Passengers face hike in train ticket prices

Portsmouth and Southsea railway station
Portsmouth and Southsea railway station
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PORTSMOUTH rail passengers will face inflation-busting hikes in train fare prices in the new year.

Commuters looking to travel from the city to London will have to pay £4,668 for a season ticket – an increase of 4.2 per cent.

The figures, which were obtained by rail customer watchdog Passenger Focus, revealed people wanting to travel between Canterbury and London will be hardest hit as season ticket prices go up by 5.9 per cent to £4,860.

Other journeys around the country have been less affected.

An Ellesmere Port to Chester annual ticket is only rising by 2.3 per cent and the cost of a season fare from Shenfield to Essex to London will even decrease from £2,720 to £2,704.

Passenger Focus said that while train companies were appearing to be exercising some constraint, the price hikes still felt steep.

Chief executive Anthony Smith said: ‘Passengers will feel this pain.

‘After years of above-inflation fare rises, fresh increases are piling pressure on already high fares.

‘The government and the rail industry must now work together to deliver on the welcome promise to get fare rises in line with inflation.’

A spokesman for the Association of Train Operating Companies added it was the government that regulates fare prices and it was trying to ease the burden on taxpayers.

‘Successive governments have instructed train companies every year to increase these regulated fares on average by more than inflation. In doing so, ministers have been seeking to cut the contribution from taxpayers towards the running costs of the railway and increase the share that comes from passengers.