Millions of passengers to suffer more fares unfairness after 2.8% January fares increase is confirmed

Millions of passengers to suffer more fares unfairness after 2.8% January fares increase is confirmed

14 August 2019

London's passenger watchdog has warned that the gap between the cheapest and most expensive fares will widen still further following the announcement today that rail fares will rise by 2.8% in line with inflation in January 2020.

London TravelWatch Chair, Arthur Leathley commented: 'This is yet more bad news for passengers suffering from poor performance and an unfair fares system in urgent need of reform. Millions of commuters will be hit in the pocket but those travelling into London from towns like Harlow and Hemel Hempstead who are already paying a lot more than other commuters travelling the same distance will be worst affected*. Passenger have been suffering year in, year out from relatively large fare increases as a result of the Government’s decision to cap increases at inflation over this period.'

Arthur Leathley continued: 'This latest increase again highlights the need for proper reform of the fares and ticketing system and a concerted effort by operators to improve performance so that passengers start feeling that they are getting value for money for the fare they pay.'

London TravelWatch has been monitoring fares levels and the large differences in fares paid by people travelling into London from similar distances, which can be up to £35 a week. We will update our research once actual fares on individual routes are confirmed at the end of November and will lobby MPs whose constituents are worst affected.

Further information
  • London TravelWatch is the official watchdog representing the interests of transport users in and around London, and independent of the transport operators and government. London TravelWatch is sponsored and funded by the London Assembly, part of the Greater London Authority.
  • *The worst example of this is the difference between a weekly season ticket from Hemel Hempstead in Hertfordshire (21 miles) which costs £92.90 and the same ticket from Oxted in Surrey (20 miles) which costs £57.10. The table below gives the full picture:

Commuter station

Distance to London terminus station (miles)

Weekly season ticket price

Operator(s)

Passengers using station each year (millions) 2016/17

Hemel Hempstead

21

£92.90

London North Western Railway

2

Amersham

23.5

£88.70

Chiltern/London Underground

2

Sevenoaks

21

£87.50

Govia Thameslink/Southeastern

4.2

Harlow Town

22

£83.60

Greater Anglia

1.9

Woking

24.5

£81.20

South Western Railway

8

Gatwick Airport

26.75

£78.60

Govia Thameslink

19.4

Shenfield

20.25

£76.30

TfL Rail/Greater Anglia

3.7

Welwyn Garden City

20

£73.10

Govia Thameslink

3

Redhill

21

£68.60

Govia Thameslink

3.7

Slough

18.5

£65.70

Great Western Railway

5.7

Staines

19

£65.40

South Western Railway

2.8

Grays

19.5

£59.40

c2c

4

Oxted

20

£57.10

Govia Thameslink

1.5

  • For more information, please contact the London TravelWatch press office on 020 3176 5941 or 07734 055494.
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