Southeastern confirms 1% rail fare price hike - BELOW the national average
PUBLISHED: 09:11 04 December 2015 | UPDATED: 11:15 04 December 2015
Rail groups welcome slowdown in rises, but warn service must be more reliable
Southeastern passengers are set to face a rail fare price hike of just one per cent next year - the smallest annual increase for six years.
Kent commuters will see average fares rise slightly below the 1.1 per cent average rise announced on Friday by the Raily Delivery Group, which represents train operators and rail infrastructure firm Network Rail.
The government has imposed a one per cent rise in regulated fares - which include season tickets and peak time travel. The 1.1 per cent rise is the national average across all train operating companies.
The new prices come into effect on January 2.
Paul Plummer, chief executive of the Rail Delivery Group, said: “We know that nobody likes to pay more to travel by train, especially to get to work, and at 1.1 per cent this is the smallest average increase in fares for six years.
“On average 97p in every pound from fares is spent on trains, staff and other running costs. With passenger numbers doubling in the last 20 years, money from fares now almost covers the railway’s day-to-day operating costs.
“This allows government to focus its funding on building a bigger, better network when the railway is becoming increasingly important at driving economic growth, underpinning jobs, and connecting friends and families.”
A spokesman for Southeastern explained: “The overall average fare rise for next year for Southeastern is in line with the government’s rise of one per cent - slightly below the national average of 1.1 per cent.
“Fares contribute to the maintenance and future investment of services, as well as rail infrastructure. Over the next three years, Southeastern is investing millions of pounds refurbishing trains, and stations and providing better quality information to help people with their journeys.”
David Sidebottom, passenger director at Transport Focus - the independent watchdog previously known as Passenger Focus said: “Fares are still going up overall, on the back of years of above-inflation increases.
“Now that passengers are paying more than ever before, it is absolutely critical that industry delivers a more reliable day-to-day railway and starts to offer more flexible ticketing products.”