Train fare price hike is a ‘kick in the teeth’ say rail unions – see how much your Greater Anglia season ticket will cost
PUBLISHED: 06:41 06 December 2017 | UPDATED: 06:44 06 December 2017
ARCHANT EASTERN DAILY PRESS (01603) 772434
Rail passengers in Suffolk and Essex are bracing themselves for the largest hike in fares in five years.
The average price for a ticket is set to go up by 3.4% on January 2, according to industry body the Rail Delivery Group.
It will be the biggest hike in rail prices since 2013, when fares leaped by 3.9%.
Derek Monnery, chairman of the Essex Rail Users Federation, criticised the decision, saying it was unfair for passengers to have to pay up front for the ‘promise of improvements’ in the future.
“We have poor trains that are unreliable,” he said. “It seems every couple of weeks part of Liverpool Street Station is closed and we have a backlog of freight trains that should have been moved elsewhere – and they are expecting us to pay 3.4% more.
“It’s a payment on a promise of improvements.
“We are being asked to pay quite a lot more, more than most people’s salary has increased, for nothing but a distant promise.”
The Rail Maritime and Transport (RMT) Union described the price hike as ‘another kick in the teeth’ for rail users.
General secretary Mick Cash said: “For public sector workers and many others in our communities who have had their pay and benefits capped or frozen by this Government, these fare increases are another twist of the economic knife. The private train companies are laughing all the way to the bank.”
Paul Plummer, chief executive of the Rail Delivery Group, said the money from fares would go back into improving the railway.
“Working together, our plan will secure £85billion of additional economic benefits while enabling further investment and improved journeys for customers, better connections to boost local communities and a bright future for our employees.”
A spokeswoman for Greater Anglia said although its average fare increase was 3,4%, the firm was freezing its advance fares, which could be 60-70% lower than walk-up fares.
She said: “The 3.4% increase applies to Government regulated fares, such as season tickets and anytime singles and returns.
“We need to apply this increase, as many of our costs will also increase in line with inflation.
“We offer a range of great value off-peak fares...as well as group save discounts.”