London commuters face 6% train fare hike


London-bound rail commuters will be among those hit with average fare rises of six per cent next week

From Monday, UK regulated fares, including season tickets, will increase by six per cent, while all fares will rise by 5.9 per cent.

Train passengers in Britain are already paying almost 10 times as much for season tickets as they would in other European countries.

For example, the Campaign for Better Transport (CBT) revealed that people who travel from Woking to London with Tube travel fork out £3,268 for a season ticket, while it costs just £336.17 per year for a similar 22-mile journey from Velletri to Rome.

Season tickets for journeys of a similar distance on the continent are also cheaper, with the annual charge for the 21-mile Strausberg to Berlin journey costing £705.85, and the 22-mile Collado-Villalba to Madrid journey costing £653.74.

Across the Channel, rail commuters pay £924.66 for a yearly ticket for the 24-mile journey between Ballancourt-sur-Essonne and Paris.

It would appear that all commuters travelling into London will have to dig that little bit deeper to afford the rising cost of train travel.

A passenger travelling from the Hertfordshire market town of Bishop Stortford to London will have to pay £3,320 for a season ticket from Monday, which is 7.09 per cent more than the £3,100 cost of a season ticket commuters faced this year.

Season tickets for journeys into the capital from Reading in Berkshire will rise by 6.02 per cent to £3,800 – £216 more than they cost last year.

CBT’s public transport campaigner Sophie Allain said: “We knew we had some of the most expensive rail fares in Europe, if not the world, but even we were shocked by how much more the UK ticket was in comparison to our European counterparts.

“When the cost of season tickets is so much higher than other European capitals, the government’s fare rises are starting to affect the UK’s competitiveness. That’s why if the government is serious about promoting economic growth it must also look at reducing planned fare rises in 2013 and 2014 as part of a policy to cut fares and make public transport truly affordable.”

Meanwhile, London bus and Tube users will also have to pay more to travel across the city from January 2, although the average ticket increase has been limited to 5.6 per cent because of government funding.