Rail passenger anger as fares could rise by more than 10 per cent

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Rail passenger anger as fares could increase higher than 10 per cent next year, train prices rise, london fare prices, uk train ticket increasePA



Rail passengers were left angry last night as it was revealed that fares could rise by more 10 per cent next year, the Daily Express reported.

Next year's fare increases is based on July's Retail Price Index, which will be announced on Tuesday and is expected to show inflation at around 2.5 per cent.

The Government is allowing train companies to increase the average season ticket fare by RPI plus three per cent for the next two years, meaning an average rise of 5.5 per cent.

On top of this they can increase season ticket prices by another five per cent if this is balanced by lower increases elsewhere.

This would mean rail fares could be 10 per cent higher or more, which would see commuters pay an extra £400 for an annual season ticket.

Unregulated fares, like advance and long distance anytime tickets, could rise even higher.

Manuel Cortes, leader of the TSSA rail union, said that Transport Secretary Justine Greening 'seems determined to turn her predecessor Philip Hammond's flippant remark about rail now being a rich man's toy into firm reality'.

He said: 'Passengers already pay 60 per cent of all rail funding through the fares box and now they are being forced to pay even more. Motorists don't fund new roads and air passengers don't fund new airports. Why are rail passengers being singled out?'

Anthony Smith, of the Passenger Focus watchdog, said: 'With the economy flat-lining and passengers' belts being further tightened, we would urge the Government to accept that these are exceptional times and repeat last year's capping of fares at RPI plus one per cent.

'We also want them to reduce the flexibility train companies have to increase certain routes by more than the overall average.'

Fare prices rising by 5.5 per cent would see commuters from Northampton to London pay an extra £261, taking the total above £5,000.

A season ticket holder from Reading to London would pay £4,180 instead of the current £4,009.

For commuters from Edinburgh to Glasgow, the price would change from £3,380 to £3.718.

Passengers travelling to London from Canterbury could pay an extra £475 if the rise is 10 per cent.

Justine Greening is trying to persuade the Treasury to limit the 2013 rise to RPI plus one per cent, as she did last year, but it is believed a similar move is unlikely.

The Department for Transport responded by saying the formula for fares was set out last year. It said: 'It is a rise of RPI plus one per cent this year and RPI plus three per cent in 2013 and 2014 before returning to RPI plus one per cent.'

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