Pas­sen­gers pay­ing an av­er­age 2.8% ex­tra on jour­neys Rail com­muters hit with new year fares in­crease

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Shedding The Pounds -

Long-suf­fer­ing rail pas­sen­gers saw in the new year with an av­er­age 2.8% fares in­crease. The rise is much less than orig­i­nally feared, how­ever.

The in­crease was orig­i­nally set at July’s Re­tail Price In­dex (RPI) plus 1%, but Chan­cel­lor Ge­orge Os­borne last month took away the 1%, leav­ing the rise at an av­er­age of 3.1%

South­east­ern has gone one step fur­ther, and pegged it at an av­er­age of 2.8%.

Most prices af­fect­ing Kent changed on New Year’s Day, with jour­neys wholly within Lon­don chang­ing later this month.

A South­east­ern spokesman said: ‘We ap­pre­ci­ate that no­body likes to pay more for their travel, how­ever there are only two sources of fund­ing for the op­er­a­tion of the rail­way – gov­ern­ment sub­sidy and the pas­sen­ger.

“Since 2002 it has been gov­ern­ment pol­icy to shift the bal­ance of the cost of run­ning the rail­way from the tax­payer to the pas­sen­ger and there­fore the gov­ern­ment re­quires train op­er­a­tors to in­crease fares each year.

“Na­tion­ally, around £24bil­lion will be in­vested in im­prov­ing rail

‘We ap­pre­ci­ate that no­body likes to pay more for their travel’

ser­vices over the next five years.

“Pas­sen­gers will see the com­plete re­build of Lon­don Bridge sta­tion as part of the £6.5bil­lion Thames­link Pro­gramme and, lo­cally in Kent, we will con­tinue to see more in­vest­ment in sta­tions, track and sig­nalling, which will al­low us to con­tinue to pro­vide an im­proved ser­vice for our cus­tomers.”

But the new year won’t just bring in in­creased fares – the cost of park­ing at sta­tions also goes up.

From Mon­day, park­ing at 42 of South­east­ern’s 95 car parks in­creased by be­tween 10p and 20p per day (daily peak charge).

Charges for the rest of the car parks have been frozen at 2013 prices.

What do you think? Write to Ken­tish Ex­press, 34-36 North Street, Ash­ford, TN24 8JR or email ken­tish­ex­press@thek­m­group.co.uk

A move by Chan­cel­lor Ge­orge Os­borne saw the in­crease in rail fares this week pegged back

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