Commuters face 6% rise in rail fares from next year
Rail fares are set to rise by an average of 4.2% in 2013, with some commuters in England, Scotland and Wales seeing increases of nearly 6% to their travel costs.
Last month the government countered announcements made in August, which set the average increase to rail fares at 6.2%, after David Cameron stepped in and limited such rises to 1% above inflation.
The consumer watchdog, Passenger Focus, reports that 42% of passengers are satisfied that their tickets are value for money. However, that figure has dropped to just 29% of commuters.
They say the biggest rise of 2013 will be on the Canterbury to London route, which will see a 5.9% increase of £272 for average commuter fares. However, lower rises of 2.3% will be evident in other areas, and a reduction of £16 will be made to the Shenfield (Essex) to London route.
Passenger Focus chief executive, Anthony Smith, said: “Passengers will feel this pain. After years of above-inflation fare rises, fresh increases are piling pressure on already high fares. Government and the rail industry must now work together to deliver on the welcome promise to get fare rises in line with inflation.”
A spokesman for the Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC) responded to this, saying: “It is the government, not train companies, that decides how much season tickets should rise on average each year. Successive governments have instructed train companies every year to increase these regulated fares on average by more than inflation.”
Passenger Focus advises people to check the price of their season tickets. If an increase is impending, they recommend buying before 1st January to save money.