Published on : Monday, January 2, 2017
Rail passengers who are facing misery from strikes have described fare increases effective from 2nd January, as a “kick in the teeth” after it emerged some are paying 43 percent more for season tickets than they did seven years ago.
Rail passengers are paying up to £2,100 more for an annual ticket than they did when the Conservatives came to power.
The average fare increase of 2.3 percent across Britain came into effect, though Virgin Trains East Coast has imposed a 4.9 per cent average increase on its services, the highest of any operator. The Virgin Trains season ticket between Birmingham and London, which has risen by £2,172 since 2010 and now will cost £10,200.
It is the biggest fare increase since January 2014, despite overcrowding and cancellations getting worse year on year.
The scale of the fare increases was condemned as “truly staggering” as the latest rises were being implemented for the start of the New Year.
As commuters return to work after the Christmas break, there were fresh calls for an overhaul of the fares system.
The Government uses the previous July’s Retail Prices Index measure of inflation to determine increases in regulated fares, which was 1.9 per cent. These are around 40 per cent of all tickets and include season tickets on most commuter routes and some off-peak return tickets on long distance journeys.
Train operating companies set the prices of other tickets but are bound by competition rules.
Transport Secretary Chris Grayling insisted wages were growing faster than regulated fares, thanks to the Government’s economic policies.