Fares going up on West rail routes
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.