Rise in rail fares announced for 2017 with new Southern compensation scheme

Fares on trains that serve Portsmouth will increase in 2017, it was announced this morning.

Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) has said that ticket prices for Southern trains will rise by an average of 1.8% from January 2.

The fare increase for Southern customers is lower than the national average increase of 2.3% in 2017.

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Meanwhile, Southern Advance fares will not be affected at all by the rise, and will be frozen at the current rates.

Fare increases for South West Trains customers will be even lower, at an average of just 1.5%.

Great Western Railway are imposing the highest increase of the three operators that run trains via Portsmouth, keeping regulated rail fares in line with the retail price index of 1.9%.

Managing director of Great Western Railway, Mark Hopwood, said: ‘The money raised by Government through fares ensures investment in more trains, better stations and faster services.

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‘This investment is already delivering new trains in London and the Thames Valley, and we will see the first of our new Intercity Express Trains in passenger service next year, which will deliver more seats, more frequent services, and quicker journeys.’

Christian Roth, managing director of South West Trains, added: “We have worked hard to offer the best value travel for our customers.

‘The changes in January will mean fares for South West Trains customers will on average reduce in real terms.’

GTR is also introducing a new compensation scheme for commuters who have faced delays and cancellations across Southern’s network this year.

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Under the new scheme, which will go live in January, annual season ticket holders will receive a payment equivalent to one month’s travel.

Holders of quarterly, monthly and weekly season tickets will also be able to claim an equivalent payment for the ticket type, if they bought travel for at least 12 weeks between April 24 and December 31, 2016.

On top of the new scheme, Southern and Gatwick Express passengers will be the first in the country to benefit from a ‘more generous’ Delay Repay system.

From December 11, passengers will be offered compensation if their train is delayed by 15 minutes or over, rather than the current 30 minutes.

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Under Delay Repay 15, passengers will be able to claim 25% of the cost of a single fare for delays between 15 and 29 minutes.

Charles Horton, chief exec of GTR, says that the company welcomes the additional compensation package, despite customers previously being able to claim under the existing Delay Repay scheme.

He said: ‘Our passengers have had to endure many months of disruption and misery due to industrial action and poor performance and for that I am truly sorry.

‘It is good news that our passengers will be the first to benefit from Delay Repay 15 as it is something our passengers have been telling us they want for some time.

‘Our aim is always to get passengers to where they want to go on time, but if we don’t, it is right that they are compensated.’