Thursday, 2 December 2010

Train travellers angry as fares may rise nearly 13%.

 The Association of Train Operating Companies (Atoc) revealed rail fares would go up by an average of 6.2% in the New Year. As regulated fares are expected to rise by between 5.8 and 7.8 per cent, the increase has sparked criticism from travellers.

Leader of the TSSA rail union, Gerry Doherty said: “It is simply outrageous that hard-pressed commuters are being forced to pay fare hikes when they are themselves facing pay freezes and job cuts.

“Passengers will regard that as a sick joke seeing as we have the most expensive and overcrowded railway in Europe.”

As regulated fares are tied to an annual price cap formula, they can increase every January depending on the previous year’s RPI inflation rate plus 1%.

Atoc defended the price increase and said the fee hike was important for investment in British railways, making room for improvements in customer satisfaction and punctuality.

Chief executive of Atoc, Michael Roberts said: “We know times are tough for many people but next year’s fare increase 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.”

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