MPs call for better train service to match the hike in fares from next year

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  • On average fares will rise by one per cent
  • Smallest increase in the past six years
  • Call for service to improve
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RAIL passengers will face yet another increase in ticket prices in the new year.

On average across the country people will pay 1.1 per cent more from January 2 on rail tickets.

Commuters at Fratton station

Commuters at Fratton station

Of the companies which serve Portsmouth, South West Trains will increase its fares by 0.7 per cent, while Southern Railway will put its prices up by an average of 0.8 per cent and season tickets by one per cent. Great Western Railway, which operates Portsmouth to Cardiff services, will raise prices by one per cent.

It means a seven-day season ticket from Portsmouth to London with Southern that costs £110.30 now will cost £111.40, from January 2, next year. Tickets that cost under £10 will remain unchanged.

Govia Thameslink Railway runs Southern, and its commercial director David Innis said: ‘We’re determined to give our passengers better value for money and by freezing thousands of fares and introducing a minimum rate of inflation rise on season tickets, we are doing just that.’

Portsmouth North MP Penny Mordaunt and Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage are both calling for ‘better value for money’.

Ms Dinenage said: ‘I’m pleased that government rules, which prevent regulated fares from increasing by more than inflation, have meant that next year’s price increase of one per cent will be the lowest rise since 2010.

‘At the same time, it’s important that quality of service matches the price we pay.

‘Rail services in our area, both local and those to London, are still overcrowded, slow and don’t justify the price of the ticket.’

Ms Mordaunt added: ‘These rises apply to non-regulated fares. While we can hold down the price of some tickets, we need to work to get better value for money for the travelling public.’

The body that represents train operators said the money will help run a better service.

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.’