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Anger at latest rail fare increases
7:30am Thursday 10th January 2013 in News
COMMUTERS from Chelmsford have been angered by the latest round of rail fare rises.
Season ticket prices for passengers travelling between Chelmsford and London have gone up £120, 4.3 per cent, from £3,420 to £3,540, as new fare rates set out by the Government in August were activated.
The new prices have been calculated using the latest Retail Price Index figure, 3.2 per cent, with an additional 1 per cent added.
Train operators are allowed to vary the price by up to 5 per cent.
Ian Mascot, who travels from Chelmsford to Holborn for his job in IT, said this will cause more financial woes for commuters and their families.
He added: “The rise means we’ll have to find more money from the family budget.
“It feels like commuters are being put over a barrel again.”
Another commuter, Neil Hall, who travels to Westminster from Chelmsford, said the increases do not match the service.
He added: “This is a smaller rise after an 8 per cent increase last year, but I still need to find extra money after having a three-year pay freeze. All of this when the performance of the trains is deteriorating.”
Members of the Chelmsford TUC branch and protest group Chelmsford against the cuts handed out cards as part of the Together for Transport campaign highlighting concerns over increased prices.
Michael Roberts, chief executive of the Association of Train Operating Companies, said all service operators know commuters do not want to pay more.
But he added the companies are following Government advice.
Mr Roberts said: “Successive governments have required train companies to increase the average price of season tickets every January since 2004 by more than inflation.
“Ministers want passengers to pay a larger share of railway running costs to reduce the contribution from taxpayers.”