Get involved! Send photos, video, news & views. Text WILTS GAZETTE to 80360 or email us
Commuters face big rail fare hike
4:00pm Thursday 15th August 2013 in News
COMMUTERS are preparing for another huge price hike on rail fares next year, when average prices will rise by around 4.1 per cent to match inflation.
Train passengers will be hit by a sharp rise in regulated fares such as season tickets from next January, even though retail price index inflation slowed from 3.3 per cent to 3.1 per cent in July. The problem is that fares are set one per cent above last month’s RPI.
A monthly season ticket from Chippenham to London Paddington now costs £829.10. From Pewsey it costs £544.20 and from Bedwyn, £435.10.
Regular commuter Will Guyatt, 34, of Wood Lane, Chippenham, said: “They are gouging more money out of my wallet every year, with no noticeable improvement in the quality of service. I’ve been doing this commute for four years and the fares have risen by 30 to 40 per cent.
“I kept a tally over the 18 days a month I caught the train home from London, I got home on time four times.
“In Germany they apologise if a train is two minutes late; here it is just expected.”
Steve Smith from Great Bedwyn Trains Passenger Group said: “I suppose it was to be expected.
“It’s just a shame that we suffer such a bad service on the Bedwyn line and there are no improvements with the increased fares.”
Chris Watts, who set up Fair Fares 4 Swindon, said: “It’s going to affect a lot of people because fares are so expensive and it’s going to affect the local economy.
“New businesses looking to move to Swindon are not just looking for a good rail link but also an affordable rail link.”
A spokesman from rail operator First Great Western said people could take advantage of offers and discounts to save money, such as an advanced fare discount of 10 per cent.
“The average cost of what a customer pays has decreased year on year from about £22 five years ago to just over £19 today,” he said.
Comments are closed on this article.