A further fares hike for rail passengers

Rail passengers face another above inflation hike in rail fares, with the cost of a season ticket due to shoot up by £190 in January.

A commuter earning £25,000 will be paying 19% of their salary on rail fares by January 2014 when the cost of a season ticket goes up to £4,809, adding to the cost of living crisis facing many families.

Retail Price Index (RPI) figures out on Tuesday (13 August) mean that regulated rail fares for peak time travel will go up by 4.1% in January (RPI + 1%). This will take the price of a season ticket on London Midland from Milton Keynes Central to Euston up to £4,809 in January 2013, up from £4,620 today. It will be more if you include a travel card in the cost of the ticket.

Other fares could go up much more as train companies have the power to increase the cost of unregulated fares which could rise by as much as 8.3% (RPI + 5%).

London Midland passengers are already facing shorter trains this summer with no compensation as carriages are being used for training.

The West Coast Mainline will be closed for significant parts of 2014/15 as works are carried out on the track near Watford, meaning higher fares but more misery for commuters. 

Andrew Pakes, Labour & Co-operative Parliamentary Candidate for Milton Keynes South added:

“This is yet another eye-watering hike in prices at a time when prices are rising faster than wages. The Government promised to help passengers yet prices are soaring with little improvement in services.  Ministers have already wasted £48 million on the failed West Coast rail franchise fiasco and have given the train companies the power to raise some fares by up to 9 per cent.

“Regular rail passengers face major disruptions on the London route next year yet prices are still due to increase by more than inflation. I would like to see a strict cap imposed on all fares to limit increases to inflation and tougher negotiations by the government to get a better deal out of the rail companies."