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Train ticket prices set to increase

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Train operators have announced train prices will soar by an average 5.9% with many fares going up even more, resulting in many passengers paying a lot more for their tickets.

Earlier this year former transport secretary Philip Hammond voiced his opinions on increasing ticket prices saying rail travel is turning into travel for the wealthy.

It was originally planned to increase the annual fare up from RPI plus 1% to RPI plus 3% but the decision was reversed by the Chancellor George Osborne in his Autumn Statement.

The increase is said to be essential for reinvestment in rail infrastructure while cutting the subsidy given by the taxpayer.

Train companies could still increase their fares even higher as long as the regulated figure of 5.9% stays the same.

Michael Roberts, chief executive of the Association of Train Operating Companies, defended the increase saying: “Money raised through fares helps pay for new trains, faster services and better stations.

“The long-standing Government approach to sustaining rail investment is to cut the contribution from taxpayers and increase the share paid for by passengers.

“The industry is working together to continue cutting costs as a way to help limit future fare rises and offer better value for money for taxpayers over the longer term.”

Train ticket prices could see an advanced single long distance ticket rising to £20.00, if commuters have to use this ticket daily for work it can result in paying £100 a week to use the train.

Given the current financial problems people face every day as living costs soar, increasing ticket fares could mean commuters who use trains for work will have to pay a significant amount more than they are used to.

Money from the increase in fares is to get train operating companies to find ways of dealing with overcrowding and it will go towards maintenance work of trains but passengers are faced with difficultly daily because of the trains not being up to standard.

Some of the problems that passengers face daily are; signalling problems, no seats on the trains and broken down carriages with passengers left wondering where the money is going when there is an increase in ticket fares.

The increase is expected to go ahead in January which will be bad news for commuters who have just dealt with the expense of Christmas.

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By Amanda Bainbridge