Rail commuters face 3.5% rise in season ticket costs

Brighton railway station

Brighton railway station

First published in News
Last updated
by , Business editor

Commuters today learned that they will face a 3.5% increase in rail fares next year after official inflation figures used to calculate the rise were published.

Brighton to London season ticket holders are expected to shell out an average £139 extra, up to £4,111 per year.

Fares have rocketed by 25% since 2010 - described as a “scandal” amid calls for nationalisation.

The latest predictions are based on the RPI (Retail Price Index) inflation figure of 2.5%.

It is based on the assumption the Government will set the rise at 2.5% plus 1% - though it could set fares at 2.5% plus zero as it did last year.

Rich Keeling, 30, who commutes from Hove to Clapham to work in the wine industry, said: “It's a lot of money when you don't get a seat on the way home and there are so many delays.

“When is it going to stop?

“I have to go to London for work so I just have to suck it up.”

Last week a Passenger Focus survey found Southern, First Capital Connect and Southeastern had the lowest trust ratings in the country.

Caroline Lucas, MP for Brighton Pavilion, has tabled a parliamentary bill calling for the re-nationalisation of the network which she said would lead to lower fares and better services.

She said: “The current profit-making model is great for shareholders but terrible for passengers.

“We have overcrowded trains, unreliable services, and some of the highest fares in Europe. That those fares are going up again is nothing short of a scandal.

“The best way to put an end to high fares and unreliable services is to bring the railways back into public hands.”

Mike Weatherley, MP for Hove, has written to Chancellor George Osborne requesting fares be capped.

He said: “While I am pleased that the Government is taking a sensible approach to improving our rail network, I hope that the Chancellor will, like last year, intervene and restrict any rises to RPI.”

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