Latest Rail News

19.07.17

London passengers left fuming at news of increasing fares

An influential transport watchdog has said that commuters in and around London will be left frustrated by the news that national rail fares will rise 2.6% in line with inflation.

It follows transport secretary Chris Grayling revealing that fares would be capped at inflation, although consumer champion London TravelWatch has now argued that this will be no comfort to long suffering passengers.

The woeful performance of Southern and ongoing strike action has seen services in the south and London become a nightmare for those making regular trips in and around the capital.  

London TravelWatch also highlighted that often, passengers are not entitled to compensation, and that anomalies in the cost of travel remain from various different points around the commuter belt.

“Passengers will be relieved at the decision to cap average fare increases to 2.6%,” said the organisation’s chair, Stephen Locke. “But the past year has seen performance in some areas drop to an unacceptable level and for many the wait for the much-promised 15-minute compensation policy continues.”

Locke added that there was a lot to be done to improve the fairness and transparency of the system.

“There continues to be large and confusing variations in commuter fares, especially in and around the edge of London – for example, passengers travelling from Redhill are sometimes paying more to travel into London than those travelling from Gatwick Airport Station, despite Gatwick being over five miles further out,” he explained.

“There is a danger that the complexity of fares becomes a barrier to people taking up employment. We will continue to press the government and rail industry to work towards a simpler, fairer and more unified fares structure across the London area.”

Top Image:  Lauren Hurley and PA Wire

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Comments

Jimbo   19/07/2017 at 18:20

So two non-stories here - prices are going up in line with inflation and rail fares continue to be overly-complex - followed by hyperbole from people trying to stir things up. Of course, no-one is happy with price rises, but this happens every year and it is in line with inflation. Just because the London Mayor can get away with a stunt and cap TfL prices (at the cost of ruining TfL's finances), doesn't mean that you can do the same on national rail. As for the continuing complexity of fares, I am not sure how no change in the complexity will lead to "There is a danger that the complexity of fares becomes a barrier to people taking up employment" - either it is already a barrier or it isn't, it cannot become a barrier when nothing as changed. Besides, what has price rises got to do with fare complexity?

Londonandy   21/07/2017 at 16:44

"services in the south and London become a nightmare for those making regular trips in and around the capital." I could accept this if I travelled on Southern, but it's a gross generalisation - my service in the south of London hasn't changed much at all!

Jerry Alderson   24/07/2017 at 20:38

So where does this 2.6% figure come from? Well, the *June* CPI inflation figure was 2.6%. I'm surprised that RTM's editor doesn't realise, but it is the July inflation figure (i.e. the year-to-end-of-July) that is used by the government for rail fare increases. So, RTM editor, please wait until 15 August to find out what the figure will be. However, the actual fare rises will - sadly, and in opposition to the view of rail campaign groups such as Railfuture - be based on the higher (and largely obsolete) RPI rate, which was 3.5% in the year to June. So, not only has RTM given the wrong month, it's also given the wrong measure!

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