Higher train fares introduced


Higher train fares introduced
Rail fares across the country are set to increase by an average of 4.8 per cent today.

The new prices are scheduled to come into force as customer groups reject train operators' view that higher fares are needed to fund investment in the network.

A spokesman for the Department of Transport said passenger numbers were at an all-time high in spite of fare increases. He added that further investment was needed to provide a better service to the higher number of passengers taking trains around the country.

Association of Train Operating Companies (Atoc) director general George Muir told the BBC that increases in rail fares were needed to carry out network improvements.

"The revenue from fares helps pay for investment that directly benefits passengers," he said.

However consumer groups have voiced opposition to the move saying that the average regulated increase of 4.8 per cent disguised above average increases on other train routes.

Passenger Focus said one provider had increased the annual season ticket price between Gillingham to London by 9.78 per cent while the cost of a yearly pass for journeys between Canterbury and London had risen by 11.11 per cent.

The group's chief executive claimed that higher fares for season passes on some routes had wiped out the cost savings achieved by regular customers who renewed their passes.

He called on passengers to complain to operators about the rises and demand that only companies providing quality services be permitted to increase their prices.

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