Fares go­ing up on West rail routes

Western Morning News (Saturday) - - Front Page -

Rail pas­sen­gers in the West­coun­try will face above in­fla­tion fare in­creases next year as two of the re­gion’s ma­jor train op­er­a­tors, Great West­ern and South West­ern Rail­way an­nounced fare rises of 2.9%.

The in­creases, which are be­ing im­posed by rail com­pa­nies across the board, are slightly below the over­all av­er­age rise of 3.1%.

The cost of many rail sea­son tick­ets will in­crease by more than £100 next year as av­er­age fares go up 3.1%.

How­ever, pas­sen­gers said fares have be­come “ridicu­lous”, par­tic­u­larly af­ter train punc­tu­al­ity slipped to a 12year low in the sum­mer.

The rail in­dus­try in­sisted money from fares is “un­der­pin­ning the im­prove­ments to the rail­way that pas­sen­gers want”.

Ex­am­ples of in­creases in an­nual sea­son tick­ets from Jan­uary 2 in­clude £148 for Brighton to Lon­don (from £4,696 to £4,844), £130 for Glouces­ter to Birm­ing­ham (from £4,108 to £4,238), and £100 for Man­ches­ter to Liver­pool (from £3,152 to £3,252).

The an­nual cost from Prime Min­is­ter Theresa May’s con­stituency of Maiden­head to Lon­don will in­crease by £96 (from £3,092 to £3,188).

The av­er­age rise will be the se­cond high­est since Jan­uary 2013, ac­cord­ing to in­dus­try body the Rail De­liv­ery Group (RDG).

It said data from the Of­fice of Rail and Road suggest­ing the 2019 in­crease of 3.1% is the largest in that pe­riod is not com­pa­ra­ble be­cause a dif­fer­ent method­ol­ogy has been used.

There have been calls for prices to be frozen fol­low­ing chaos caused by the im­ple­men­ta­tion of new timeta­bles in May.

Fewer than half (45%) of pas­sen­gers are sat­is­fied with the value for money of train tick­ets, ac­cord­ing to a sur­vey by watch­dog Trans­port Fo­cus.

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