies, said: “Since 2004, it has been Government policy to allow regulated fares to rise above inflation to support investment in more trains, better stations and faster services.
“This is helping to drive passenger satisfaction to near record levels while seeking to reduce taxpayers’ contribution towards the cost of running the railways.
“In order to help limit future fare rises, the rail industry is working with the Government to find ways of providing services even more efficiently, building on the progress that has already been made.”
Mr Monnery said the money was not being spent on Essex lines so passengers would not see this as any consolation.
He added: “There are all these things happening, but absolutely nothing is happening on our line.
“If we had some of the benefits of investment, I think we would be able to accept it a bit more.
“I still don’t think people would be very happy.”
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