24 November 2010

New Year brings misery for commuters with 6.2% train fare increase

The price of rail fares will increase by an average of 6.2% in January, putting yet more financial pressure on the UK population.

The Association of Train Operating Companies (Atoc) announced the above-inflation increase today, claiming that changes in government policy have demanded that passengers pay more towards railway investment.

Although Atoc failed to report the specific price rise for each train company, it is thought that season ticket holders will be most severely affected with on average, 10.8% increases. Some commuters, such as those travelling from Ramsgate to London with Southeastern will see their annual season ticket price rocket from £3,880 to £4,376 an increase of 12.8%.

Chief executive of Atoc Michael Roberts said: "We know times are tough for many people but next year's fare increases will ensure that Britain can continue investing in its railways.

"Even with these fare increases, the money passengers spend on fares covers only half the cost of running the railways - taxpayers make up the difference.

"The government is sticking with the previous administration's policy to cut the taxpayers' contribution to the overall cost of running the railways.

Meanwhile, the leader of the TSSA rail union Gerry Doherty stated: "It is simply outrageous hard pressed commuters are being forced to pay fare hikes of up to 10% when they are themselves facing pay freezes and job cuts.”

The news comes on top of last week’s increases in energy costs and yet further economic concern over the eurozone crisis.

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