Train passengers learn of rail fare fate
TRAIN passengers have been warned to expect an aboveinflation hike in rail fares in the New Year - with commuters in Peterborough likely to feel the brunt of the increase.
It was announced yesterday that the cost of travelling on the UK’S trains is set to rise by an average of 5.9 per cent from January 2 - 0.7 per cent above the current inflation rate under the Retail Price Index (RPI).
There are winners and losers among train passengers in Peterborough, however, with some fares set to go unchanged, while others leap close to the Government’s cap of RPI plus one per cent.
East Coast Main Line announced its fares will rise by an average of five per cent from January 2, below the rate of inflation. However, commuters travelling between Peterborough and London will face a six per cent hike with the cost of an annual season ticket rising from £6,232 to £6,608.
This follows a 5.8 per cent increase at the beginning of 2011, which saw the cost of an annual season ticket rise from £5,892 to £6,232.
Ravensthorpe Ward councillor Ed Murphy led a campaign in January to raise awareness about the price hike.
He said: “It’s the second year it’s gone up by hundreds of pounds. Bearing in mind some people haven’t seen a pay rise this year and they are struggling to find the money to get to work, it’s an outrageous increase. It’s going to affect hard-working families, particularly commuters.”
Rail fares for First Capital Connect will increase by an average of 5.7 per cent, with the annual season ticket between Peterborough and London due to go up by 5.6 per cent, from £5,320 to £5,620.
The average increase for East Midlands Trains will be 5.7 per cent.
The Government argues the burden of rail investment should be focused on the train passengers, not the taxpayers at large.
Speaking at Peterborough Train Station yesterday, commuter Nigel Ainscoe (54) disagreed. He is from Nottingham and works as a database administrator at Peterborough’s Whiteconcierge.
He said: “I think a good rail infrastructure is an important thing for a country to have so I think the state should make a significant contribution to that because it benefit the state in the long term.”
A 34-year-old Peterborough man working in London for the Ministry of Defence, who asked not be named, said he felt the passengers’ investment was being unfairly focused on first class. He said: “There’s nothing for the majority of people who use their service.”
Peter Ward (46), from West Town, an annual season ticket holder for journeys between Peterborough and London, described the cost as “exorbitant”.
He said: “It’s getting to the point where you have to seriously consider, is it worth paying all that money?”
MP for Peterborough Stewart Jackson said: “Everyone is feeling the pinch, so travellers will rightly expect more trains, better punctuality and an all-round enhanced service for their money.”
price hike: Cllr Ed Murphy.