Royston commuters hit out at rail ticket price hike

COMMUTERS have slammed the eight per cent rail season ticket hike which will see annual tickets from Royston to King’s Cross rise �309 as disgusting and extortionate.

It was revealed this week that July’s inflation figures will see the tickets rise by an average of 8 per cent across England and Wales.

Occasional commuter Graham Chapman, speaking at Royston Train Station, said: “I do think it’s pretty extortionate for the level of service they’re providing. They keep talking about improvments but we don’t really see any.”

His dissent was echoed by rail user Rosemary Chapman who travels to work on the train from Royston.

“I think we need to think about the service in relation to the increase and they need to raise one with another,” she said.

The increases come as regulated fares, such as season tickets are based on the RPI figure

Regulated fares, such as season tickets, use formulas based on the Retail Price Index figure, a measure of inflation – unchanged at five per cent.

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However the governnment has raised the price of tickets by changing the ticket formula to RPI plus 3 per cent from one per cent.

This will see season tickets from Royston to Cambridge shoot up roughly �91 to �1231 in January and an annual fare to London King’s Cross jump from �4,169 to �3,860.

David Mapp, commercial director at the Association of Train Operating Companies, said: “We know that these are difficult financial times for many people.

“The government has decided that many fares need to rise above inflation for the next three years to help pay for more trains, better stations and faster services.

“Increasing the money raised from fares will mean that taxpayers contribute less to the running of the railways, whilst ensuring that vital investment can continue.

“All additional money raised through the change to RPI+3 will go straight back to the Government.”

However the move has not been met with open arms by rail users concerned their salaries are not rising in conjunction with ticket prices.

“Luckily I’m not a season ticket holder but I think it’s a bit off,” said C Joseph.

“It seems unfair you’re lucky to get a two per cent even if you get one at all.”

But a traveller, who wished to remain anonymous, whose brother has a season ticket from Cambridge to London was more scathing.

“I think it doesn’t need to happen especially with what’s been happening with the economy,” she said.

“It’s not going to affect me but people that commute will be - it’s disgusting.”