Real terms freeze in fares will be little comfort to passengers facing inconsistent fares and falling service performance15 August 2017
Long-suffering passengers in and around London are set to face another rail fares rise next year after today’s announcement that National Rail fares will rise by 3.6% in line with inflation.
While it is a relief that prices have been capped at inflation, this latest news will be frustrating for passengers who have seen service performance decline over the past year. Serious anomalies in the cost of travel remain from various different points around London’s commuter belt and passengers are often not entitled to compensation.
London TravelWatch Chair, Stephen Locke commented: ‘Passengers will be relieved at the decision to cap average fare increases at 3.6% but they will also be angry that they are paying more for a service that, in many areas, is nowhere near good enough. Over the past year passengers on some lines we have seen performance and over-crowding deteriorate lines to an unacceptable level. Meanwhile, for many the wait for the much-promised 15 minute compensation policy continues.’
Stephen Locke continued: ‘There is also a lot to be done to improve the fairness and transparency of the system. There continue to be large and confusing variations in commuter fares, especially in and around the edge of London – for example, passengers travelling from Redhill are sometimes paying more to travel into London than those travelling from Gatwick Airport Station, despite Gatwick being over five miles further out. There is a danger that anomalies of this kind will continue to encourage people to take unnecessary car journeys and add to road congestion. We will continue to press the Government and rail industry to work towards a simpler, fairer and more unified fares structure across the wider London area.'
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